DGA statement cites "heavy hearts" as company will no longer be tournament's title sponsor
January 13, 2017 by Steve Hill in Livewire with 0 comments
The 2017 Masters Cup will no longer bear the name of disc golf’s founding father.
Disc manufacturer DGA released a statement on its website today that it would not be the title sponsor for this year’s iteration of the event, and that as a result it would be “making the difficult decision to remove the ‘Steady’ Ed name from the tournament.”
“Though this decision was not made by us nor is it the outcome we had hoped for, we wish the best for the event and look forward to seeing how it continues to evolve,” the company said in the statement. A message for DGA General Manager Scott Keasey was not immediately returned.
The statement went on to thank the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Club and past tournament directors for their support during DGA’s time sponsoring the event.
Masters Cup Tournament Director Braden Coolidge said he would have official announcement about the event coming Tuesday and that he would comment further then.
“Steady” Ed Headrick is known as the inventor of disc golf. Once an employee at Wham-O, he patented the Frisbee in 1966 and the disc golf pole hole — which paved the way for modern targets — in 1975. He was also responsible for designing and installing scores of early courses, including the first permanent disc golf course at Oak Grove Park in Pasadena, California. He founded DGA in 1976, and in the same year started the PDGA with 100 members. After years of contention with fellow disc golfers, he ceded control of the organization in 1984.
Headrick died in 2002 at the age of 78, and his ashes were famously molded into a series of discs. The “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup was first named after him in 2006, and the “Steady” Ed Memorial Trophy has been awarded since 2004 to a Masters Cup player who “demonstrated not only talent and proficiency of the sport of disc golf, but also the personal attributes of integrity and generosity of the spirit.” The future of the award is currently unclear.
The 2017 Masters Cup will be the third stop on the PDGA’s National Tour and begins May 19 in Santa Cruz, California.