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Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015.


As the end of 2014 draws nearer and nearer, all we can do is reflect on what an incredible year it has been for the sport of disc golf. It seems that almost every aspect of the game we know and love is growing at an ever-increasing rate. There were more tournaments, more players, more added cash, more spectators, and more disc golf companies/manufacturers, just to name a few. With that kind of exponential growth, we can and should expect 2015 to be off the charts.

Here at the PDGA, we see records broken in several different categories each and every year, and this year was no exception. For the first time in our short history, the milestone of 2000 sanctioned events in a single year was reached. This included eight PDGA National Tour events, eight domestic PDGA Majors, two international PDGA Majors, 60+ A-tiers, and 2000 or so B/C/X tier events.

Our membership continues to grow at an exciting rate as well, having recently assigned PDGA #70000 to one of our newest international members, Einar Melgård of Norway. It’s hard to believe that the last 4-digit PDGA number was handed out almost 20 years ago in 1995. It’s even harder to believe that since then we’ve added an additional 60,000+ members! One of our fans on the PDGA Facebook page might have summed it up best.

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The 2014 season could also be defined as the year of online media. Live scoring and tweeting took place at nearly all of the Major and NT events with several of them also being streamed live on the internet thanks to DiscGolfPlanetTV and SmashBoxxTV. Dozens of others were uploaded to YouTube seemingly every weekend by the likes of McFlySoHigh Video, The Disc Golf Guy, Central Coast Disc Golf, The SpinTV, and many more. And there’s always social media. Instagram alone now has over 358,000 images tagged with #discgolf!

There were so many amazing things that happened this year that we can’t even begin to try to name them all. Here are just a few highlights, in case you missed them.

  • Paul McBeth #27523 became the second men's Open player in history to win three back-to-back PDGA Pro Worlds titles, with this year's being a sudden death playoff victory against Ricky Wysocki #38008 in front of arguably the largest gallery the sport has ever seen.
  • Ken Climo #4297 won his second world title in the Masters division, giving him a ridiculous grand total of 14 world titles.
  • Catrina Allen #44184 took her home her first world title during an incredible year that included a record-breaking 31 wins in sanctioned events in a single division (Open Women).
  • Will Schusterick #29064 won his third United States Disc Golf Championships title in a sudden death playoff against Paul McBeth.
  • Paige Pierce #29190 became the first woman to win the USDGC Performance Flight.
  • Simon Lizotte #8332 set a new distance world record (863.5 feet) and a new mini-disc distance world record (527.9 feet).

But let’s not dwell on the past when such an exciting future lies ahead. The 2015 season is already on pace to be a true turning point for the sport.

The first A-tier of the year, The Gentlemen’s Club Challenge in Las Vegas, now less than two months away…sold out. The first National Tour event of the year, The Memorial Championships, sold out in less than two hours online. They’ve since opted to add a third course to the event, allowing for another 200 players to register. The Glass Blown Open, which is still more than 5 months away, sold out all 900 of their spots. Yes, you read that right. 900!

And if that wasn’t enough, let’s talk about the 2015 Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft. It’s stop number 5 on the PDGA National Tour, put on and directed by Nate Heinold #49340. When speaking with him about the event, Heinold made the following mind-boggling statements. “We expect the 2015 Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft to be an amazing event. We are looking at $45,000 of added cash and one of the biggest amateur player's packs in the country”, says Heinold. “We have a week full of events planned for 2015 and we expect nearly 600 players. We will once again have our ice cream social and we are moving our FlyMart indoors. We will also be adding some pro clinics for 2015 and will also be adding a golf/golf disc exhibition match to be broadcast by Smashboxx TV. We are using 8 courses for the 2015 event and want this event to feel like a major.”

Did he really say $45,000 added cash? Yep.

There’s so much to look forward to in the year to come that’s it’s difficult to express in a few measly paragraphs. Whether it’s the upcoming 2015 Aussie Open (the first PDGA Major in Australia), the 2015 PDGA World Championships in Pittsburgh (Pro) and Kalamazoo (Ams), the back-to-back Majors in Sweden and Finland, the National Tour events, or even an unsanctioned tournament put on by your local club. It’s all disc golf and it's what we as players and fans live for.

We want to sincerely thank all the disc golfers, tournament directors, the guys and gals behind the scenes in the local disc golf clubs, the manufacturers, the sponsors, the volunteers. If you had anything at all to do with helping to grow this amazing sport, we thank you. And we can’t wait to see you next year!