As we get closer to The Challenge it can be interesting to see how the players who are registered for our tournament are doing out on tour. Here’s some info from the MPO field at this weekend’s Texas State Championships (FPO will get it’s own post):
MPO: Calvin Heimburg – t5th Garrett Gurthie – t5th Nathan Queen – t11th Alden Harris – t11th Nikko Locastro – t16th Emerson Keith – t16th Austin Hoop – t16th Kyle Klein – t20th Colten Montgomery – t20th Nate Perkins – t24th Brodie Smith – t24th Chris Clemons – t31st Luke Humphries – t35th Thomas Gilbert – t42nd Tanner Girouard – t49th Eric Oakley – t52nd John Willis II – t52nd Connor O’Reilly – t59th Ian Burchett – t64th Garrett Tapken – t66th Luke Samson – t66th Ezra Aderhold – t76th Gavin Rathbun – t76th Alexander Lyon – t92nd
And there are two other MPO players who finished in the top 5 at Texas States who are in the process of registering…
You can check out our registration page on PDGA.com – best field ever in San Diego County!
We talked to some touring disc golf pros back at the Las Vegas Challenge and asked them what we could do to make their trip to play The Challenge a better experience.
A few mentioned OBs, or raised baskets (fewer) or more payout. But many mentioned making it easier for them to find a place to stay. So….
Can you host a player or players during tournament week (May 3-9, 2021)? Or do you have an RV parking space or space for a Sprinter-style van? Or do you have an AirBnB rental? If any of these fit you, please fill out our “Host a Player?” for on the tournament website: https://challengeatgoathillpark.com/host-a-player/
We have already had one offer of camping space from someone who has a parcel of land about 15 minutes from Goat Hill Park, which is great…but we need more!
Ron Krippner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is heading up our attempt to match players with places to stay. Add yourself to the host list through the link above and Ron will get in touch with you. We’re sending an email out to registered MPO/FPO players soon. They’ll be contacting Ron as well!
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!
Whew! The Challenge at Goat Hill Park survived 2020! When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit it looked like disc golf would be an afterthought for 2020. Who knew that the sport would become a haven for recreation and competition-starved people across the U.S. and the world? Well, it did. Disc golf is now being played by many more people than in the past. Disc manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand for discs. The appetite for video content is insatiable – the Disc Golf Pro Tour ended up with 10 times as many subscribers as they expected for 2020! We were able to successfully hold two separate events under the umbrella of “The Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova“: the Disc Golf Pro Tour Silver Series event in June was one of (if not the first) professional A-tier events held once the PDGA reinstated event sanctioning.
Fifty-one MPO players and six FPO players attacked the Goat Hill Park layout, socially-distanced and spraying down the chains with disinfectant after each hole (OK, turns out that wasn’t really necessary…), and when all was said and done There were 1-2 finishes for Innova Disc Golf in both divisions. Young guns Anthony Barela and and Thomas Gilbert held a battle of the long-arms, with Barela eking out a one-throw victory with a hot finish (Check out the post-produced video coverage by Central Coast Disc Golf on YouTube). And in a mild upset, Ohn Scoggins took down perennial Goat Hill champion Jennifer Allen by two throws – Ohn led by two after the first round and the two players matched each other with 948-rated 65s for each of the final two rounds. It was a huge effort to pull together the A-tier event with two weeks notice, but the Challenge crew was up to the task!
We followed up the A-tier event with a two-day B-tier in late August. 151 players took part in that event, with golf carts provided to all players after a tremendous fundraising effort. The B-tier was contested for age-protected pro divisions and all amateur divisions, with David “Super” Bretado cruising to an eleven-throw victory over San Diegan Matt Jankowski. This event was also a smashing success. While we weren’t able to have all the amenities and festivities as 2019 (because of COVID), So Cal’s players were very happy to be able to return to top-notch tournament disc golf.
So now…on to 2021! The A-tier portion of The Challenge is back to it’s traditional early May dates, this year being played on May 7-9, 2021. The 3-day A-tier will be for MPO and FPO divisions only. Registration for this event can be found on DiscGolfScene and will officially open on Feb. 1, 2021 using tiered registration based on PDGA player rating. There are already some players registered – these players have signed up via the Disc Golf Pro Tour’s Tour Pass option. Oh yeah, and speaking of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, The Challenge will once again be a stop on the DGPT’s Silver Series, with players earning points toward the DGPT Tour Championship.
