2014 Hall of Fame Inductees & PDGA Award Winners
Each year during the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships a very special awards banquet is held. It's a ceremony filled with some of the most important and influential names and faces in the history of our beloved sport. The event is put on by the PDGA with the purpose of inducting the newest members to the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, as well as to give out the annual PDGA Awards.
Disc Golf Hall of Fame - Class of 2014
Don Wilchek #1274
- Played disc golf in 5 different decades
- Improved basket design with the invention of the sliding chain
- Designed all four of the courses used for the 2002 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships at Tom Bass Park
- Tournament Co-director of the 2002 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships
- Part of a team that ran many of the Texas State Disc Golf Championships
50+ combined wins in Open and Masters including:
- 2nd place in Masters at the innaugural PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships
- World Doubles Champion and National Doubles Champion, both with partner Eric Marx
- World Mixed Doubles Champion with partner Becky Powell
- Wintertime Open
- LaMirada Open
- American Flying Disc Open
- Texas State Disc Golf Championships
- Veterans Park Open
- Kansas City Wide Open
- Waco Charity Cup
STATEMENT OF PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS:
To enjoy every day doing what makes you happy
HOW AND WHEN HE BEGAN PLAYING DISC GOLF:
In 1976 a friend David Hilger knew about disc sports and we used to play disc golf and guts in the neighborhood till we went to Gilson park in Chicago and discovered pole holes and met John Connelly and the rest of the Chicago area frisbee players. After that there was many trips to the beautiful course on the shores of Lake Michigan.
HOBBIES, TALENTS, INTEREST:
Kayaking and fishing for sharks and other big fish in summer. Trout fishing in the winter.
"Originally from Chicago, Don Wilchek was a multi-disciplined “frisbee” player in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He competed at a world class level in many disc sports – most notably Guts and Disc Golf. Famous for his thumber roller, he carved up courses and became the most consistent and winning player of the sport’s early events. For a brief period he took his phenomenal skills on the road as one of the original “traveling pros”. After settling in Houston, Don resumed his winning ways and competitive career, directed major events, designed courses, and engineered basket improvements. While an incredible talent and champion, he humbly represented the sport in a friendly, positive way to all who met him, inspiring many new players to become disc golfers."
Neal Dambra #200
Jim Oates #3351
- Tournament Director of the 1994 PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships
- Tournament Director of the St. Patrick's Classic from 1990-1997
- Co-Tournament Director of the St. Patrick's Classic from 1997-2013
- Course designer of Orangevale Park, Finnen Lake Park, and McClatchy Park
100+ combined wins in Open, Masters, and Grandmasters including:
- 1st place World Overall Disc Golf Champion 1991, World Flying Disc Federation
- 1st place in Masters at the 1999 PDGA Pro Worlds
- 1st place in Masters at the 2007 PDGA Pro Worlds
- 1st place in Grandmasters at the 2011 PDGA Pro Worlds
- Finished in the top 10 in the Masters divison at all of the PDGA Pro Worlds between 2002-2010, a majority of the time in the top 5
- 2X winner of the Tim Selinske US Masters Championships
HOW AND WHEN HE BEGAN PLAYING DISC GOLF:
Jim started playing disc golf in 1984 after breaking his feet. No longer able to compete in soccer, Jim took up disc golf as hobby, and even played his first few rounds on crutches.
HOBBIES, TALENTS, INTEREST:
Annual mission work to less developed countries building disc golf courses.
"Jim Oates has been an advocate for the growth of the sport since he began playing in the early 80s. Always a big gun with his no-step approach, Jim has won an open WFDF golf title as well as two PDGA Master and one Grandmaster world titles. He has been the course pro at Shady Oaks Disc Golf Course since 1985, where he help establish the disc golf club and has run the California Amateur State Championships and pro supertour since 1991. Jim directed the 1994 PDGA Amateur World Championships and with the help of Bruce and Jenny Knisley, opened a pro-shop at Orangevale community park. Jim Oates has been a disc golfer on a mission in northern California and beyond. With men like Jim in our sport, the possible are endless."
2013 Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship
Jonathan Baldwin #18114
The Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship is awarded annually to a PDGA member who exemplifies sportsmanship both on and off the disc golf course, observes the rules of play, and wins or loses with grace. Candidates for the award are nominated by the members of the PDGA. There were 10 candidates nominated, and we're happy to announce the winner of the 2013 Bob West Memorial Award for Sportsmanship went to Jonathan "The Gentleman" Baldwin from Scotts Valley, CA.
