Main Menu

2020 PDGA Majors Set From Coast To Coast


The Wasatch Mountains in Ogden, Utah, will provide the backdrop for the 2020 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championship.Photo: Mulligan's Creekside Disc Golf Center

PDGA Major events are the premier national and international competitions for the sport of disc golf each year, featuring the world’s best disc golfers competing for world and national titles in multiple skill, age, and gender-based divisions. These PDGA marquee events offer any city or town the chance to host an international sporting event in their community, drawing interest and attention to the location and generating a significant economic impact for local businesses.

Hosting a PDGA Major is no easy task. Interest was shown from several involved local organizing committees (LOCs), meaning the selection of these events was difficult, as so many excellent bid packages were submitted. After much deliberation from the PDGA staff and the PDGA Board of Directors, the Professional Disc Golf Association is pleased to announce the awarding of the following 2020 PDGA Majors. Drumroll please!

2020 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships: Ogden, Utah

  • 2019 Location: Peoria, Illinois
  • 2018 Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont
  • 2017 Location: Augusta, Georgia
  • Received bids: 2

The 2020 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships will be held in Ogden, Utah. The proposed tournament director is Jade Sewell, whose passion for the sport and his desire to see it grow is remarkable. Sewell started the Utah Open as an un-sanctioned, one-day event in 2015 and has built it into a tour staple, as it ran from 2016 to 2018 on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. The player feedback on the Utah Open has been fantastic, both from touring pros and casual players alike, proof that Sewell and the Utah Open team are always wanting to push their events to the next level – hence, hence their proposal to host 2020 Pro Worlds.

“This is so huge,” Sewell said. “…We’ve got grants coming, the county’s heavily involved, the visitors' bureau is heavily involved. We’ve even got the Utah Sporting Commission. We think this is going to be huge for us to grow the sport and bring awareness to people who don’t even know what disc golf is in the area.”

Visit Ogden’s Director of Destination Sales Anissa Brown is also on the team. Brown and her staff are fully committed to assisting with the production of the event to provide a professional and adept experience for all players in attendance. These key players are highly capable of hosting Pro Worlds, and will contest the event on some memorable disc golf courses amidst breathtaking scenery. 

The event will feature the famed Mulligan’s Creekside, where the Utah Open built its reputation, and the newly installed, heavily wooded Fort Buenaventura (“The Fort”), the latter of which is a two-minute drive from downtown Ogden. The tracks complement each other perfectly and provide a balanced championship experience, providing the type of facilities that were envisioned when the split of the Open and Open Women’s divisions from the rest of the Age-based pros took place in 2017. And it will all take place in a beautiful, southwestern paradise less than 30 minutes from Salt Lake City.

fort4.jpg

Hole 4 at Fort Buenaventura in Ogden, Utah, which will host the 2020 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championship. Photo: Jade Sewell

Ogden’s amenities and ancillary activities are endless and provide myriad opportunities to relax and unwind or get out and explore the unique landscape that is the desert of the southwest. The town will roll out the red carpet for this event, as many local businesses will open their doors and welcome players to this quaint mountain town situated beneath the Wasatch Mountain Range. Ogden is also less than a four-hour drive from several national parks, including Bryce and Zion.

This venue has the potential to do something big, and it is clear that the entire community is behind their efforts. It is for these many reasons, and more, that we hope to see you in Ogden in mid-June for the 2020 Professional Disc Golf World Championships.

2020 PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships: Orlando, Florida

  • 2019 Location: York County, Pennsylvania
  • 2018 Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 2017 Location: Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa
  • Received bids: 3

An incredible proposal was submitted on behalf of Orlando Disc Golf Inc. by current Club President Mark Janssen, in company with the DeBary Disc Golf Club, the Daytona Disc Golf Association, the Lake County Disc Golf Club, and the City of Orlando Parks and Recreation Office. Janssen will direct the event, with support from Orlando Disc Golf Inc. and the surrounding clubs/communities.

“I think the combination of being the vacation capital of the world and being able to show the rest of the world what we have to offer in championship courses is going to be exciting,” Janssen said.

2020am-worlds_bill_frederick_park_original-course_hole-3.png

Hole 3 at Bill Frederick Park in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Mark Janssen

Indeed, there will be many on display. Bill Frederick Park (Woods, T-2 and Original), Barnett Park (Parkside and North courses), River City Nature Park (Alpha and Barwick courses), Hiawatha Nature Preserve, and a new temporary course at a local golf club will all be employed. The tracks are varied in length and skill set, and upon appropriate selection would more than suit the needs of all competitors at Am Worlds. Though Orlando may be a big city, Janssen said the inclusion of the temporary venue will put six of the courses within a 15-minute drive of each other.

The proposed host team has vast experience, working events such as the Orlando Open, Barnett Park Championship, and the Southeastern Amateur Championship, one of the largest Am-only A-Tier events in the country. Each event run by this team is carefully crafted and executed with the utmost of professionalism.