DGPT is currently planning on having two post-production video crews for BOTH MPO and FPO divisions – that’s four crews total! And we are currently working with the Disc Golf Network to bring live coverage of (at least) Sunday’s final round of The Challenge. Get ready to see many of the same sights you have become accustomed to on Disc Golf Network broadcasts: baskets on raised stands, “sponsor walls” tucked behind OB lines and the DGPT archways on Tee 1 and possibly Tee 10. There will also be a parallel B-tier event on Saturday and Sunday for all age-protected pro divisions. This allows us to buy out the entire Goat Hill Park facility for the weekend – no ball golfers on the course with our players. B-tier registration will be available on DiscGolfU.com in mid-February.
And what about amateur players? Well, we haven’t forgotten about you! We have secured a date of Saturday/Sunday October 16 & 17, 2021for the B-tier, amateur portion of our event: The Challenge at Goat Hill Park (Part 2) – Presented by Innova Discs. Getting this date was tough! Along with the growth of disc golf, traditional golf is also seeing a resurgence and Goat Hill has booked tournaments and other events on the course throughout the spring and summer. Our plan for October is to once again rent out the entire course for the weekend, allowing us to have a field of over 200 players. And we’re considering having golf carts available for players once again this year – watch for a Facebook poll in the future on this issue.
Putting on an event (really two…no three!) like this is not easy. It requires the effort of many people and a lot of fundraising to pay the bills and present the prize money. Watch for our upcoming call for volunteers! We’re looking for people for lots of different roles: course setup and breakdown, spotting during the tournament, registration and check-in help, hospitality for players, fundraising and recruiting sponsors, crowd control – you name it! And we’ll take care of you with food, drink and some tournament merchandise! We’ll be rolling out a volunteer sign-up form soon.
And yeah, the fundraising part…starts now. The boxes full of beautiful tournament-stamp discs arrived today. We will be setting up a disc sale page connected to this web page so you can pick up those beautiful Halo discs, Transitional Star discs and Glow Champion drivers, midranges and putters. Watch for announcements on Facebook and Instagram for the opening of the vending page.
So get ready for The Challenge at Goat Hill Park 2021 – Presented by Innova Discs!!!!
Did you win a raffle prize from our fundraising CTP/Raffle Contest for The Challenge, Part 2? We gave away a large number of raffle prizes on Sunday of tournament weekend and posted names of winners on a whiteboard at Tournament Central. But some players had left the Goat and some of you who bought tickets did not come to the Goat on Sunday, so we’re listing all of the winners here. We’ll also be sending out emails to everyone who bought tickets online, since we have your email addresses. The photos below contain the list of raffle prize winners. Many participants picked up their prizes at the event and unfortunately, we did not record who won each individual raffle prize. But for those who won a prize and have not yet received it, the typed list below the photos identifies the prize they won (emails will be sent to these winners). So check out the list below:
1 – Jeff Singh (Central Coast Disc Golf Hat & CCDG-stamp Innova Nova)
2 – Mark Loeffler (Received Prize)
3 – Mark Verrochi (Received Prize)
4 – Michael Holmes (Received Prize)
5 – Stephen Rodgers (Flag Foil Proto-stamp STar Invictus)
6 – Tom Juhl (Received Prize)
7 – Jeff Jacquart (Received Prize)
8 – Brandon Peeler (2020 Ice Bowl Commemorative Full Color Buzzz)
9 – Stephen Rodgers (Max Nichols 2019 Tour Funduraiser Z-Mantis)
10 – Justin Koester (Innova Glow Beast)
11 – Mike Despars (Received Prize)
12 – John Dominguez (Received Prize)
13 – Santos Miranda (Received Prize)
14 – Santos Miranda (Received Prize)
15 – Stephen Rodgers (2019 USDGC “Grateful Roc”, with Volunteer Signatures, Athlete Credential and Parking Passes)
16 – Michael Holmes (Received Prize)
17 – Jacob Yousef (2019 USDGC Innova “Grateful Roc”)
26 – Evan Brockwell (Rainbow Proto Star-stamp Innova GStar Vulcan)
27 – A.K.S. (Grassroots California Snapback Hat)
28 – Andrew Sharp (Received Prize)
29 – Unknown?
