The National Tour is here! And for those of you who were lucky enough (and rich enough) to get into the Memorial, we here at ATDG hope you have a lovely time. The weather should be Polar Vortex-free down there in Phoenix. Tear it up, the rest of us will be watching. But if you’re one of the unfortunate souls that couldn’t make it into the Memorial this year, worry not, there is still plenty of time and opportunity for you to get those valuable NT points on the PDGA tour.
We here at ATDG thought we would give our readers a little “2014 NT player’s guide” to help you get the inside track on what to expect at this year’s events. We reached out to the various TDs, scoured the internet, picked each other’s brains and begged for information from smarter people and we were able to come up with THIS… THE FIRST EVER SUPER SPECIAL 2014 PDGA NATIONAL TOUR PLAYER GUIDE FOR THOSE WHO JUST GOTTA KNOW EVERYTHING AND KNOW IT ALL RIGHT NOW.
We’re aware that things can change so check back in from time to time for updates.
After the Memorial there is only three weeks before the next NT, which, like last year, is the Texas State Championships. Players can work on the skills that abandon them at the Memorial before they check in with Vinnie Miller down in Austin.
Texas State Championsip
Location: Round Rock, TX (Austin)
When: March 21-23
Check in: Call 512-927-6039 starting on the Wed before the event; or on-site at the Park Pavilion.
Why do they call it that: Well… It’s in Texas… that’s a state… and it’s the Championship.
When should I sign up: By this point in the season you should have your travel plans set.
2014 Entry Fee: (Divisions included in the NT)
MPO – $175
FPO – $175
MASTERS – $150
GRANDMASTERS – $125
2013 Champions: Field size
Ricky Wysocki, $1660 (60)
Sarah Hokom, $845 (13)
Patrick Brown, $965 (24)
Skeeter Harrison, $680 (19)
2014 Course(s): Old Settler’s Park.
2014 Layout: TD Vinnie Miller says that the course will be laid out with a USDGC feel with a fair amount of OB to contend with on the naturally open course layout.
Tournament Schedule: One round of 21 holes per day for three days on tee times.
Where to Stay: Camping. Stay with friends. Hostel. Couchsurfing.org. The town has lots of hotel space.
Weather: Usually warm but the Texas wind can – and will – be a dandy.
Scene: Austin is one of the greatest disc golf communities in the world with over two-dozen courses in the area to explore. If you’re bored, it’s you.
Stores: Disc Nation is major disc golf store just south of downtown and it has a driving range.
Player Party: There will be a meal at the player’s meeting the night before the event. But as of now, there is no player party planned.
Quote from the TD: “If you think you can… COME TAKE IT!!!”
Editor’s Note: The South By Southwest Festival will wrap up the week before so if you get into town early Austin is going to be on fire with things to do. But it also means that it will be hard to find a place to stay.
Where to eat: Maria’s Taco Express. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it’s good. Austin is famous for food so you can’t go wrong. Texas BBQ is everywhere so no one is going hungry this week.
Seven long weeks between Texas and the next NT, The Steady Ed Master’s Cup. During that time we have the National Collegiate tournament, The Masters and The Women’s Global event. Lots to do before the players’ arrive on a hilltop above Santa Cruz, California.
“Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
When: May 16–18
Website: SteadyEdMastersCup.com Active at the end of February.
Check in: Hotel Paradox. May 15th.
Why do they call it that: The tournament was originally just called the Master’s Cup. The name changed when Disc Golf Godfather, Steady Ed Headrick passed away in 2002. The tournament honors his work and life. Without Ed, there is no disc golf.
When should I sign up: ASAP. This tournament always fills quickly.
2014 Entry Fee:
MPO – $200
FPO – $150
MPM – $150
GPM – $150
2013 Champions: Field size
Paul McBeth, $2320 (68)
Catrina Allen, $1355 (16)
Jon Baldwin, $1440 (48)
Doug Werner, $1115 (32)
2014 Course(s): DeLaveaga
2014 Layout(s): Gold. It will be the same as it has been in years past with pins in their deep positions.
Tournament Schedule: One round of 24 holes a day for three days on tee times.
Where to Stay: Hotel Paradox. This is also where you check-in before the event. You could camp but the local surf scene swallows up most of the available spots.
Weather: This is the sunny side of California. Expect a lot of sunshine.
Scene: The World Championships were held here in 2011 and the courses in the area are fun and challenging. However, they are a bit of a drive down the coast. Not that driving down the 101 is a bad thing. It’s a beautiful part of the world.
Stores: The Ball Golf Pro Shop in front of “DeLa” has a small selection of discs but that’s about it.
