Postponement and Rescheduling Information

The Challenge at Goat Hill Park – COVID-19 Update – 5/25/2020

Let me start of by expressing hope that everyone reading this has been able to sidestep the COVID-19 virus and that the same is true for your families and friends.  Even if you haven’t had to deal with the illness, I know you’ve had your life and possibly your financial health disrupted, as have I.  It sucks.  And it has been made worse by the fact that our sport of disc golf has been disrupted as well.  We’re starting to see some things open back up and start to head back towards normal, but we would all like it to happen sooner than it has.  I’ll stop there on that subject.

Today, I’m announcing that The Challenge at Goat Hill Park is being postponed.  As of this writing, Monday, May 25 at 10:30am, the PDGA has not opened sanctioning for the State of California.  We do not know exactly when general sanctioning for California events will occur, but more than likely it will be after Los Angeles County’s stay-at home order expires August 1st.  It surely won’t be by June 5-7, the original dates for the event.  The PDGA has released guidelines for safe return to play during COVID-19, and we will be adhering to those guidelines once the event is held.  But as of right now organized athletic events have not yet been cleared to be held in California and San Diego County, and that is what is required in order to hold a sanctioned PDGA event. 

I made this decision after many conversations with my colleagues and friends at Goat Hill Park, the PDGA, the Disc Golf Pro Tour and Innova Disc Golf.  We all want to be able to return to competitive play, but it has to be in a way that is safe for all participants and is financially viable.  And those conversations continue as we turn ourselves inside out trying to come up with plans that will work for everyone involved.

I do not want to nor do I expect to cancel The Challenge.  We will have a tournament at Goat Hill Park.  If this news means you need to drop from the tournament, please contact me through the registration website that you used to sign up (DGU for B-tier players, DiscGolfScene for A-tier, MPO/FPO players).  Full refunds will be honored. 

This is how we will move forward:

  1. We will reschedule the 2-day (B-tier) portion of the event to a future date to be determined.  This reschedule will be carried out in cooperation with Goat Hill Park management, our PDGA Regional Coordinator, So Cal Disc Golf Club and our main sponsor, Innova Disc Golf.  Our intent is to provide as full an event experience as is medically safe, and legal, according to California and San Diego Count guidelines.  Having some additional lead time will all us to put together full player packs and determine what additional tournament amenities are possible.  As per PDGA guidelines we will be creating a web-based virtual players meeting which all participants will be required to view.  Participants will also have to accept and sign off on guidelines for play, which will be finalized as we get closer to competition.  We will not open additional registration spots for the 2-day, B-tier event until a final date is scheduled.  The wait list remains open.
  2. We have a rescheduled date for the A-tier (3-day, MPO/FPO) portion of the field.  The rescheduled dates are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 18-20, 2020.  These dates have not yet been approved for PDGA sanctioning, but we have been working with the Disc Golf Pro Tour on a possible sanctioning agreement with the PDGA that would allow certain DGPT Elite Series and Silver Series events to occur before broader sanctioning is available in their regions.  We have been in contact with the San Diego County Department of Health and have submitted an application for approval of competition and are waiting for a reply.  These dates have been chosen in hopes that The Challenge can be part of a kick-off of events along the west coast to resume the Disc Golf Pro Tour.  As of this writing the other events have not been confirmed, but we are moving forward with scheduling so that players can make travel, work and vacation plans.  Important points to note, as of this date (5/25/2020):
  • The MPO/FPO competition will be held with or without PDGA sanctioning.  Whether sanctioned or not, we will follow all PDGA rules and COVID-19 guidelines.
  • No spectators will be allowed on-site (as per PDGA guidelines).
  • Tee times have been confirmed at Goat Hill Park.
  • DGPT Silver Series points will be awarded to competitors.
  • 5 USDGC qualifier spots will be available to MPO competitors.
  • Central Coast Disc Golf will be filming the top card of MPO. We are pursuing additional video coverage.
  • UDiscLive scoring will be used for competition.
  • PDGA has changed its added-cash requirements for A-tier events to $2,000.  The Challenge will have at least $2,500 in added cash for MPO/FPO (and more, depending on fundraiser disc and tee sponsor sales).
  • The total field size for the MPO/FPO competition will be 48 players.  The registration list can be viewed here.

