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2019 USJDGC Kicks Off at Smugglers' Notch


Lilly Ruthen jumped to the top of the FJ12 division during the first round of the 2018 USJDGC. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen

Kids Disc Golf’s 2nd Annual United States Junior Disc Golf Championship kicks off today at Smugglers’ Notch Resort! Last year, the event crowned the first ever Official Junior National Champions for Disc Golf. 2019 brings back a team consisting of staff from four organizations – Kids Disc GolfEagles Wings Disc Golf, the Disc Golf Vermont, and Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center who are once again coming together to make this event a reality. Follow along and find more info at usjdgc.com!

The USJDGC started when Kids Disc Golf Founder Matt Grayum, reached out to Jeff Spring and Smuggs DGC and pitched the idea that he and his brother Josh had created for this event two years ago. Josh Grayum is once again serving as Tournament Director for the event and has been working hard all year to set up a truly incredible experience for the kids in this event. Eagles Wings Disc Golf, founded by Dustin and Hannah Leatherman has returned to help with more support than ever! Chris Young, Director of Disc Golf Vermont has also helped again with the planning and development of this year’s event. Paige Pierce, who flew in to support the event, is back to provide support and run a free clinic for the kids, along with Alyssa Van Lanen, who will be producing content all weekend long!

Paige’s clinic is one of many off-course activities lined up for the kids participating, a list that included a kick-off country fair, free ice cream social, a bonfire, and fireworks on Thursday night. Tonight there will be a Pizza Party and Fun Zone 2.0 take over at one of Smugglers’ newest family fun facilities featuring laser tag, an arcade, a ninja warrior course, climbing wall, and more. The U.S. Junior putting championship will take place in the FunZone, and on Saturday competitors will get to compete in a mini disc golf championship set up by Young.

Big thanks are due to the events gold level sponsors – Discraft, Innova, Upper Park Designs, and the National Life Group. They’ve all pitched in to help make the players packs that all junior competitors received truly something special!

As a perennial winner of SKI Magazine’s kid & family-friendly awards, Smugglers’ has been honored three of the last six winters as the best overall resort in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Spring said that’s all built from the youngest guests up and the resort is known nationally as “America’s Family Resort” which makes a partnership with Kids Disc Golf fit so nicely. Soon, Discraft’s Green Mountain Championship will return to the Smuggs Disc Golf Center, one of many large events to be help at Smugglers’ this year.

“As a resort that is entirely focused on family, I knew we could only benefit by welcoming in the experts in youth disc golf,” Spring said. “When building, we designed our courses with four tee boxes from the get-go. That was precisely in order to make the courses able to both test the pros but be approachable for families.”

With Junior competitors already out on the course, you can follow along from home! We are excited to see how this first iteration of the USJDGC plays out. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow the hole-by-hole scoring at PDGALive.com!

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