Player’s Party: TD TJ Goodwin didn’t say if there was a player’s party but you’re in Santa Cruz, the second you got into the town the party was waiting for you. Go down to the boardwalk and have some fun.
Editor’s Note: West Cliff Drive. It’s beautiful. If you want to see the “coastal” part of Coastal California you need to take this short trip. You won’t regret it and it’s free. FYI: They filmed THE LOST BOYS in Santa Cruz so watch out for anyone who looks like Keifer Sutherland.
Where to eat: The Buttery. It’s a bakery that has light lunches. If you’re going to eat Californian cuisine you might as well do it right.
Quote from the TD: The separation between birdie and bogey is truly precarious. At any one point in time, every player is just one bad kick – or roll-away – from being “DeLa’d.”
The next five weeks are the best weeks on the tour. There are excellent A tier tournaments everywhere. And with colleges finishing up and the days getting warmer and longer, it’s almost like Christmas time in May. The Japan Open sits before the next NT as does a string of big Midwestern A tiers (Des Moines, St Louis, Minnesota, Tennessee), which should hone everyone’s game down to a science. Perfect timing for Kansas City.
Kansas City Wide Open
Location: Kansas City, MO
When: June 20 -22
Check in: Swope Park starting at noon on Thursday, June 19th.
Why do they call it that: Ace Mason and a few friends got together to come up with a tournament for the Pro Tour that was being created. “At the time” Ace said, “a major brouhaha swirled around disc weights and designs. We decided that our tournament would be a bring-what-you-fling event. And it would be open to anyone who loved the game”. From there the term “Wide Open” was born. One of the members in the KC club created a James Bond inspired motif with a tuxedoed gentleman throwing a disc through the “wide open” legs of a woman in stockings, much like the James Bond movie poster for “For Your Eyes Only.”
When should I sign up: It will fill by early May.
2014 Entry Fee:
MPO – Unknown
FPO – Unknown
2013 Champions: Field size
Paul McBeth, $2240 (60)
Catrina Allen, $1055 (18)
Wyandotte county park – Bonner Springs, KS
Blue Valley Park – Kansas City, MO
Swope Park – Kansas City, MO
2014 Layouts: “Wyco” – TD Dick Parker says that Wyco will be laid out with a style reminiscent of the USDGC with lots of OB (raised ropes for easier viewing), narrow fairways, and artificial islands made with hay bales.
Blue Valley – The “Big Blue” format making it one of the longest 18 hole tracks in the world. Two modifications are Hole 1 with the basket in a “new” long position but visible from the tee; and Hole 9 with the basket set shorter to cut off the short cut.
Swope – Gold format. Similar to the 2013 course with a few modifications to the temp holes to accommodate the power lines.
Tournament Schedule: One round of 18 holes per day for three days. Course schedule has yet to be determined. Most likely Wyco, Blue Valley, Swope.
Where to Stay: The courses are well spread out across the metro area. Wyco is twenty miles west of downtown Kansas City, while Swope is ten miles south and Blue Valley is five miles east. There is plenty of camping in the area. A lot of generous locals – Kansas City has one of the largest clubs in the World www.kcfdc.org. for more info and to make buddies. And things are cheap in Kansas City meaning hotel rates should be very affordable for the thrifty traveler.
Weather: Mostly hot and humid. Occasionally stormy. Traditionally very windy.
Scene: Healthy. Kansas City has almost thirty courses and almost 700 members in its active club. It’s worth exploring the courses in the area.
Stores: Disc Golf World is located in Downtown Kansas City and Dynamic Discs is located in Fairway, KS.
Players Party: TD Parker says that the player’s party will be much like last year with a large event on Saturday at a pavilion in Swope Park with lots of games, food and libations. Rick Rothstein sightings possible.
Editor’s Note: Kansas City is famous for it’s summer festivals and food. This will be the longest day/weekend of the year and the lingering light should allow for a lot of great golf.
Where to Eat: BBQ take your pick: Oklahoma Joes, Gates, Jackstack or any of the other 100 BBQ joints in the area. Kansas City is a diner’s paradise. You can’t go wrong.
When the going is good, you might as well ride it. Two weeks after KC comes the traditional end of the year favorite. The weekend in between offers either a long commute to an A tier in Deleware, or super short commute to Columbia, Missouri for their A tier. Either way, there’s tournament-a-plenty and a long ass drive coming. No one is going to miss this next nugget of awesomeness.
The Maple Hill Open – “The Vibram”
Location: Leicester, MA
When: July 2-6
Check in: At the Maple Hill Pro Shop (2nd Floor)
Why do they call it that: Maple Hill is the name of the course and Vibram is the sponsor.