As we move forward with planning the competitions, look for updates on the tournament website (https://challengeatgoathillpark.com/), registration pages on DGU and DiscGolfScene and on our official tournament Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Challengeatgoathillpark).  Please do not base your information on private social media posts or rumors – get your information straight from the goat’s mouth.  You can also address questions to the Tournament Director through my email address, posted below.  And feel free to contact me regarding volunteer opportunities, sponsorship, and fundraiser disc sales.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we move forward with The Challenge!

Allen Risley, PDGA #1752

Tournament Director

The Challenge at Goat Hill Park

ajrisley@yahoo.com

May Fundraiser Disc Deal!

Thank you everyone for helping our Halo disc fundraising effort! All of the Innova Halo fundraiser discs with the “Challenge Me!” goat stamp have been sold! But we still have lots of discs for sale to help raise funds for the pro side of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park. The more fundraising we do between now and tournament time, the better the field we can draw. I can tell you that AJ and I have had conversations with two of the top-rated PDGA pros in the world who have expressed interest in challenging the Goat as a warm up for the resumption of the Disc Golf Pro Tour in Portland (and possibly San Francisco).

We have a variety of Challenge Me discs available, most of them for $20 each:

  • I-Dye Star Corvettes
  • Luster Champion TeeBirds
  • Flat-top Champion Firebirds
  • Echo Star Destroyers
  • Splatter Star Destroyers
  • Splatter Star Thunderbirds
  • Color Glow Champion Roc3s
  • Glow JK Pro Aviars ($15)
  • Glow DX Zephyrs ($15)
  • Glow DX Sonics ($15, with Garrett Gurthie signature)

And throughout the month of May (until May 31, 2020), for each one of these discs you buy at the $20 price, you can add another disc from the list below for an additional $5! These are discs that We have left over from the 2019 Challenge @ GHP or the Golden Sombrero Ice Bowl Series. There are onbly 1 or 2 of most of these, so if you’re interested, don’t wait too long to contact us! If you want to get some discs, email ajrisley@yahoo.com and please include your zipcode in the email so we can figure out shipping costs (via PirateShip.com). PayPal is ajrisley@yahoo.com, Venmo is @Rizbee. Here’s the list of $5 discs:

  • 2019 Challenge Black DX Aviar
  • 2019 Challenge Glow Champion VRoc
  • 2019 Challenge White DX Aviar P&A
  • 2019 Challenge Splatter Star TeeBird
  • 2019 Challenge Star Rat
  • 2019 Challenge Fly-Dye Champion Tern
  • 2019 Challenge Color Glow Pro Yeti
  • 2019 Challenge Color Glow Aviar X3
  • 2019 Challenge Smoke Champion Shryke
  • 2019 Challenge Splatter Star Shryke
  • 2019 Challenge Splatter Star Destroyer
  • 2019 Challenge Shimmer Star Destroyer
  • 2019 Challenge Color Glow Champion Firebird
  • 2019 Challenge Star Corvette
  • 2019 Challenge Glow Champion Corvette
  • 2019 Challenge Color Glow Champion Corvette
  • Golden Sombrero Star Rat
  • Golden Sombrero Luster Champion Rhyno
  • Golden Sombrero Champion Mako
  • Golden Sombrero Star Spider
  • Golden Sombrero Color Glow Champion Boss
  • Golden Sombrero Color Glow Champion Firebird
  • Golden Sombrero Color Glow Champion Shryke
  • Golden Sombrero GStar Wraith
  • Golden Sombrero GStar Archon
  • Golden Sombrero GStar Katana
  • Golden Sombrero GStar Shark
  • Golden Sombrero Star Cro
  • Golden Sombrero Champion Banshee

Thoughts Become Things…

I saw this saying on a bumper sticker when the kids and I visited the Marshall Street Disc Golf Pro Shop in Worcester, Mass back in 2008. I bought one of the stickers and put it on my Pilot – I’m now on sticker #3.

I’m a firm believer in visualization and the power of the human mind. We can use it for positive affirmation, visualization and reinforcement…or not. So I work hard to think and plan positively. And that’s what I was doing yesterday out at the Goat. They’re supporting exercise and mental health in a responsible fashion – singles play only at Goat Hill Park Golf Course (or twosomes if you can prove you live under the same roof). You must sign up for a tee time in advance and pay online. No one enters the pro shop. It’s about as good a system as I can imagine in this current climate.

