The 2014 USADGC Presented by Discraft
Every year thousands of amateur disc golfers compete in tournament after tournament after tournament with the hopes of qualifying for the United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship presented by Discraft. Of the thousands that try, only 148 are honored with the chance to play in such a prestigious event. A victory at the USADGC is often the first major stepping stone to a successful career in the disc golf world. It brings with it the possibility of sponsorship from disc golf companies and provides the keys to many of the doors that a touring professional disc golfer needs to succeed.
The United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship starts Friday June 6th and is played on the infamous Toboggan Championship DGC located in Kensington MetroPark just outside of Ann Arbor, MI. This 18-hole beast of a course is only installed for a few weeks a year and is only played by competitors of either the Discraft Great Lakes Open (D-GLO) or the USADGC. The Discraft Great Lakes Open just finished up on Sunday, June 1st, leaving the tournament staff a mere couple of days to make sure the course is ready for another huge group of talented golfers.
If you’ve never played the Toboggan course, you can’t fully comprehend the true evil that exists beyond the fairways. A griplocked throw into the “rough” would likely mean a pitch out to the fairway, if you can even see the fairway. And that’s also assuming you can find your disc at all. The good news is, the terrorizing, round-ruining, jungle-like rough that once was, is no more.
The USADGC website best explains the makeover that Kensington MetroPark and thus the Toboggan Championship DGC undertook for 2014.
“After years unchecked, Kensington MetroPark has been systematically removing all of the towering Russian Olive bushes from the park...and the course. This is an invasive species to Michigan which crowds out native plants with very aggressive growth.”
What this means for the competitors is a bad throw doesn’t have to mean the end of a good round. There are now plenty of windows to get out of the rough with an actual approach shot instead of a pitch or roller back into the fairway. The tournament staff, knowing that this will likely lower the scores for the course, countered by extending the length of two of the holes and adding a new tee pad position to another. The par remains at 62 and the feedback from the D-GLO competitors last weekend was extremely positive.
The USADGC is the 5th stop on the PDGA Majors tour and takes place at the same time as the 4th PDGA Major, the Japan Open, which starts Thursday, June 5th in Tochigi, Japan. No matter which one you’re interested in, there’s no denying that this weekend will be chock-full of disc golf action. We’ll have live scores and updates going on PDGALive.com for the pros at the Japan Open through their final round Saturday. Then on Sunday, it will switch over for the final USADGC round. Stay tuned for an amazing weekend of disc golf!