Disc golf is heating up…2021 is going to be great! While much of the nation is feeling crazy cold weather, disc golfers can be warmed inside with the knowledge that the pro disc golf season is about to start. Next week is the first stop on the Disc Golf Pro Tour – the Las Vegas Challenge! And this weekend there’s some kind of doubles/singles thing happening at a stretched out version of Fountain Hills in Arizona. If you haven’t already subscribed to the Disc Golf Network, now is the time to do so because the live coverage cranks up on Saturday, February 20th.
But what’s going on here in Goat-land? Plenty. Registration for The Challenge at Goat Hill Park, Presented by Innova is filling up! Well, the MPO division IS filled up. 107 MPO players have registered (DGPT reserves 5 “Sponsor Spots” which will fill later) and that fills the MPO field. You can still get on the waiting list at DiscGolfScene.com. There are currently 37 MPO players rated 1000 or better, so we are looking forward to some amazing competition.
And our FPO field is phenomenal! Currently 19 players deep, there are eleven FPO World Championships represented in these players! We have tripled the size of the FPO field, and we’re going to do whatever we can to ensure they all want to come back in 2022. One thing that’s happening is a full review of the Goat Hill Park layout that FPO will play. As currently planned, there will be 10 holes with “Front” tees for FPO to use, making those holes more interesting for the FPO field. Those holes are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 16 and 18. Nine of these holes will be receiving new permanent turf tee pads (same as the current pads) and will be a regular fixture at the course (FPO will tee from the existing turf pad on Hole 3).
And while we’re talking about changes to the course, here’s a few nuggets about that:
- The 2020 version of Hole 6 was a smashing success, so it will remain a tough uphill par 4 with tight OB lines approaching the basket. FPO will get a new turf tee along the right side of the fairway, uphill a bit from the standard tee.
- There was some significant tree trimming on Hole 7, which has made the basket far too unprotected for our liking. So expect some sort of obstacles to be added near the green to require players to be precise with their tee shot if they want a birdie.
- All of the “Front” FPO tees will be in locations that not only make the hole shorter, but also increase the precision required of players. Last year most of these tees were out in the open fairway – not in 2021. Oh, and those tees will be used in October for the Am event!
- Hole 10 gets a new basket position. GHP decided to increase the size and distance of the golf tee on Hole 11, so we lost our basket position behind the green. But the new position, on a high point at the right front of the golf green, will require approach shots to land softly, lest they get on an edge and roll away. And there’s 100+ feet of roll possible, down into the storm water drainage basin (no penalty).
- Hole 13…has had many faces. In 2021 we will simplify the design of Hole 13. You’ll be throwing from the standard tee to the standard basket, but that basket will be on a very long island. The island will be a distance from the tee reachable by all of the MPO & FPO fields, but players will need to be able to stop their discs on the slippery hillside around the basket. To the left, past the dirt cart path will be OB. OB on the tee shot? Head to a drop zone and a likely bogey (or more).
- The remaining course changes that we have planned are OB-related. There are several holes that we’re looking at to require players to land on the golf fairways. Off the manicured grass? OB. 1, 4, 8, 14, 16, 16 and 18 are possibles in this category. And to be honest with you, the number of holes that get the pink string treatment will be closely correlated to the number of volunteers we have for course set-up.
- All of this will be easier to see when we roll out the online map of the tournament layout, early in May.
What about the B-tier…the old guys? Registration for the parallel 2-day B-tier (May 8-9) is scheduled to open on Monday, February 22 at 6pm. Registration will be on DGU. The B-tier field will be rather small since the main focus of the event is the Silver Series A-tier, but we look forward to having our experienced players tackle the Goat!
Will spectators be allowed? It’s too soon to tell. The final decision on spectators will be made in cooperation with the DGPT and will be based on the COVID guidelines in place by the San Diego County Health Department. Believe us – we hope spectators can happen! But if spectators aren’t allowed, the best way to watch the action up close will be as a UDiscLive scorekeeper or as a spotter out on the course. We have a volunteer signup form on the website now, so visit that page and add your name to the list. All volunteers will be fed and we’ll have some special “volunteer only” items for everyone who helps.
Do you have room for a touring player at your home or space to park and RV or trailer for tournament week? We will be posting a registration form for our “Goat Host” team. Tell us how many you can host and what kind of vehicle you have space for and we’ll match you up with touring pros. That’s definitely a good way to get a disc signed!
Fundraising! Holding a large disc golf tournament like The Challenge costs a few bucks – between the player prize money, course rental, volunteer hospitality and the licensing fee to DGPT, there are lots of bills to be paid. Player entry fees are a drop in the bucket. Over the next few months we will have lots of discs, shirts, pins hats, etc. featuring our new mascot – “Challenge” the Goat. If you haven’t checked out the Shop page on the tournament website, check it out ASAP! We expect to get at least a small number of Halo discs in the future and we have some very special full-color fundraisers in the works. And watch for our upcoming announcement on tee sign sponsorship sales. We’ll get you or your business seen out on the course and you’ll receive your high quality full-color sign once The Challenge is over. Also, we will be selling advertising spots in our upgraded caddy book. The sponsorship menu will be available in early March.
Thanks for reading this far….and get ready for The Challenge!