So I went out and played 18 holes, without putting out (save the final hole, for closure). I had hand sanitizer with me in case my disc touched the basket, and I cleaned my putters off with Clorox spray before and after the round.

I used the time to think about the course – how I could improve the layout and make the tournament more interesting for players and viewers…and of course more challenging! Here’s a video I shot describing changes we will be making to tournament hole 6:

Changes to Hole 6

The changes to hole 6 are a response to the UDiscLive stats that showed it was the easiest hole versus par in 2019, and because it allows us to bring more trees and elevation change into play. The OB cart path on both sides of the fairway will challenge players to be accurate with their approaches to the basket. This will be a tough par 4.

Hole 13 is a hole I continue to tinker with. I really want to force players to put their drive into play on the tight and hilly golf fairway. There’s a lot of danger if a RHBH thrower lets their drive skip to the left. So I decided to make use of the old dead tree past the golf green. The basket on hole 13 will hang from the tree (tethered of course) with about a 35′ radius island that you must land on in order to putt. The cart path and beyond on the right side of the fairway (from the tee) will be OB, with a drop zone that uses the “Mini-Goat” turf tee pad. I’ll go back out and get a measurement of the hole distance. Here’s a quick video:

Changes to Hole 13

The final update I’ll share with you in this post are changes we’re planning on for Hole 16. Last year this turned out to be a bit of a soft par 5 – not many eagles but more birdies than I’d like to see. The big issue with 16 is tightening up the fairway. As we played it previously there wasn’t enough of a premium placed on accuracy off the tee and on the second shot. That’s a shame, because the boundaries of the golf fairway provide a tricky test for ball golfers – if you’ve played or seen the hole you’ll be familiar with the hourglass-like shape of the fairway about 550-650′ off the tee. If you try to stretch your tee shot down the hill the flat ground of the fairway gets narrow, with a steep slope to the right (heading down to hole 2’s “fairway”) and the tree line that divides holes 3 and 16 to the left. So we disc golfers will abide by those limits as well, with OB lines along the tree line on the left (and continuing on with the cart path) and hole 2’s cart path on the right. We will also use the large eucalyptus tree on the right side of the fairway as a mandatory – gotta go left of the tree. That mandatory will become more necessary…since we’re moving the basket back about another 100′ or so, to a small raised area just behind golf green #2. There’s a really cool gate created by two palm trees that leads to this new basket spot. And of course, there’s an OB cart path behind the basket location. Here’s another video that looks at these changes. I didn’t have enough time on the video to show the basket location – watch for that in a future video:

Changes to Hole 16

Keep checking our website for The Challenge for future updates. As of this date (3/30/2020) we’re still scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 but that may change. What *won’t* change is our commitment to hold the tournament in 2020 and to make it a fantastic test for disc golfers of all calibers. And you can help! Either by volunteering or by purchasing some of the fundraiser discs, FreakerUSA goat socks or Challenge Me! pins from DiscGolfPins.com. PM Allen Risley through this website, Instagram, Facebook or email ajrisley@yahoo.com for more info. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!

Fundraiser Discs For Sale!!!

One of the ways we raise the money to hold big, fun, challenging disc golf tournaments is by selling discs (those straw bales on hole #5 aren’t free, you know?). We have a whole series of special-stamp fundraiser discs from our partners at Innova Disc Golf and they are currently for sale! Here’s a list of what we started with – as we run out of certain models we will cross through them. We’ll add some colors and weights to the list as time allows, along with a photo gallery. Most discs are $20, with a few models at $15. Please don’t try to grind us on the price – you’re only making it harder for us to pay for the players party, caddie book, tee signs, player packs, straw bales, miles of pink OB string, etc., etc. Help us make this year’s Challenge bigger and better!

If you would like to purchase one or twenty, contact Allen Risley at rizbee@teamrizbee.com, or through PM on Facebook or Instagram. If you need to have the disc shipped, shipping costs are extra.

