... Player packs in DG are off the rails compared to other sports, ...
^^^^ this. PDGA really messed up requiring sanctioned events to provide a certain % of entry fee back to AM players.
IMO, AM events should cost ~$20. Maybe you get a disc, a shirt or towel, plus some random sponsor related items (samples, coupons, etc), for showing up. Play for trophies/medals.
Several things would happen, if current AM coddling process was ceased. First, massive backlash. Get over it. Then ratings based events, for cash
, would be the norm. Wouldn't you
rather compete for cash
against players of comparable skill? Remember it's the Professional
DGA, y'all are members of. I think more people would compete if there were ratings based events. Also more people would begin to dabble in competitive events because they wouldn't have to be concerned with competing against Joe-980-sandbagger.
How much fun do you all have at the club championships where, for day 2, you're sorted by score from day one and have a chance to win your pool? That's how a rating based event would work, except you're sorted into pools by rating before the event begins. if you're joe-980-sandbagger, no playing in some seniorpoobahlegends division, even if you are umptysix years old. At 980 rating you'll play against others in the neighborhood of your rating.
The competitive landscape in disc golf is broken. There really isn't AM divisions in PDGA events. We have cash based Pros and merchandise (sell it online) based Pros. Would many Ams be pissed if things were run the way I suggest. Heck yes. Change is hard. But in the long run it would grow the competitive side of the sport.