Vibram Open Preview
The 2010 PDGA National Tour turns toward the homestretch this week in Leicester, Massachusetts, where the best disc golfers in the world will assemble for the Vibram Open at Maple Hill.
With seven NT events and the 2010 PDGA World Championships now in the books, players are running out of opportunities to move up the Woodchuck Cider Drive for the Championship points standings. The standings for the top 25 women and top 100 men are available at www.pdga.com/national-tour.
Currently, the world's number-one ranked disc golfer, David Feldberg, with wins at the Memorial Championship, Carolina Clash, and Minnesota Majestic has nearly maxed out the total number of points he could collect from NT events. A second at the Sunshine State Shootout and a second at the Worlds give Feldberg a total of 482 points, 27 ahead of Nate Doss, who holds the second spot in the Woodchuck Drive for the Championship.
Valarie Jenkins sits atop the standings in the women's points race again this year, but there is still enough disc golf left for second place Liz Carr (17 points behind Jenkins) and third place Desiree Reading (37 points behind Jenkins) to make a run at the perennial PDGA Player of the Year (2007-2009).
But if anyone is to edge nearer to Feldberg or Jenkins, it must start this weekend in Leicester, where the stature of the Vibram Open continues its ascent in the disc golf community.
PDGA 2009 Co-tournament Director of the Year, Steve Dodge, has assembled a dedicated array of volunteers, developed an incredibly challenging course, but, most impressively, has created an atmosphere of camaraderie that taps directly into the fundamental spirit of what attracted most people to disc golf in the first place--the great people.
Dodge, who is no stranger to event production, has found his comfort zone in disc golf to the point where he has dedicated his family's land trust to the sport--and the Vibram Open. Recently hired by the local firm, Quabaug Corporation, which is the global manufacturing licensee for Vibram rubber company, Dodge has extended his reach beyond the family farm and into the newly formed disc golf division at Vibram.
Aside from his personal business exploits in disc golf, Dodge has rallied many of the leaders from within the disc golf industry to support his vision for the sport and this National Tour event, making no bones about crediting the United States Disc Golf Championship for supplying the basic model upon which the Vibram Open is built. Dodge has adopted some of the familiar aspects of the USDGC, like making players qualify, enhancing the media coverage, and coordinating a host of extra programming outside of the actual competition, to gain the respect of the players and many of the leaders in disc golf.
Pursuing an event with so much depth is a year-long endeavor that Dodge and his entire volunteer staff--many from his own family--embrace with great passion and dedication. That thorough approach to producing the Vibram Open will culminate this weekend, where nearly 180 players from throughout the nation will not only be competing for a better standing in the Woodchuck Hard Cider points standings, but will also be celebrating the emergence of our sport that, while certainly enjoying the growth, has also managed to preserve the philosophy that our founder "Steady" Ed Headrick espoused over three decades ago, "Whoever has the most fun wins!"
You can follow all the action from this next stop on the 2010 PDGA National Tour from PDGA.com or on the Live Feed from the Vibram Open.