Just two weeks after the Memorial Championship started the PDGA National Tour, the action heads to the Lone Star State for the 2013 Texas State Disc Golf Championship March 15-17. While the 2011 Texas States were held in Hitchcock and Houston played host to 2012, this year’s Texas States heads to Austin, Texas.
Last year, Cale Leiviska was able to hold off Will Schusterick by one to take the 2012 Texas States title.
We got a hold of tournament director Vinnie Miller to give us a preview of the disc golf action in Austin.
All Things Disc Golf: This year’s Texas State Disc Golf Championships heads to Austin, Texas. What did it take to get the tournament in Austin this year?
Vinnie Miller: I have lobbied for many years to move the state event around to achieve a broader resource base and to avoid one group become complacent and overworked. Perseverance paid off. This is a pilot for the event and we hope it can become the standard.
All Things Disc Golf: Tell us about the courses for this year’s tournament. What can golfers and fans expect?
Vinnie Miller: The A tier side of States will be playing on two courses with multiple tee pads. Roy G, the newest course in Austin, is demanding of many different shots and will can challenge any level of player. The Met Center is a course that demands placement shoots to avoid the out of bounds creek the impacts over half the holes. East Metropolitan Park, located just outside Austin in Manor, will host the NT side of States. Risk and reward is the theme for these course with an out of bounds creek and a rough that will punish the player if shots leave the fairway.
All Things Disc Golf: What are some signature holes that players will see during the tournament?
Vinnie Miller: At Roy G #17 green is an amazing view of the Austin skyline. But by far every hole at Manor could be a signature hole at any course.
All Things Disc Golf: While the Memorial Championship saw water come into play on the majority of holes, it sounds like instead of getting into trouble with water at Texas States, it is the rough. Just how nasty is the rough on these courses?
Vinnie Miller: Both Roy G and Met Center are manicured, but Manor has rough that is not only physical scaring but mentally also. Less scratches will win.
All Things Disc Golf: We know some areas of Texas have seen snow in recent weeks, it looks like Austin has been spared of the nasty winter weather. Has Mother Nature cooperated so far in Austin? What kind of weather should people expect for this year’s tournament?
Vinnie Miller: We had a wind storm of 50+mph winds three weeks out from the event which pruned the dead trees and made for a massive cleanup, but the player can expect mid 70s and cleaned fairways.
All Things Disc Golf: On the amateur side of things, what will competitors be receiving in this year’s players pack? We saw the Vibram X-Link Firm Laces announced a few weeks ago. Will those be included? Have you had a chance to throw the firm Laces at all?
Vinnie Miller: Every ( amateur and pro) player will receive a dry fit with state logo, Black putter with logo, glass pint glass with logo, local coupons, and a reusable grocery bag. I am a Vibram sponsored player and the Lace is amazing.
All Things Disc Golf: It was also recently announced that Texas States is a USADGC qualifier. How important is this added element for the amateur advanced division?
Vinnie Miller: We were full when we received this information, so no impact on sign up. But the opportunity for the Amateurs to qualify adds the players experience of the event.
All Things Disc Golf: What else is planned over the course of the tournament besides the disc golf?
Vinnie Miller: A three day long player’s picnic area, a place where all players can eat, drink, play games, and fellowship. And a city wide players party each night with South by South West(SXSW) in town. The will be plenty for the player to enjoy.
All Things Disc Golf: Who makes it possible to put on such a great tournament?
Vinnie Miller: Many sponsors supported this event, but it was the casual golfer who made this happen, with endless volunteered hours. A special thanks goes out to Blake Nicholson, a casual golfer, a family man, and someone that anyone would call friend. He has never been a tournament director, but you would never know it from the passion he brings to the table.
Thanks to Miller for helping us with the preview. Good luck to everyone at the 2013 Texas States. Check back after the event for a full recap.