When should I sign up: There is always the play in day and the sponsorship exemption.
NOTE: TO PLAY THIS EVENT YOU MUST QUALIFY AT A REGIONAL QUALIFER OR “PLAY IN” ON MONDAY.
2014 Entry Fee:
MPO – $190
FPO – $190
Sponsorship instead of qualifying – $290
2013 Champions: Field size.
Paul McBeth, $3000 (150)
Val Jenkins, $1500 (15)
2014 Course(s): Maple Hill.
2014 Layout(s): TD Steve Dodge, the mad scientist of Disc Golf, says that two holes 12 and 18, will be longer and more challenging. Hole 12 is now a Par 4. Mr. Dodge says, “A tee shot must target a landing zone where the basket was last year. A shot from the landing zone will be a gentle 180-foot left to right downhill through the woods. The hole requires distance and accuracy off the tee and finesse and touch on the approach for any chance at birdie. Hole 18’s tee will be moved back to increase the distance and difficulty needed on the upshot to reach the green for birdie.”
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: All baskets have been upgraded to the new 40 Chain Mach X.
Tournament Schedule: One round of 18 holes per day for four days on tee times. There is a cut after the first three days. Only the top half of the field will play the fourth day. If you make the cut, you cash.
Where to Stay: Camping is advised. This year the event moves to the Fourth of July weekend so the weather will be plenty warm and inviting. There are numerous rental cabins in the area. You can also stay with a local if you are nice and people like you. Check this website out for more info: NEFA.com. For those not well-liked or who like their space, there are cheap hotels about five minutes from the course.
Weather: New England in July. Hot, muggy and beautiful.
Scene: The area is crawling with great courses from Vermont down to Hartford. And if this is the only time you get up this part of the country then they are worth checking out. Pyramid is just down the street if you’re on a time-budget.
Stores: Marshall Street is in a basement at the Pyramid course just down the street from Maple Hill. There is also a Pro Shop at the course itself.
Player’s Party: Three words: Pie. Eating. Contest. The real storyline for this event is who has the stones to dethrone Jeremy Koling as the pie-eating champ.
Editor’s Note: This tournament is usually held in the fall as a season wrap up, but this year it’s sits at the cross streets of Smack and Dab on the National Tour. If you have some holiday time and want to visit an NT as a visitor, THIS would be the one to see. Boston (a bit of a drive but worth it) puts on an amazing fireworks display for the Fourth of July. I’m sure the July date will make the traditional champion dip in the pond much more tolerable.
Where to eat: I’m not sure what it is about New England and donuts but everyone kept ranting and raving about how we needed to get some donuts while we were there. They’re served everywhere. There is a good diner in Spencer not far from the course, which was pretty good but for some reason none of us can remember what it is called. We do recall it had donuts.
There is a four-week jump that is filled with the European Major in Sweden, Am Worlds in Minnesota and the looming specter of Pro Worlds before the next stop on the National Tour. We jump all the way across the continent and land in Tacoma.
Fort Steilacoom Open
Location: Steilacoom, WA (Tacoma)
When: August 1-3
Website: 4DiscGolf.com No tournament information has been posted as of yet.
Check in: On Site.
Why do they call it that: Fort Steilacoom was an antebellum US Army outpost, which never saw action. The space was eventually turned into a park and where there’s a park, there should always be Disc Golf.
2014 Entry Fee:
MPO – Unknown
FPO – Unknown
2013 Champions: Field size [Note: not an NT in 2013]
Dion Arlyn, $1100 (39)
Sarah Hokom, $460 (8)
Patrick Brown, $490 (15)
Marty Cook, $435 (10)
2014 Course(s): Fort Steilacoom.
2014 Layout(s): “Steali” is the most unusually formatted course in the world. It’s not a set course you follow from a set Hole 1 to 18. In fact, there are two to four different 18-hole layouts you can play on the same course at any one time. For this tournament expect to see one or two hybrid layouts with a heavy emphasis on roped OB.
Tournament Schedule: TBD
Where to Stay: Camping is possible and there are numerous places in the region, which should be accommodating to a small tent. Otherwise, the cheapest hotels are near I-5 about ten miles away.
Weather: It will be hot, but if you’re lucky it will rain a little in the morning.
Scene: The greater Seattle/Tacoma area has a few notable courses but the traffic is brutal. The closest course is in Auburn, Washington 15 miles away, and it can take an hour drive to get there.
Stores: Mandos in Auburn, 15 miles to the north and east of Fort Stealicoom.
Editor’s Note: If you’re daring enough, try staying/camping out on Anderson Island. It’s where they filmed some scenes from WARGAMES. You have to take the ferry to get there but it’s beautiful and would kick up the experience a notch.
