The 32nd Kansas City Wide Open


The words “Kansas City” mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Kansas City is renowned for its slow-smoked style of barbeque and the delicious craft beer brewers like Boulevard Brewing Company and Flying Monkey. It’s home to the Kansas City Royals (MLB), the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), and Sporting Kansas City (MLS).  It’s even spawned its own genre of blues and jazz music. KC has a lot to offer for the nearly half a million people that live here, and if you happen to be a disc golfer that lives here, you’re in for a treat.

Disc golf has exploded in Kansas City over the last few decades. Of all the variables involved in the growth of disc golf in the area, it’d be more than fair to say that the Kansas City Wide Open (KCWO) has played one of the largest roles. The Kansas City Wide Open, now in its 32nd running, is once again a stop on the PDGA National Tour and it kicks off on Friday June 20th with shotgun starts on some of the finest courses the Midwest has to offer.

The 2014 KCWO is the fourth of eight stops on the PDGA National Tour Elite Series. Catrina Allen #44184 and Paige Pierce #29190 sit just two points apart at the top of the women’s table, 25 points or more above Jessica Weese #50656 and Jennifer Allen #15354.  In the men’s standings, Paul McBeth #27523 sits alone at the top with at least a 27 point lead over JohnE McCray #9852, Ricky Wysocki #38008, and Simon Lizotte #8332. The end of this tournament marks the halfway point of the National Tour with another four events forthcoming in Massachusetts, Washington, Ohio, and New York. 

The pros will be playing just a single round of 18 holes each day here in Kansas City. The Friday round features Wyandotte County Park, a par 63 course played across rolling hills that includes a few tunnel shots and a water hazard. With a total distance of 8721 feet, most people would describe this is as a very long course, and they’d be right. However, even at that distance it’s still not as huge as the course to be played on Saturday.

Saturday brings a course with an overall distance that’s on a level all its own, Blue Valley. Measuring in at 10,541 feet for the tournament, it’s one of the longest courses in the world, and that’s not even the longest layout available on the course! Crunch the numbers and you’re talking about an average hole length of 586 feet. Just because they’re long doesn’t mean they’re easy. Huge elevation changes and basket placements along out-of-bounds lines will test the power, precision, and endurance of anyone who steps up to the challenge.

The final full round (and the nine hole finals) will take place at the infamous Swope Park in the Swope Gold layout. Swope Park is stocked with attractions. The incredibly challenging disc golf course takes up just a small section of its 1805 acre landscape. It’s the largest park in Kansas City and one of the largest and most popular urban parks in the United States, bringing in over 2,000,000 visitors a year. At first glance, the par 60 Swope Gold layout looks pretty manageable. Get closer and you’ll start to see the hundreds of flags along the painted/roped out-of-bounds lines that make basically every hole absurdly challenging. Swope Gold is yet another monstrous course, clocking in at 8476 feet. Throw in some island holes, mandos, lots of trees, and seemingly endless out-of-bounds, and it’s not hard to imagine why it very well may be the course that will make or break many of the competitors. 

Starting on Saturday morning we’ll have live scores and throw-by-throw coverage on PDGALive.com. The event is also being filmed by none other than McFlySoHigh Video so you can expect high quality round coverage videos to be available as well. Follow along all weekend as the top disc golfers in the world duke it out on the bomber courses of the Kansas City Wide Open!

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