National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships Expands Historic Rivalries, Cultivates Others
When college sports fans consider some of the great rivalries throughout history, they are sure to include Auburn vs. Georgia, Penn State vs. Ohio State, South Carolina vs. Clemson, and Texas vs. Texas Tech. Schools that most likely would not make the list are Kennesaw State, Alabama-Huntsville, or Tennessee Tech. Yet all of these great institutions are on a collision course this spring, as they prepare for the 2014 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships to be held in North Augusta, South Carolina April 16-19 at the Hippodrome Sports Complex.
"After seven years of this national championship event, one thing we have discovered is that our younger disc golf talent has been generously spread throughout a wide list of schools," explained Alan Kane, Tournament Director for the NCDGC. "Sure we have had the Alabama-Arkansas and Oregon-Oregon State rivalries over the years, but disc golf has also provided a stage for the Liberty Universities, Kennesaw States and California State-Monterey Bays to compete for a national championship, as well."
Indeed, disc golf's national championship has been won by familiar Division I powerhouses like Oregon, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Colorado State, but programs like Augusta State (now Georgia Regents) and Tennessee Tech have competed and garnered disc golf's top collegiate honor as well. In addition to the men's and women's team championships, the NCDGC also celebrates individual performances, by naming men's and women's All-American teams each year.
The championship and collegiate disc golf as a whole is one of the fastest growing, most important factions of the sport and the NCDGC’s partnership with the PDGA plays a huge part in garnering that growth. The NCDGC is recognized by the Professional Disc Golf Association as a PDGA Major event. “Disc golf has been growing rapidly over the last few decades,” said Brian Graham, Executive Director of the PDGA. “With collegiate competition, the sport of disc golf has been able to expand into new arenas using innovative, competitive formats that lead to this national championship. Not only does the NCDGC provide a great platform for our college players to celebrate our great sport, but it helps the PDGA fulfill its mission to bring awareness of disc golf to the widest audience possible.”
“The majority of these players will pursue a career in their chosen field of study and not continue on to the PDGA Tour.” Kane stated “Becoming a National Champion or an All-American will be the highest honor they achieve in the sport. These teams and all our competitors take this national championship as serious as the competitors in the major sports at their schools.”
Modeled after the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, NCDGC founder Pete May has developed The Hippodrome Sports Complex into the annual venue for this event. With four championship disc golf courses, an awards staging area, bleachers, the largest pro shop in the state, and ample amenities, this facility has played host to this event since its inception in 2007.
This year, the event will be streamed live on DiscGolfPlanet.tv starting on Wednesday, April 16 and throughout the competition that will conclude on Championship Saturday, April 19th. A television broadcast of this year’s collegiate championships will be featured on the Beach Sports Network and distributed to 80-90 million households in May. For more information about the 2014 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, contact Tournament Director Alan Kane by phone at 706-840-3956 or send him an email via the PDGA.com tournament director contact us page . You can also visit the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships website for news, rankings, scheduling, and a history of the event.