“Every event we have, we’ve asked ourselves, ‘How does this ramp up to Worlds?’” Janssen said.

Those who attend the event will quickly discover why this area has been producing top-level players for decades. The combination of careful and quality course design, perpetual competition, the ability to play year-round, abundant community support and the inclusive parks departments has allowed this region of the country to flourish as a hotbed for disc golf activity. The 2019 PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships will be held in mid-July.

2020 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships: Emporia, Kansas

In a proposal submitted to the PDGA Board of Directors in 2016, Doug Bjerkaas and Jeremy Rusco of Dynamic Discs in Emporia, Kansas, offered to play host to the Junior World Championships for a period of three years, at which time the event would undergo further evaluation and consideration to be bid out to other venues in the years following. This proposal was approved unanimously by the Board at the 2016 Fall Summit, with the idea that the Junior divisions have been experiencing enough popularity and interest to warrant their own, standalone world championship competition. This was never more evident than during the 2018 PDGA Tour season, which not only saw the inaugural Junior Worlds take place in Emporia with great success, but also included the introduction of many standalone Junior events like the United States Junior Disc Golf Championships at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont.

The PDGA is proud to return to Emporia in July 2020 for the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships and is confident that the superb event team at Dynamic Discs will back up their incredible efforts shown at the inaugural event with another amazing experience in July of 2019.

43388847251_ce1ad79459_k.jpg

The PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships return to Emporia, Kansas, for a third run in 2020. Photo: PDGA

“The City of Emporia and Dynamic Discs are thrilled to be hosting the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships in 2020 for the third year in a row,” Bjerkaas said. ”After the success of the 2018 Junior Worlds and the amazing and increased support we are getting from Emporia for the 2019 event, we are confident that the 2020 edition will be the best yet. Emporia makes for the perfect destination for families as they come and see their kids compete on the nationally-known courses made famous by the annual Glass Blown Open, as well as the World Championships hosted in Emporia in 2013 and 2016.”

2020 PDGA Pro Masters Disc Golf World Championships: Johnson City, Tennessee

  • 2019 Location: Jeffersonville, Vermont 
  • 2018 Location: Kansas City, Missouri
  • 2017 Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Received bids: 6

The Professional Masters Disc Golf World Championships will be contested in and around the Johnson City, Tennessee, area and will be hosted by famed tournament director Tim Barr, with vast support from the Lakefront Disc Golf Club, the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Parks Department, and a bevy of local businesses. This same crew ran the highly regarded 2017 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships and has been wanting to host another PDGA Major in the area since that time. In order to satiate that desire – as well as the desires of many to play and compete on the impeccable disc golf courses in the area – a premiere event returns to Johnson City.

Courses will include Winged Deer and Sugar Hollow, as well as the beloved private course at nearby Harmon Hills and a temporary finals course at a ball golf facility. Additional nearby courses like Warrior’s Path in Kingsport provide ample opportunity for heated competition. Upgrades and renovations are planned for the 2020 event, including new tee surfaces at Harmon and new shots at Warrior’s Path and Harmon, both of which will have 36 holes.

2017-uswdgc-round-3-sarah-hokom.jpg

Sarah Hokom tees off at Harmon Hills in Johnson City, Tennessee, during the 2017 United States Women's Disc Golf Championship. Photo: PDGA

This team amazed us after their running of the 2017 USWDGC. The balance of aesthetics and the opportunity for high-level play is rarely as prevalent as it is in Johnson City, and – combined with the unique small-town charm and the myriad recreation opportunities – it’s clear why we are thrilled to return to watch the newest Masters World Champions be crowned in 2020.

2020 PDGA United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship: Placer Valley, California

  • 2019 Location: Spotsylvania, Virginia
  • 2018 Location: Lansing, Michigan
  • 2017 Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Received bids: 6

Key members of the PDGA Women’s Committee have been involved in the Majors review process since 2015 to not only help select the best bidder as host of the event, but also to identify the hotbeds of women’s disc golf. These up-and-coming locales have a positive impact on the attendance and prestige of the event while also offering geographic variance from year to year.

With that in mind, the 2020 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship will be held in Placer Valley, California. Donna Dotti, director of sales for Placer Valley Tourism, along with the Final 9 Events Team, have submitted a clean, professional bid to host this elite tournament.

“We’ve been wanting to host something of this caliber for a few years now, so we’re super honored that we finally have an opportunity,” Dotti said. “We know once we get through this first huge event there’s going to be future ones coming here, as well.”

Shady Oaks Park in Orangevale, Auburn Regional Park in Auburn, and Rocklin Disc Golf Course at Johnson Springview Park in Rocklin will each be featured, with Jennifer Knisley as the proposed tournament director. Knisley serves as the PDGA State Coordinator for Northern California and has helmed the St. Patrick’s Day Classic, the NorCal Championships, and the California Amateur State Championships, each a successful A-Tier for many years. Knisley has also served as a PDGA Marshal at numerous PDGA World Championships and has a firm grasp on what is required to execute a PDGA Major.