Baldwin meets and exceeds all the characteristics needed to be nominated for the award. He's one of the nicest guys you'll find on tour and whether he's in first or last place, he's always a pleasure to be around. You probably won't ever see him in last place however. He's an extremely talented golfer that finished in 5th place this past weekend at the 2014 Pro Worlds in what is likely the most competitive Masters division the sport has ever seen.
"It’s great to be able to go out and play in and do well or win tournaments. That's all great. But, when you can do it and earn the respect and perhaps the admiration of your peers, that’s something else entirely. I guess I’m doing well."
2013 Brent Hambrick Award for Tournament Director of the Year
Chuck Connelly #22000
Tournament directors are the lifeblood of the association and competitive disc golf. They donate hundreds of hours of their time each year to organize and host nearly 2000 sanctioned competitions for all of us to compete in. The Brent Hambrick Award for Tournament Director of the Year recognizes a TD who went above and beyond in fulfilling their responsibilities and in hosting successful event(s) in 2013.
Chuck Connelly was the Tournament Director of 36 sanctioned events in 2013, all of which were a part of the SpikeHyzer Tour.
2013 Honored Sportswoman Award
Sylvia Voakes #3360
The Honored Sportswoman Award was created in 2008 by Lynne Warren to honor a woman disc golfer whose character, grace and dedication on the course outweighs her scores. Congratulations to Sylvia Voakes for adding this award to her already absurdly long resume of PDGA accomplishments!
2013 Volunteer of the Year
Bobby Herman #31439
The Volunteer of the Year is determined by vote of the PDGA Board of Directors. The recipient is an active PDGA member who has proven him or herself worthy of special recognition based upon volunteer work performed for the betterment of the association and the sport of disc golf. For his tireless work to offer and manage disc golf as an activity at the 2013 National Boy Scout Jamboree, the 2013 Volunteer of the Year award went to Bobby Herman from Silver Spring, MD.
Thank you Bobby for everything you've done and will continue to do!
2013 EDGE Award
David Munk #13561
The Educational Disc Golf Exerience (EDGE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting children involved with disc golf all over the country. They put on demonstrations at elementary and middle schools, bringing their trademarked SkillShot challenge with them to teach the youngsters about the different skills needed in the sport.
2013 Senior Player of the Year
Kazuo Shirai #6075 (Japan)
The Senior Player of the Year is determined by vote of the PDGA board of directors. The recipient is an active PDGA member who is 50 years or older and has proven him or herself worthy of recognition based upon stellar play and/or long term contributions to the sport of disc golf.
2013 Rookie of the Year Awards
Holly Finley #51277
Raymond Oberley Jr. #49255
PDGA members playing in their first year in the Men’s and Women’s Open Pro divisions are eligible for Rookie of the Year awards by earning points based on their place of finish in PDGA B-Tiers and above. Bonus points are earned by top ten finishers in categories such as Annual Rating, Total Earnings, Total Wins, Earnings Average, and Winning Average.
2013 Player of the Year Awards
Catrina Allen #44184
Paul McBeth #27523
PDGA members competing in the Men’s and Women’s Open Pro divisions are eligible for Player of the Year awards by earning points based on their place of finish in PDGA B-Tiers and above. Bonus points are earned by top ten finishers in categories such as Annual Rating, Total Earnings, Total Wins, Earnings Average, and Winning Average.
The 2013 Female Player of the Year will be presented with an obelisk in honor of this achievement and her name will be inscribed on the J&P Cup for Female Player of the Year, which is on permanent display at the International Disc Golf Center. The 2013 Male Player of the Year will be presented with an obelisk in honor of his achievement and his name will be inscribed on the Headrick Cup for Male Player of the Year, which is on permanent display at the International Disc Golf Center as well.
2013 PDGA Tour Points Leaders
- Pro Legend – Peter Shive #7240
- Pro Senior Grandmasters – Rick Voakes #2632
- Pro Grandmasters – Jim Oates #3351
- Pro Masters – Jonathan Baldwin #18114
- Pro Women Grandmasters – Sandy Gast #6440
- Pro Women Masters – Des Reading #15863
- Pro Women – Paige Pierce #29190
- Pro Open – Paul McBeth #27523
Past Board Member Recognition
Each year the PDGA recognizes two past members of the Board of Directors who served at least two terms and awards them an obelisk in thanks for their service to the organization. This year we recognize the following 2 members: