The year was 1976. Frisbee expert, master disc golfer, and professional course designer “Steady” Ed Headrick sent a letter to 100 of the top disc golfers in the country. His letter was short and sweet – he offered them a chance to join a new organization called the Professional Disc Golf Association, or PDGA, with a lifetime membership for just $10 dollars (around $45 dollars in today’s value).
Now, it’s been almost 50 years since “Steady” Ed founded the PDGA and the amount of people that are involved now has has helped the organization grow exponentially. The PDGA has grown from less than 100 players to thousands of active members all over the world. Today, you can join up, too! But how much is a PDGA membership? And what are the benefits of it?
How much is a PDGA membership?
As of January 2023, there are three types of memberships but the cost for the amateur disc golfer is $50 dollars. The cost of the three memberships in the Professional Disc Golf Association is as follows:
• Junior – $30 dollars per year (for those 18 and younger)
• Amateur – $50 dollars per year (for players accepting prizes in PDGA-sanctioned events)
• Professional – $75 dollars per year (for players accepting cash in PDGA-sanctioned events)
What are the benefits of a PDGA membership?
Joining the PDGA has a ton of perks so strap yourself in for this:
Lifetime member number
First and foremost, you get a number that distinguishes you from every other disc golfer. These numbers started from 1 and have now jumped up over the 100000 mark. That’s a lot of players! Once you have this number, it never changes and the PDGA never takes it away from you (even if you don’t renew your yearly membership).
You can check out the player search and the first players ever here on the PDGA player search page.
You can use the player search above to search for yourself and see updated results after you play tournaments. This helps you to track your improvement and can help guide which division you should play in.
This card has your name, member number, where you’re from, date of birth, player rating (you can read about what those are here), and your current membership status. You can see an example of disc golf pro Paul McBeth’s membership card here on the PDGA site.
Money saved on tournaments
One of the biggest reasons to join up is for saving money on any tournaments that you might play in. Being a member saves you $10 dollars per tournament. So if you play three or four tourneys a year, it’s already almost paid for itself.
Free UDisc Pro subscription – the official mobile app of the PDGA
UDisc is awesome. This app allows you to check out local disc golf courses, use its main scorecard feature to track your scores and progress, measure your throws, and find local tournaments near you. This disc has it all and the pro version has even more. That’s a $5 dollar yearly subscription by itself.
Subscription to Discgolfer magazine – the official publication of the PDGA
Your membership also gets you four copies of Discgolfer magazine, the sport’s longest-running publication, throughout the year.
PDGA logo disc and Mini marker
Aside from all of the other awesome perks above, you also get a PDGA logo disc and mini marker (the feature picture is the 2019 PDGA logo disc from MVP Disc Golf and a PDGA logo mini marker). That’s probably a $20 dollar cost right there alone.
The Official Rules of Disc Golf and Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events
The PDGA also gives you a copy of the official rules of disc golf which is a great way to learn the specifics of the game (and to let your buddies know how wrong they are about certain rules 😉).
A generic sticker that can change year to year.
Simple. It’s a scorecard. It’s reusable. Enough said.
If you’re a member, you can run for a spot on the PDGA Board of Directors, be a State or Provincial Coordinator, or just simply vote in the PDGA’s annual elections.
By being a member of the PDGA, you’ll get discounts at different hotel chains, Office Depot, printastic.com, glassesontheweb.com, Enterprise Rent-a-car, and other big name businesses. You can check those places out here on the PDGA benefits page. You can also check out all of the other benefits at the two resources below ⬇️.
Besides the benefits, where do my membership fees go?
I’d say a pretty good portion of your fees probably go toward all of those awesome benefits. But the PDGA puts everything else almost directly into growing the sport of disc golf. Below is a list of all of the different activities and outlets that are paid for by member fees.
By joining up, you’re helping to #growthesport of disc golf ⬇️
• Innovations grants for disc golf programs and projects
• The Marco Polo international program
• Youth disc golf education outreach
• Organizing and managing thousands of sanctioned events worldwide
• PDGA Disc golf videos
• The PDGA podcast
• All PDGA newsletters
• Supporting the PDGA Masters tournaments and the other disc golf world championships
• Running the website that helps to manage all player points and 8,000 plus course entries
• Providing outstanding achievement awards to the best players in the game
• Managing public relations
• Managing the rules of disc golf and all policies
…and a ton of other things to support and grow disc golf. If you want to read about all of these different things, go here to the PDGA website FAQ and click on ➡️“Where do my membership fees go?”
What the PDGA says about the membership
“As one of more than 50,000 active members of the Professional Disc Golf Association, you’ll join a group of people who are not only passionate about the sport but also see several benefits from their yearly subscription. Play, save, and grow the game!”
Wait…how many PDGA members are there?
As of January 2020, there are well over 50,000 plus members in the PDGA. That numbers is already up almost 10,000 disc golfers since 2017 and 5,000 disc golfers since 2018.
Check out the latest demographics chart from the PDGA below ⬇️.
So is it worth it?
So is a PDGA membership really worth it? That answer is up to you. For me, $50 dollars a year to help grow a sport that I love is totally worth it. For less than a Starbucks coffee per month, around $4, or .14 cents a day, you can get some awesome PDGA gear, become a member, and help to #growthesport that we’ve all come to love.
Looking for more awesome content? Check out a couple of our best posts below!
Thanks for reading, disc golfers!
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