The impact of having women at the forefront of the region’s bid process was not lost on Dotti.

“Anytime you can help advance the development of women in sports, I just think that says a lot for the community that comes together to help do that,” she said. “It definitely is something important to us.”

There is an abundance of community support, especially from Placer Valley Tourism, who will serve as the primary volunteer base for the proposed event. Dotti said she expects local media to come out in droves and pointed to the area’s close proximity to Lake Tahoe as another benefit.

This is a new era for women’s disc golf, as women’s-only events and tours have been popping up with regularity worldwide. The addition of the PDGA Women’s Global Event in 2014 and the PDGA October Women’s Initiative has only strengthened women’s representation within the PDGA and sport of disc golf, so we are excited to once again bring this annual event back towards the West Coast. It’s an area that has been cultivating women’s disc golf for decades, with the popular Daisy Chains tournament each May in Watsonville paving the way. Placer Valley welcomes the event from May 22-24, 2020. 

2020 PDGA Tim Selinske United States Masters Championships: Columbia, Missouri

  • 2019 Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
  • 2018 Location: Crown Point, Indiana
  • 2017 Location: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Received bids: 9

The 2020 PDGA Tim Selinske United States Masters Championships will be held in Columbia, Missouri, and will be directed by the same team that runs the popular Mid-America Open on one of the most famous and prestigious disc golf courses in the country: Harmony Bends Championship Disc Golf Course at Strawn Park. The Columbia Disc Golf Club is home to an impressive list of volunteers and organizers, all of whom will dedicate their time and efforts to the event in 2020. Club President Joe Douglass made huge strides in his first year, and doubling attendance at the Mid-America Open by making it a multi-course event in 2018 positioned them accordingly to place their bid on this 2020 Major event.

“We definitely are excited about the opportunity,” Columbia CVB Sports Sales Manager Zach Franklin said. “In our minds it’s been a long time coming with having Harmony Bends and having a great relationship with the clubs.”

strawn-creek-crossing-763x400.jpg

Harmony Bends Championship Disc Golf Course at Strawn Park in Columbia, Missouri. Photo: Columbia Parks and Recreation

As part of the 2013 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, Columbia parks staff identified disc golf as a top priority for the area and a method to boost its tourism impact. A long-term plan was put in place to make the city a well-known destination for disc golfers worldwide, and in 2015 that dream became a reality when the Harmony Bends course was built and rocketed to the top of many golfers’ wish lists.

“Even in the last year, it’s crazy how fast it’s blown up,” Franklin said.

The Columbia CVB, City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, and the Columbia Disc Golf Club are committed to providing a quality experience for players and spectators alike. Through a balance of competition and hospitality, this local organizing committee is poised to deliver a top notch championship.

The tournament will take place in late May 2020 and will offer qualified, age-based players the opportunity to play the famous track at Harmony Bends and enjoy the culture and diversity of Columbia and the surrounding areas. We have no doubt that Tim Selinske himself will be smiling down on the players as another PDGA Major is hosted in his honor.

Congratulations!

Please join with us in offering our congratulations and support to the host communities of these PDGA Major events, as well as to the many other communities that displayed tremendous effort to produce a bid package to host a PDGA Major in 2020. We also would like to extend our gratitude to the communities hosting events that are held at the same locations each year, including the United States Disc Golf Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina; the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship; the Amateur World Doubles Championships in Mt. Vernon, Texas; and the United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship in Milford, Michigan.

We look forward to another exciting year in 2020, and we hope to see you on the course!

Comments

I'm posting under a throwaway because I know people involved in this, and want to be anonymous. With all respect to the people who put together the courses in Ogden, this is a pretty poor choice for 2020 Worlds. Mulligans is on a relatively lackluster golf course with essentially no elevation to contend with and artificially created just through putting most baskets right next to water. The Fort is just not yet a championship level course. It is, at best, a somewhat above average disc golf course. The course is too easy for championship-level disc golf, the holes aren't terribly interesting, and the grounds are not well maintained enough at this point. It could certainly improve, but there is not yet enough evidence to support that it will be a reasonable selection. The DGPT had a reason for not keeping Utah Open as a Pro Tour event, so I'm unclear as to how this is world champs level when it's not even Pro Tour level. I hope things will go well, but I have a lot of feeling of reservation in seeing it put on here at this point.

Submitted by Frolf Acer on

Agreed Throwaway123. Perhaps with the addition of a new "wooded" course near-by to this venue, it might provide the adequate challenge to be labeled "World Championship Caliber", but I am still picking my jaw up off the floor after reading this article. I suppose with all the amenities like go-carts and arcade games, at least there is someuelse to do if the golf bores you. Utah has a far superior course to offer. Heck, the article mentioned Zion, host the event on a temp course on the red rocks for crying out loud!

Submit a comment

Log in or register to post comments