If you have ever shopped around for new discs, you have probably been to DiscGolfCenter.com to look through their extensive inventory. The disc golf retail giant is more than just a place to get some gear, though, and people like manager Wade Parkhurst have worked tirelessly to make Disc Golf Center an integral, supportive part of the disc golf community as a whole.
Next Generation Disc Golf is ecstatic to have Disc Golf Center back as the main sponsor and payout provider for the Virtual Challenge and overall exclusive online partner. We were able to catch up with Wade to talk about the partnership with Next Gen Disc Golf and the future of the sport.
(The interview has been edited for clarity and length)
Next Gen Disc Golf: How did DiscGolfCenter get involved with the Next Gen Tour?
Wade Parkhurt: David Feldberg approached us and outlined “The Dance” (now the Virtual Challenge) portion of the Next Gen Tour and we were delighted to provide gift certificates as prizes for those who participated.
NG: What did you see in that partnership that would be beneficial?
WP: DiscGolfCenter saw many benefits of an opportunity like that, including:
- Next Generation Disc Golf is terrific at getting the word out about their sponsors. A tournament series of this size and scale would help not only with our online exposure, but word-of-mouth as well.
- With the Virtual Challenge winnings paid out in Disc Golf Center store credit, we were eager to have disc golf players check out all we have to offer. For existing customers, they get a discount on awesome products, and for new customers they can see the breadth and value in our disc golf offerings.
- We were thrilled to stand beside partners and sponsors like Latitude 64 and Dynamic Discs that are great for the tour and growing the sport.
- Knowing that good leadership for the Next Gen Tour would equate to a larger and larger tournament series as time went on, we are very happy to sees that the growth is steady and encouraging.
NG: How does working with the NGT coincide with DGC’s vision for the future of the sport?
WP: Disc Golf Center is dedicated to the growth and promotion of the sport. The Next Generation Disc Golf Tour is unique in that it lets amateurs experience the feel of a large, competitive tournament. This also leads to their advancing to larger competitions such as Regional and National events for an even more Pro-style setting. Those experiences lead to them telling their friends about the tournament, the fun times had, and further growing the sport itself.
We feel part of our role is cheerleading disc golf to those who just discovered it and to those who have played for years.
NG: How do you see this impacting the amateur game?
WP: We think this format will set the new standard for amateur tournaments that provide a larger than usual pool of players and help prep amateur players for advancing to Pro ranks.
NG: What are some other things you guys have been involved in to help push the growth of the sport?
WP: We are always interested in helping out local causes. This includes assisting local clubs to raise funds for installing new courses, running more—and in some cases larger—tournaments, and sponsoring tournaments outside of our local area when possible.
We also encourage manufacturers to make lighter weight discs that are usable by a wider range of players. The overstable, max weight discs that made up the retail landscape for so long were not always the best solution to a players disc golf needs.
NG: Anything else you’d like to add?
WP: We love disc golf and are excited to see it continue to grow year after year. Opportunities like the Virtual Challenge allow us the ability to not only help do that, but introduce new and existing players to our online store.
Of course if you’re ever in DeBary, Fla., feel free to come say hi in our retail location! We are dedicated to the long-term growth of disc golf, and hope that sponsorship of these types of events demonstrates to players of all stripes that DiscGolfCenter.com is here to help make disc golf—and those who play—better each day.
Thanks to Wade for taking the time to talk to us. Make sure you sign up for the Virtual Challenge when you sign up for your local qualifier, and pay a visit to DiscGolfCenter.com to check out their massive inventory!