About Pay To Play

Pay to Play at Morley Field

By resolution of the San Diego City Council , Morley Field Disc Golf Course became a pay to use facility on March 21, 1994.

In it there is a pay to play/enter provision making it a violation of San Diego municipal code 63.03 if caught during working hours on the course without a valid daily play ticket or monthly play pass. I was also given permission to expand my parking area adjacent to hole one. That was huge as people have had to walk 1/4 mile to get here for the last 3 1/2 years, nearly destroying my business as the numbers had tumbled from the pre 1990 days of unlimited parking. We can now accommodate 50 cars at tee 1. The area the course occupies is also officially for the exclusive use of disc golfers only. In return we do all the course and grounds maintenance, keep liability insurance and indemnify the city, pay the possessor interest taxes, and give the city a graded percentage of the gross that will probably average around 11 to 13%. There is a $550 per month minimum.

Advantages of Pay to play:

1. Control of the area. No non disc golfers allowed.. Also the removal of undesirable transient elements. Especially drug peddlers and used disc peddlers from the premises.

2. People value something they have to pay for more than if it’s just handed them for free.

3. Money generated from fees will pay for high quality maintenance , improvements, and increased staff.

4. We can now afford advertising so that even more people can learn about Disc Golf.

5. We’ve expanded our hours of service by opening the shop daily at 8:00 am closing at dusk.

Why? And does it help the sport?

We all want our sport to grow and gain the recognition and respect from the general public that we know it deserves. But we’ve been caught in a catch 22. Players want more money in tourneys and more big tourneys. But sponsors are only interested in the numbers a sport generates. We need to generate more players at the grass roots level and the sponsors and money will follow. Most course I’ve seen sit fallow most of the day with some evening activity with the most use on the weekends. Course pros claim they can’t make a living just hanging out selling discs during the week. But if someone isn’t there to show the newcomer what to do and how to do it and answer questions about rules, or give them an inexpensive rental disc, or scorecard, then how’s he going to learn and why come back? It’s not enough to just expose people to the sport, you’ve got to make it an appealing and easy entertainment option for middle class masses. Only through a full time full service pro shop can this be accomplished.

My firm belief is our sport will grow dramatically when more course pros dedicate themselves to their course and their constituents. To this end you won’t see me on the tourney circuit this year as I’m dedicated to making this continue to work here in San Diego. – Snapper

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