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1100 Disc Golfers Flood Emporia, Kansas for the 2017 Glass Blown Open


Photo of The Emporia Granada Theatre marquee in downtown Emporia, Kansas.

It’s been just over eight months since our last trip to Emporia, Kansas for the 2016 Pro Worlds, and we couldn’t be more excited to be back, as usual. With less than 12 hours remaining before the first tee time of the 2017 Glass Blown Open (GBO), we can only imagine how strange this place must seem to someone that has never heard of disc golf that just so happens to be passing through town. Disc golf is EVERYWHERE in Emporia. From the Dynamic Discs store right in the heart of downtown to the endless “Welcome Disc Golfers” storefront signs, there’s simply no way to escape it.

The GBO is running concurrently as a PDGA A-Tier event and a PDGA National Tour event, combining for an unbelievable 1095 competitors that will be competing across six different courses. Let that sink in for a minute. Pulling off an event of this magnitude should only be attempted when the entire city has your back. Fortunately for the 1095 players here this week, both the City of Emporia and the Dynamic Discs team of staff and volunteers is here making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

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Players warming up and waiting for their chance to tee off during today's flex C-Tier at Peter Pan Park. Over 300 competed in today's event alone.

The amount of work that goes into making sure that GBO week is an A+ experience for the competitors is beyond comprehension. Just to give you an idea, the GBO team has (on top of all the other GBO week madness) managed to successfully run flex C-Tier events every single day since Sunday, today included, that combined for just under 1000 total competitors over the last four days.

Any outdoor event scheduled during the volatile and unpredictable weather that the spring season brings in the Midwest runs the risk of weather-related issues. Last year’s GBO was hit with a torrential downpour and severe thunderstorms that ripped through the city, leaving behind more water than some of the courses could handle, downed trees, and damaged equipment. Compared to last year, the forecast is looking far superior, but it’s still far from ideal.

On top of the daily possibility of showers and/or thunderstorms already forecasted, the temperature has dropped drastically over the last few days, with the opening day’s early morning tee times expecting to tee off with temperatures in the mid-30s and the warmest part of the day barely creeping into the 60s. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll be getting any warmer or drier as the week progresses; an unusually chilly three days of late-April disc golf.

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5-Day forecast for Emporia, Kansas provided by Weather.com.

You Down With Olpe P?

Tomorrow, the Open and Open Women’s divisions players will be taking on a new edition to the GBO (new to their divisions anyway); the par 60, 8315’ beast that is Eagle Disc Golf Course in the neighboring town of Olpe. Designed as a gold-level course with the intent of putting the most talented disc golfers in the world to the test, the Eagle DGC will very likely result in some surprising scores by the end of the day. Built around a lake in an already windy environment and featuring several targets placed on peninsula greens, there’s simply no way to avoid at least a handful of high-risk situations, if not several.

For a full review of Eagle DGC, see the in-depth article recently published by our friends at Ultiworld Disc Golf.

The GBO utilizes six Emporia-area courses, all of which are detailed in the official 2017 GBO caddy book, embedded below.

Use the arrows at the bottom to flip through the 2017 GBO caddy book.
 Download the caddy book as PDF ».

Event Coverage

Regardless of less than ideal weather, the show must go on, and the GBO team is making sure the fans have plenty of ways to keep up with the action. SmashBoxxTV will be on site each day broadcasting live on YouTube during the rounds with both Jomez Productions and Central Coast Disc Golf providing post-production coverage of the lead/chase/feature Open and Open Women’s divisions, complemented by hole-by-hole scoring for the entire Open and Open Women’s divisions on pdgalive.com.

Perhaps the best way to make sure you’re always up to date with the most current GBO information, download the 2017 Glass Blown Open mobile app, available for iOS and Android! Tee times and results will be available all week at www.pdga.com/gbo.

PDGA Pro Panel Q&A. Coverage provided by SmashBoxxTV.

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