Where to eat: The best local place to eat nearest to the course is the deli inside the Albertson’s grocery store. If you wish for greater fare, Shackabra in Tacoma serves a wicked breakfast. Ask for “the Chryssi.” Otherwise, this is the Pacific Northwest, you can’t go wrong with Thai, Vietnamese or Korean. Avoid BBQ.
Four weeks after Steali wraps up before the next big NT event. But what a big fat four weeks they are. Pro Worlds starts days after Steali concludes and after that players have to pinball their way across the US to the penultimate event of the NT season.
Brent Hambrick Memorial Open
Location: Columbus, OH
When: August 30-31
Check in: On Site.
Why do they call it that: Brent Hambrick was the heart and soul of this event (originally called the Columbus Open) for many years before he passed away in 1997. Since then, the tournament is a tribute to his memory.
2014 Entry Fee:
MPO – $150
FPO – $135
MPM – $110
GPM – $100
2013 Champions: Field size [not at NT in 2013]
Jeremy Koling, $1200 (48)
Melynda Apton, $275 (3)
Dan Sisk, $500 (11)
Micheal Williams, $400 (10)
2014 Course(s): Brent Hambrick Memorial, Temporary “WEST” side course (other side of the Dam)
Brent Hambrick Course – The traditional Hambrick layout will be used with 9 TEMP holes added to make a blistering 27-hole challenge. All long tees.
WEST – The famous and daunting temporary course returns to the Brent Hambrick tournament for this year’s NT. It will be similar to layouts in years past with the dam coming into play on two holes. Lots of OB and extreme elevation changes.
First day: One round of 27 on Brent Hambrick.
Second Day: One round of 18 on the WEST.
Final Day: One round of 27 holes on Brent Hambrick.
Where to Stay: If you can camp in the park, do it. It’s a beautiful park with a beautiful lake. If you need a hotel, there are several cheap options ten miles to the West near the Interstate.
Weather: It will be muggy by this point of August but the Fall should be trying to creep in and cool things off.
Scene: The local club is solid and they take great pride in this event. There are a few great courses in the area.
Stores: Disc Golf Mart just north of downtown Columbus.
Player’s Party: On Friday night there is a free dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube.
Editor’s Note: Ohio State Football opens its season this weekend AT Navy so there shouldn’t be an issue with housing. If they win (they should) expect the town to show its true colors.
Where to Eat: Schmidt’s. All you can eat Sausage buffet with kraut and all the fixing. It’s a German food buffet!!! Go get STUFFED! Authentic German beer. And a cream puff that weighs half a pound! It’s worth it. It’s an original and a story you will have forever.
Quote from TD: We look forward to seeing old friends and making some new ones. We are honored to remember our friend Brent Hambrick and this tournament is a fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
There isn’t a moment lost before the final week of the NT schedule. Players have to scramble to get up to Rochester and get their strategy worked out for the last chance at points for the year.
Rochester Flying Disc Open
Location: Rochester, NY
When: September 5–7
Website: GRDGC.org Tournament specifics are not yet available
Check in: TBD
Why do they call it that: It’s in a place called Rochester and if you were throwing rocks it would be called the Flying Rocks open.
2014 Entry: TBD
Chili – Rochester, NY
Parma – Parma, NY
Chili will be set in its long layout with a great deal of OB on every hole.
Parma will be set in it’s deep settings and will also have defined fairways.
Tournament Schedule: Two rounds of 18 holes on Friday (one at Parma and one at Chili), then the format shifts to one round a day of 18 holes on tee times for the last two days; Saturday at Parma and Sunday at Chili.
Where to Stay: The courses are on the West Side of town so if you want to stay close, stay near the airport. If you want to camp there are plenty of parks.
Weather: Practically summer so expect some heat.
Scene: This is one of the oldest and healthiest clubs in America with a dozen great courses in the area worth checking out. It’s not a big city so it’s easy to get around.
Stores: No dedicated disc golf stores in the region.
Player’s Party: TBD
Editor’s Note: This the 40th year for this event and it’s the oldest disc golf tournament in the world. The first winner of the event won a 1974 Datsun.
Where to Eat: Nick Tahou’s. Order the garbage plate.
Quote from the TD: In our first event we used wooden boxes on the ground as targets. The sport has come along way since then and Rochester is excited to continue helping grow the sport of disc golf.
THAT’S IT! If you have any questions for us – or if you have any other information you would like to share about the NT’s – shoot us an email. We really appreciate the feedback. If you have more NT cravings, give the TDs a shout. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.
Editors note: We’ll break this up into single pages for each NT stop in the near future. All the information will remain available.