The Return of the Brent Hambrick Memorial Open
The Brent Hambrick Memorial Open is back on the PDGA National Tour once again and is ready to rock here in Westerville, OH on the infamous courses built on and around the Hoover Reservoir. This event holds a special place in the hearts of the hundreds of people that were directly affected by the loss of Brent Hambrick to Leukemia in 1997. Brent was one of the most respected tournament directors in the world, bringing a new level of professionalism, organization, and attention to detail to the sport.
This, amongst many other reasons is why this event, formerly called the Columbus Open under Brent's tenure, has been such an important and well-known stop on the PDGA National Tour for the last 18 years. Some of the proceeds from this event each year go directly to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. To date, more than $55,000 has been donated the organization, $6000 of which was raised in 2013 alone.
The BHMO takes place on two courses: the 27 hole Brent Hambrick Memorial DGC and the 18 hole Hoover Dam West course that's installed temporarily specifically for this event each year. The 27 hole permanent course is built on the flatter land around the reservoir and contains a good mixture of open and wooded holes. The blood, sweat, and tears put into designing and maintaining this course by Tournament Director Paul Jay #10227 and the rest of the Columbus Flyers Disc Golf Club is clearly visible to anyone who steps foot on the land. Holes 10-13 for example have been completely revamped for the tournament this year after tons and tons of fresh topsoil were brought in to reshape and manicure the fairways. Jay's experience with the USDGC might also play a factor in the course layout, as many of the added holes (letters A-I) have well-placed out of bounds lines marked by rope, paint, and/or flags.
The temporary 18 hole course, dubbed Hoover Dam West, plays up and down the dam, bringing with it several holes with huge elevation changes and water hazards in play. When you walk up to some of the tee pads of the West course, you might not find the basket right away. It's not often that finding the green means looking directly below you. On the safari layout set up only for the finals, there's even a hole where the players tee off from inside a small building that sits on the dam, with the only way out being a window that leads down to the fairway below. The course is unique to say the least. You can expect plenty of photos and videos of both courses coming in from @PDGALive on Twitter and @PDGA on Instagram.
The 2014 Brent Hambrick Memorial Open is the second to last tournament on the 2014 PDGA National Tour. It's the last chance for many players to try to boost their overall numbers, as only the points earned from their best five of the first seven NT events will count going into the required final event next weekend, the 2014 Rochester Flying Disc Open in New York. The competitors will be playing both courses tomorrow, followed by a full round on the BHM 27-hole course on Sunday morning. The safari finals will take place on Sunday some time after the last players finish up the morning round. More information on that to come.
We'll have live scoring, pictures, and videos as usual all weekend long on PDGALive.com and we'll be uploading high-resolution pictures from each day to the PDGA Flickr page. The 2014 #BHMO tees off tomorrow morning with a shotgun start at 9:30am EDT for the pros and 10:00am EDT for the Ams, as a concurrent A-tier for amateur competitors is taking place as well. Follow along all weekend as we honor the memory of the late and truly great, Brent Hambrick.