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for a shotgun start. At the conclusion of the match, the best score would be given the lowest tag. The next best score gets the next lowest tag, and so on until the worst score gets the highest numbered tag. There was no cost to play in these matches other than the initial expense to purchase the tag. Typically, an optional ace pot was added for those who wanted to throw in a buck or two.

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By: Doug Bjerkaas

GROW THE SPORT - Tag Matches I learned how to play disc golf in Abilene, Texas. I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the sport by some locals who were heavily involved in the local disc golf scene. After three weeks of playing, I came out for my first “mini” event. “Minis” cost $5 to play, and I had my choice between signing up for the amateur pool or a pro pool. The amateur pool played for discs, and the pro pool played for money. I initially spent several months donating $5 each week towards plastic for the other amateurs who were winning. I did finally start to win some plastic, and eventually, I ended up playing for cash with the pros. While this progression was very instrumental in me growing into the disc golfer I am today, it sure had a cost. While I like “pay to play” leagues like the “minis” I played in Abilene, it was in Denver that I discovered “tag matches” and have ever since advocated that they are perfect for growing the sport! What is a Tag Match? Tag matches are simple. Players show up on a given time and day and give their tags to what we called the “tag master” in Denver. Sometimes called “bag tags”, these are made out of leather, metal, wood, or plastic, and are individually numbered from 1 to however many tags are made. The tag master would then randomly shuffle the tags and assign the players starting hole numbers

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I love this model because there is no financial decision for a player to make as to whether they play or not. They can show up with their tag, throw it into the mix, and experience a competitive round with others. My kids learned so much about disc golf by playing in competitive groups for tags as they grew up in the sport. Some weeks, they would be paired up with a local pro, and other weeks, they played against novice players who were just starting. At the end of the day, though, they could see success or failure depending on what tag they left with. I can remember my kids being ecstatic to get a two-digit tag after a match at Exposition Park in Denver when they initially arrived with a three-digit tag. It was a great way for them to see improvement as they played in a competitive environment. Growing the sport with low cost competitive options is a great way to groom folks who may someday play in competitive, PDGAsanctioned tournaments! Tags as a Fundraiser My first recollection of tags goes all the way back to around 2000. A new course was going into South Fort Worth at Z Boaz Park. According to local John Maiuro, Brian Mace brought the idea of tags back from Northwoods, Wisconsin, where he had seen them used as a fundraiser. Players paid a certain fee

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Physics of Flight GBO 2019  

The 2019 Glass Blown Open stands to be the biggest tournament in disc golf history! Over 1,600 competitors will descend upon Emporia for the...

Physics of Flight GBO 2019  

The 2019 Glass Blown Open stands to be the biggest tournament in disc golf history! Over 1,600 competitors will descend upon Emporia for the...

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