After getting things started in California, the Disc Golf World Tour moves to Czech Republic for the first of three European stops before returning back to the United States in October. The Konopiště Open begins today on what is shaping up to be a very special course.
Tour Director Jussi Meresmaa has called the Franz Ferdinand disc golf course “the most beautiful course” he’s seen. Those are quite the words from a man who has seen disc golf courses around the world.
We quickly caught up with Meresmaa to get his thoughts on the second DGWT event.
Some time has passed since the first DGWT event and now the focus heads to Europe. What has been your largest focus leading up to this tournament?
“National TV coverage. We were able to get agreement with the national TV channel to make post-produced show for them. We are also working with another TV channel specialized in sports to provide them daily wrap ups. I’m excited for these since we are able to reach out to hundreds of thousands of people completely new to the sport. Spreading the word of Disc Golf has been our main focus from the start and I feel now we are getting closer to that actually happening.”
Talk about the course. You’ve spoken highly of it in the past. What makes it so special? What kind of skill set is required for a low score?
“We are playing disc golf in a park that was made for Archduke’s hunting grounds. That place is right from the fairy tales. The course I have designed there is different than any other course on tour. Course is over 10,000 feet long and par 67. It has rolling hills, huge trees and nice meadows. It’s a stress free course to play, since there are OB on only few holes. It’s pure. To get a feeling of what I’m talking about, anyone should follow the video action during the week.”
What can fans expect in terms of media coverage?
“Since the National TV deal, we are concentrating to make coverage through them. Live streaming was no option from here due to a weak signal and off-ideal streaming time for US. We are 5 hours ahead of Eastern Time and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Time. We are making daily wrap up videos like the La Mirada Open and plan to have Play-by-Play goodness for heavy users from Friday and Saturday. We have strong 10-person media team here to cover the event and there will be plenty of updates during the event. Stay tuned to DiscGolfWorldTour.com.
What is one goal you personally want to see accomplished during this tournament to help move the DGWT forward?
“Make Disc Golf know to Czech Republic. Disc Golf World Tour is a huge opportunity to disc golf. Last week, we made a Media Day like event with Avery Jenkins in Moravia and there were over 10 local medias present! I feel like we are Harlem Globetrotters-like a crew here: people are excited to see Paul, Simon and other stars play. All of us who have fallen love into this sport know how great it is. The challenge is to get that word out. DGWT is great way to make that connection happen.”
Finally, some believe this is the start of a very exciting future of disc golf in Czech Republic. What is it about Czech Republic that sets them apart? What can other parts of the world learn from them?
“I want to introduce a man who is behind all this early success of Disc Golf in Czech Republic: Premysl Novak. He came to us in 2010 and wanted to learn about the sport he had just discover. I have met many people in my Disc Golf business career and Premek is the most humble and hard working person out there. He has built 60 disc golf courses to Czech Republic with his team in 5 years. And that has been made in a country that does not know anything about the sport. He has gone through hundreds of meetings with local people to present the benefits of Disc Golf.”
“I see that disc golf can be the next big sport in Czech Republic, just like in Finland. We have 10+ million people nation and couple hundred of castle parks…”
You can follow all the action on DiscGolfWorldTour.com. Don’t miss the photo galleries, daily recaps, and the upcoming play-by-play videos. ATDG will have a full recap as well!