30 – Anthony Duran (Mountain Pride DGC Full Color Stamp Innova RocX3)
31 – Cyndi Hurzeler (Received Prize)
32 – Rachel Trager (USDGC “Postcard” Full Color Stamp Roc3)
33 – Drick (Received Prize)
34 – Manny Nettles (2018 McGlow Roc3 – Signed by Paul McBeth)
35 – Jeff Jacquart (Received Prize)
36 – Josh Doebel (2020 LVC-Stamp Star Invictus – Signed by LVC Final Round MPO Lead Card)
37 – Jeff Poindexter (Tie Dye Golf Shirt – Dyed by Randy Wylot)
38 – Keith Lindsey (2020 Clubhouse Clash Pro Leopard)
39 – A.K.S. (Calvin Heimburg-signed Full Color Roc – LVC Stamp)
40 – Jacob Yousef (Central Coast Disc Golf Hat)
And are you wondering who won the Grand Prize from the raffle and the CTP Contest? MA1 champion Joe Behny also won the raffle Grand Prize – a Zuca Cart (donated by Joe Rotan), DD Ranger Bag (donated by AJ Risley) and Tour Support discs from AJ, Philo, Clint Calvin and Jay “Yeti” Reading! Steven Dickman had won the CTP Contest with a 180-ft throw-in just minutes before, taking home the schweet Nate Sexton LVC-Edition Firebird.
The 2021 Challenge at Goat Hill Park, Driven by Innova will be back on the Disc Golf Pro Tour’s Silver Series and will be held May 7-9, 2021 at Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, CA. See you there!
What a fantastic “Part 2” to the 2020 Challenge at Goat Hill Park – Driven by Innova over the weekend! 152 disc golfers tackled the tough Goat Hill Park layout, with great competition and some last-minute drama to entertain us all. In the end, 5 of the 9 divisions were decided by one throw (a 6th was by just 2 throws), three divisions had playoffs for second place and another had a playoff for third! Having PDGA Live Scoring in use and showing on the golf-ball scarred big screen TV on the pro shop patio meant that many were watching the back and forth battles throughout the weekend. The higher than normal temperatures and humidity were less of an issue than they might have been due to the fact that all players had golf carts available for their use (at no additional cost to the players!).
Pros:Dave “Super” Bretado displayed his “Super” skills by firing two 1020+ rated rounds to lap the rest of the MP40 field by eleven throws. Only four throws separated 2nd through 8th place, with Matt Jankowski taking the second place Goat trophy and Shane Dehner 3rd. Tom Juhl brought home his third consecutive Goat trophy in MP50, holding off a hard-charging Dan Duron who took second place, followed by Jerry Goff in 3rd.
Amateurs: On the Amateur side, Joe Behny birdied the final hole of the tournament for a one-throw win over Will Marion and Nathan Heron in MA1 (Advanced Amateur). Joe’s purchase of 10 CTP/Raffle tickets before his round began may have given him the karma boost to win the tournament, but those tickets also helped him to win the raffle Grand Prize – a Zuca Cart (donated by Joe Rotan), DD Ranger Bag (donated by AJ Risley) and Tour Support discs from AJ, Philo, Clint Calvin and Jay “Yeti” Reading! Steven Dickman had won the CTP Contest with a 180-ft throw-in just minutes befoe, taking home the schweet Nate Sexton LVC-Edition Firebird.
Thank Yous: Many, many, many thanks to our sponsors and supporters. I have another post coming to enumerate our sponsors, but I can’t pass up a chance to thank Mark Molnar and Sam Ferrans of Innova-Champion Discs, and all of the Innova Team, for their ongoing support of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park. Innova gave me access to the discs that everyone wanted this summer, and I sold over 400 of these discs to raise funds to pay for golf carts at The Challenge – no player entry fee money went towards the carts. And Am players, make sure to show appreciation to DiscGolfValues.com for the quality of the player pack you received – Mark Molnar and DiscGolfValues made generous donations that provided the great Challenge Me discs and Innova Blade shirts.
Another set of thanks to Jeff Jacquart, Scott Merritt and the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club and Steve Rico and Legacy Discs for providing the bulk of the Am payout at The Challenge. The payout table was filled by these folks!
Volunteers make tournaments happen. Maxine and Glenn Duncan were helpful in so many ways, including helping me bring tournament gear to the Goat after my car broke down. Shaun Watkins was my right hand all weekend – covering check-in, payout, player packs and raffle sales – anything I needed help with. Randy Wylot was a top-notch starter – getting groups out onto the course on time and making sure that EVERY GROUP used the PDGA Live Scoring! And when we ran out of carts on Saturday, Joe Rodriguez and Jason Aberle turned around the incoming carts and shuttled them back out to players on the course in amazing fashion. Spence Stevens did a great job getting the mandatories and drop zones set up Saturday morning while Courtney Weekly and Alejandra Puga#undiscgolfed the course after play was completed. And Reuben Saldaña jumped in on Sunday to help Glenn Duncan handle the raffle prize selection and disbursement. Thank you, thank you, thank you all!
