PDGA in Croatia
On the 9th and 10th of November, in the city of Varazdin, the first ever PDGA event was held in Croatia. The tournament, named "Drava Forester", was organized by the Lagoda Disc Golf Company and the Varazdin Disc Golf Club. The event was supported by Croatian Ministry of Tourism and therefore the organizers were able to offer special prices and low tournament fees for players from all over the Europe. The event was heavily attended, as 50 players from 12 different countries were present.
The tournament took place at the banks of the Drava River and the nearby forest and offered a course with a wide variety of fun and challenging holes. Three rounds of 18 holes were played during the event. With heavy rain during the 2nd round that made the play extremely difficult, holding a grip on the disc was almost impossible. Although it did influence the scores, the rain did not affect the good atmosphere and camaraderie of the tournament, and all players stated that the overall experience of playing disc golf in Croatia was very positive and that they will be returning for next year’s event in 2014.
Two divisions were offered in the event; both Open Men and Women. Among the men, the best score was from Matias Söderström of Finland who played three great rounds, with unofficial ratings of 1040, 1032 and 1018. That kind of masterful skill was rarely seen in this part of the world, and to please the crowd even more, Matias managed to make a hole in one on the last hole of the finals. Dominik Stampfer from Germany took second place and Austrian legend Otfried Derschmidt finished third. Fourth place was taken by PDGA Hall of Famer Derek Robins of UK, for whom Croatia was the 22nd country he played disc golf in. In fifth was Slovakian Stefan Dobrev.
In the Open Women division, the winner was Slovakian Katka Bodova in front of Austrian Wiltrud Derschmidt and Slovenian Jasmina Pistan.
As a side event, the Lagoda putting contest was held and was won by Jonathan Gewirtz, a USA player living in Norway.