Going on tour is the ultimate dream come true for many disc golfers around the world, yet the financial element of this lifelong goal isn’t always as easy to tackle as some might think. Sure, many of the top players have touring vehicles and sponsorship packages that help keep their costs to a minimum, but what about an average golfer who wants to hit the road?
The reality of it is that even if you’re rated in the high 900’s or even 1000’s, there’s a good chance you’re grinding in the offseason just to be able to afford to compete in the sport. How do players do it and what items should you consider? Let’s dive into a few things to think about.
What You Can Count On
With a bit of planning, there’s actually a fair amount of costs that you can predict ahead of time. For the most part, entry fees into the nation’s top events are all around the same price point, and some simple math will allow you to figure out how far you can drive on a tank of gas. While the prices of basic necessities do fluctuate around the country, you can ballpark your budget for food as long as you aren’t being extravagant.
Extra preparation, and sometimes a lot of sweet talking, can also come in handy when looking for lodging in various cities. The disc golf community is friendly and big, yet that doesn’t always mean you’ll find a free place to stay. The more living room floors you can crash on, the better, but build a small hotel buffer into your budget just in case.
Planning For The Worst
One of the most frustrating and expensive problems that touring players can encounter is car trouble. Whether it’s a personal vehicle or an RV, when you break down on the way to an event you’re usually in some deep trouble. Unfortunately, these kinds of unexpected costs have made many players have to turn around and go home, as they end up missing events and continuing on the tour is simply unaffordable.
The Cost Of Opportunity
There are no two ways around it – many serious touring players either rent a room in their hometown or live at home with their family. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to pay rent on an apartment that goes vacant for months on end or invest in a home that won’t be lived in, but the sacrifice here is real.
Being a touring disc golfer often means you don’t have a career and instead spend time hustling to make money to pay for your events. It’s not uncommon for the sport’s top professionals to clean houses, landscape yards, and sell discs out of the back of their car just to pay bills. As much as we all hate it, disc golf is not yet a sport you can make a living from.
We are in no way discouraging you from going on tour, but the more prepared you are for the financial reality of your first voyage out, the more fun you’ll have. Above all else, keeping a good attitude when challenges arise and remembering that most people would love to be a touring pro can help to keep a smile on your face!