Major thanks also to Eli Ivey and John Ashworth of Goat Hill Park, for their continued support of disc golf at the Goat. And huge thanks to Eric, Hunter, Lisa and the rest of the Goat Hill pro shop, cart barn and course maintenance staff for helping me navigate the ins and outs of running disc golf events at Goat Hill Park. They stepped up like champs this weekend to make sure we had a great experience for our tournament.
I have been running The Challenge and other events at Goat Hill for nearly ten years now, and my kids – Katie and AJ – have always been there to help me get things done and look as good as possible in the process. I hope they understand how much I appreciate their support.
Now the planning begins for 2021. I intend to keep moving forward, accepting whatever roadblocks come up and coming up with solutions. I’ll keep working to make The Challenge the best disc golf tournament it can be.
We will be using PDGA Live digital scoring this weekend. We used it last weekend at the Clubhouse Clash and it was super-easy and fun! If you are afraid of technology, you can still use a paper scorecard, but we encourage you to embrace this new improvement to disc golf tournament scorekeeping.
Here’s the message that came up on the PDGA website when I turned on live scoring:
Official Digital Scorecard Usage Requirements: A. All rules set forth in the Official Rules of Disc Golf Rule 808 scoring are in full effect and must be followed without exception.
For the purposes of digital scoring, usage of the terms “turn in” and “return” shall mean “submit”.
B. All players must be informed that digital scoring is both official and authoritative.
If an incorrect score is submitted and requires correction after the payer has confirmed and submitted it, a two-throw penalty will be assessed in accordance with rule 808 G.2.
C. An alternative scoring method must be made available in the event of technical issues.
D. Digital scoring must not be forced upon players.
Any player or group may request, and the tournament director must provide, an alternative method of scoring for the player or group to use upon request.
2. If the player chooses to use an alternative method of scoring, event staff must verify the hole scores and total after submission.
E. Mobile devices should not be shared amongst players.
Players in a group may agree on a single player to keep score for the entire round.
F. Discrepancies, provisional scores, or warnings for rules infractions must be recorded for each hole in accordance with rules 808 C and 808 E.
Any time a provisional set of throws is recorded, the total score for the affected player should not be automatically submitted without a review and resolution by the event director.
G. Each player must review and positively confirm their scores at the end of the round before the total score is submitted.
We’ll have the live scoring up on the big screen TV at tournament central, so give us something to watch!
Sorry folks, but some of the course set-up I was hoping to do is becoming impossible due to difficulties at work. We will not have a Goat-a-Mid on hole #5. It is also quite possible that there will be no OB string on the course. Because of remodeling that GHP is doing on hole 10 there will not be cart path OB on the right. We have set up a portable basket on 10 that is in between the three large eucalyptus trees, where the original basket position was located.
I have the draft of the course rules sheet almost ready to go and will post it on this page when it’s ready. It will be subject to change. You will receive a caddie book on Saturday that will supersede this rules sheet, but this is useful for practice.
Once the caddie book is ready I will also post it on this page.
On the positive side, the shirts for the Am player pack look great! We’re packing up the discs that Am players have chosen for their player packs and will include at Challenge at GHP Slippy (coffee cup/bottle/can koozie), and a Challenge Me! neckie face covering for all Ams. The Fairy Disc Golf Mother, aka Queen of Shirts, aka Maxine Duncan will be on hand to distribute the shirts on Saturday, based on the sizes you gave us on the shirt survey.
Innova Champion Discs and DiscGolfValues have given us tremendous support to be able to provide great Am player pack items AND TO HELP US RAISE MONEY FOR GOLF CARTS! please express thanks to the Team Innova guys playing in the event who have made these things possible.
Legacy Discs has stepped up as a sponsor for Am payout, as well as Jeff Jacquart and Scott Merritt from the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club, who are bringing $1,200 worth or merchandise that will be split between Am payout and the fundraising raffle. AJ Risley is also kicking in some discs and merch for the Am payout – thank you to him as well.
And we’ll have the CTP Contest running all weekend if you want to try to win the Sexton Firebird. Remember, after you get your ticket punched and throw your CTP try, those tickets are still raffle tickets! Tickets will be on sale throughout the weekend. Help us pay for carts and boost the Pro payout buy purchasing CTP/Raffle tickets!