Disc Choices:

  • Halo Firebirds:
  • Halo Sidewinders:
  • Halo Roadrunners:
  • Halo Thunderbords:
  • I-Dye Star Corvettes:
  • Luster Champion TeeBirds:
  • Flat-top Champion Firebirds:
  • Echo Star Destroyers:
  • Splatter Star Destroyers:
  • Splatter Star Thunderbirds:
  • Color Glow Champion Roc3s:
  • Glow JK Pro Aviars:
  • Glow DX Zephyrs ($15):
  • Glow DX Sonics ($15, with Garrett Gurthie signature):

Here are some examples:

Challenge Me!

Little did I know when I decided to embrace the “Challenge Me!” theme for the 2020 Challenge at Goat Hill Park that this 2020 season would turn out to be such a difficult challenge – not just for running a disc golf tournament but even life in general. COVID-19 has reared its ugly head and we all are left scrambling – some to work or go to school…and some for our lives. I want to send positive energy (and prayers) out to everyone facing difficulties during this unprecedented time.

Challenge me logo

As for our little disc golf tournament? Well, it’s still on for now. I am proceeding as if we are gong to hold a disc golf tournament at Goat Hill Park on June 5-7, 2020. The management at Goat Hill Park is on board with us. Now we have to see if the COVID-19 virus and the health of our population will be in line with that. As of this writing (Sunday, March 22, 2020) the PDGA has not cancelled events in June. The shelter in place orders from the State of California, San Diego County and the City of Oceanside are open-ended, but if the public health emergency subsides those orders will be rescinded. So while it’s probably VERY optimistic to think we’ll be challenging the Goat on June 5-7, I am proceeding with my planning as if we will be. Worst case scenario is that if the June 5-7 date won’t work we will change to a later date. Goat Hill Park is open to working with us if that comes up. They like hosting big parties.

That being said, if you have registered for The Challenge and want to drop out and get a refund, email me at rizbee@teamrizbee.com and I’ll take care of you. But you might want to hold your place in line…

-Allen Risley, Tournament Director, The Challenge at Goat Hill Park

Thomas Gilbert Tackles the Goat!

Canadian Thomas Gilbert throws a disc golf disc, mouth wide open.

The strongest field in the 7 year history of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova descended on Oceanside the weekend of May 3-5, 2019, and when the last putt fell and the post-tournament concert cranked up the volume, Canadian Thomas Gilbert walked away with the championship and the tallest of the Goat trophies, topping a field of 67 Open players in this Disc Golf Pro Tour Test Event. Gilbert strung together rounds of 57, 58 and 59 (rated 1049, 1042 and 1035) for a total of 174 on the par-69 championship Disc Goat layout. These were the hot scores for rounds 1 and 2 and the second-best score for the final round, giving Gilbert a 33-under-par, 5-shot victory over second-place Seppo Paju (28-under, 179) with three more strokes separating Seppo with third-place-tied Kevin Jones and A.J. Risley (25-under, 182).

Long-throwing Jennifer Allen from Phoenix, AZ came out on top of the 5-player pro women’s field, carding a 1001-rated 64 in the first round on her way to a 2-under par 202 total and a dominating 39 throw margin. San Diego local Natalie Brown came on top of the close battle for second place.

Thomas jumped out to a first round lead with that 57, two shots ahead of Seppo and A.J. and then extended his lead by two more throws after round two. His combination of long-bomber distance (Boss, Destroyer) and clutch putting (Yeti Pro Aviar) in the afternoon ocean breeze across all three days was the combination that gave him the win. Gilbert was third in fairway hit percentage (92%), behind only Risley (95%) and Clint Calvin (94%), led the field in Circle 1 in regulation (72%) and was 5th (82%) in Circle 1X putting (Eric Oakley‘s 92% was the best). Full-field results for the 3-day A-Tier event can be found on the PDGA website, with additional stats on both the A-Tier players and the Goat Hill Park course at UDiscLive.com.

Thomas Gilbert interviewed just after his win at The Challenge – Courtesy of Innova Disc Golf

One hundred eighty-seven players participated in this year’s Challenge. Along with the Men’s Pro Open and Women’s Pro Open divisions that played three days, winners were crowned in eleven other divisions on the two-day side of the tournament. Those winners are:

Check out complete full-round video coverage of the feature card (Round 1) and lead cards (Round 2 & 3) filmed by Central Coast Disc Golf on our “Check Out the Course” page. Many thanks to Goat Hill Park for their hospitality and to our title sponsor, Innova-Champion Discs for their tremendous support in 2019.