The board has decided to make some changes to the Payout Table that was established years go under Andy K. and Mike F. The old payout table was established when there was a different field of players in the STL area. Disc golf was on the rise, and tournament play was still gaining popularity. For the most part, there was a very even split amongst the divisions that were offered. As the years have gone by and the popularity of the sport has really taken off, the Amateur and Advanced fields have grown as well, bringing with them larger and larger pools of money to distribute. On the other side, the Pro Divisions have only seen a steady decline. It has recently gotten to the point where the Pro 1st Place payouts are less than all of the Amateur and Advanced Division 1st Place payouts, resulting in even less Pro turnout. In essence, the incentive for moving up as your skills developed has gone to the wayside. It is hard to convince somebody that they should move up when the payouts are telling them the exact opposite. That is why we discussed and debated what course of action we should take to help remedy the situation.
We came up with a revised set of Pay Tables. After running the idea by a handful of long time STL tournament golfers (both Amateur and Pro) to get their initial reaction, we implemented it at The Turkey Toss on an experimental basis to see how it affected the overall look of things. IMO, it would have worked great. The numbers got a little messed up due to some clerical errors and the true scope of the change was not realized. We will need to take another look at it at the next tournament.
To sum it up, we expanded the payout range for all AM Divisions (excluding Advanced Divisions) fom 33% to 50%. We expanded it for the Advanced Divisions from 33% to 40%. That provides some incentive for all Amateur golfers to move up to the Advanced division when the time is right (the payouts are a bit juicier), but also spread the payouts to more players in all of the Amateur divisions (which makes more people go home happy).
To provide incentive for Advanced players to move up to the Pro Division, we took 10% of the Am fields payout and added it to the Pro Payouts. As an example, at a normal RCF event with 40 Ams and 10 Pros, $60 of the $600 Am purse would go into the $150 Pro purse. This doesn't effect the Am payout scale much from before and provides a real incentive for moving up. This idea will certainly come under a little scrutiny at first, but I guarantee you that it is not as dramatic as it seems. Just like in any competetive sport, the stakes get higher as your skill level increases.
Here are the new Pay Tables for you to look at so that you can really start to understand how all of this works: