According to the “Disc Golf and PDGA Demographics” article on PDGA’s website, last year there were an estimated 500+ thousand regular disc golf players in the world. Disc golf is rapidly growing at a significant rate every year. And it can grow at an even more substantial rate with the help of the hundreds of thousands—if not millions—disc golfers all over the world. We, as a disc golf community, have to back and support our fellow disc golfers and companies looking to improve and expand the sport. Look how far disc golf has grown just in the past 10 years, for example. It is astonishing to me. Whether it’s a new type of disc technology, a new disc retriever, a rolling disc golf cart that houses everything but the kitchen sink, or even a new disc golf app that lets you—right from your living room couch—flick discs into those sweet chain sounds we’ve learned to love, there are numerous projects out there that can have an impact on disc golf.
One place I’ve found to help support and hopefully “kick start” a fellow disc golfer’s dream is Kickstarter.com. If you guys aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, check it out—it may have more appeal to you than one might think. Ok, so Kickstarter started back in 2009 and is a community of both big and small projects that are “brought to life through the direct support” of people like us. “Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. “ With over 52,000 projects listed since its launch in 2009, there have only been around 16—that I’ve found—to be disc golf related. Funding is all or nothing with these campaigns, soif the projects do not reach their goal, no funding is allocated. It is a really low risk form of investment for people looking to support creative projects, and the incentives that are created for Kickstarter backers are often very cool and can only be had by backing a project.
Lets take a moment and review a few of these. After recent research of the disc golf Kickstarter projects that I could find listed on the site, there were only a few that I felt were truly unique and worthy enough to mention. I will start by commenting on the very first disc golf project I could find, the “carbon disc” by Tyler Seamons. The “carbon disc” was a disc driver prototype made from Carbon Fiber with a heavy-duty polyurethane plastic protective edge. Sounded like it would have been pretty cool—something that sturdy and could take a beating—but I doubt it would have ever be approved by the PDGA. It raised over $4400 of its $7500 funding goal.
Then a few projects later there was “Chains the Movie: The First Disc Golf Documentary” launched by pro disc golfer Avery Jenkins back in 2011. “Chains” was to be the first definitive disc golf documentary featuring pros from all over the world in hopes of bringing the sport to the mainstream. Although nearly $20k short of the funding goal, it still raised over $6k. If I had known about this project and Kickstarter years ago, I would have for sure pledged some bucks their way! I’ve always been a fan of Avery’s—not to mention he’s a subscriber of our blog too.
There are several other neat ideas such as the Walkadisc and Six Shooter disc holsters, but I’m not sure how those would work with big spin drives. Then there’s a handful of “wtf” projects that leave you wondering if it was a joke or if these people were actually serious? Regardless, only 1 of these 16 disc golf Kickstarter projects was successful by meeting its funding goal.
Why weren’t more of these successful? Was the proposed budget goal too high? Is there not enough current support in the disc golf community? Does the disc golf community even know about these efforts? Or it could just be a flawed concept to begin with. I won’t get into that now—my sole intent here is to raise awareness to new disc golf initiatives and encourage this ever-growing disc golf community for their support. If you feel like these new projects, companies, and apps present a strong concept, please support them! Just think, what if a project that you actually helped fund, made it all the way to completion!
This leads me to my final topic. The latest disc golf project to hit Kickstarter that needs your help and support! The “Disc Golf Unchained” campaign by Local Route Labs is the latest disc golf video game app project. Check it out here on Kickstarter and on their website, Local Route Labs for more info.
I was excited to see the “Disc Golf Unchained” gameplay featured in the video above put out by Local Route Labs. The graphics and environment felt very realistic compared to any other disc golf game app that I have come across. It’s awesome to see the progress and where disc golf video gaming has come so far. After reading about the project on both their website and Kickstarter, I was itching to know more! I was able to get in touch with Local Route Labs’ co-founder, Tyler Krucas, to learn more about the project. Here’s what Tyler had to say:
“Local Route Labs is proud to introduce Disc Golf Unchained, the most realistic and engaging disc golf video game in development. Disc Golf Unchained is a video game by disc golfers for disc golfers. We want Disc Golf Unchained to satisfy both the casual and hardcore player, hopefully steering new people into disc golf. The game looks to capture the excitement and experience of throwing the perfect shot and bring it to the palm of your hand. We attempted to create realistic flight physics and course environments that, along with a complex player progression system, offer a fun and immersive game anyone can enjoy, just like actual disc golf.
The game is slated for release on Android and iOS sometime in 2014, and we have developed an extremely intuitive touch interface for the game on these platforms. Although we intend to initially release Disc Golf Unchained on mobile devices, advancements in human interface technology and online networks for next-gen consoles have us thinking about the full potential of disc golf in the virtual world. Imagine throwing a round with or against your friends at your beautiful local course, but from the comfort of your respective living rooms! The prospects for Disc Golf Unchained are very bright.”
This is where the guys at Local Route Labs and “Disc Golf Unchained” need your help. With ONLY 7 DAYS (ends Dec. 3rd) to go with their Kickstarter campaign, they have already raised over $5500 but still have a good ways to go. Please check out the campaign where you can read more on the project, watch their video, and if you like, pledge money! There are different pledge levels starting as low as donating $1. Each pledge level gets you more swag as the pledge amount increases. It’s pretty cool how it works!
I’m very excited about “Disc Golf Unchained” and can’t wait to hopefully see it in the App Store and Google Play Store soon! Even better, I hope it makes it to a gaming console in the near future. Lets put the “fun” in funding and go support your fellow disc golf community—I just did!