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Historical Events Project Finally Complete


The leaderboard from the first PDGA Disc Golf World Championships in Los Angeles, California, in 1982. Photo: Scott Keasey / DGA 

The PDGA is pleased to announce that the historical events project has, at long last, been achieved, with player results and scores from close to 4,000 tournaments from 1979 through 2001 now posted on our website. The earliest event is one of disc golf’s most fabled: the Wham-O $50,000 Frisbee Disc Golf Invitational, which was run by none other than PDGA #001, “Steady” Ed Headrick.

The archive includes 884 events from the 1980s; 2,289 events from the 1990s; and 795 from 2000 to 2001, when the transition from the PDGA’s old DOS database to more modern technology began. Geographically, 94 percent of the records come from events in the United States. There are also 130 tournaments from Canada, 100 from Europe, the first eight editions of the Japan Open, and the 1995 Australia Open. We can also state with confidence that, in terms of PDGA-sanctioned events, the data includes 99.9 percent of tournaments since Becky Powell’s tenure (#6349) as Administrator from 1995 to 1996.

There have been two heroines at the center of this massive endeavor: current Tour Assistant Amber Schoch (#60431) and former Memberships Manager Lorrie Gibson (#18888) – neither of whom, incidentally, has ever played in a PDGA Tour event. Schoch was originally hired to tackle this project on an hourly/summer basis back in May 2012, taking boxes of mostly handwritten paper reports from the ‘90s out of the International Disc Golf Center’s storage attic and transforming them into today’s “Electronic TD Reports” (ETDRs) in Microsoft’s Excel. As the immense scope of the project became apparent and Schoch’s time became more focused on current event data entry, the assembling of the ETDRs shifted northwards to Gibson and the bungalow on Toronto Island that served as the PDGA office from 1997 to 2004.

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Amber Schoch (above) and Lorrie Gibson drove the years-long process to update tournament records. Photos: PDGA

Starting in 2013 and continuing for more than three years, Gibson sifted through cartons of reports dating back to the late 1980s – in addition to her husband’s trove of PDGA and other disc golf newsletters and magazines – in her quest to build as thorough an archive as possible. The last big piece of the puzzle appeared in Fall 2016, when PDGA Technical Standards Chair Jeff Homburg (#1025) delivered boxes of early-to-mid ‘80s club newsletters and disc sports magazines from inaugural PDGA Administrator Ted Smethers’ (#1159) personal trove.

Gibson was particularly meticulous when it came to resolving missing member numbers and misspelled player names in the original event records. When Schoch wasn’t consumed with current events entry, she was banging Gibson’s batches of ETDRs, together with the corrections and additions to previously entered material, into the database. Finally, after millions of keystrokes by these two long-distance teammates, Schoch jubilantly announced that she had just imported the last tournament report.

The result is a compilation of memories and historical player performances that may well prove to be the envy of most sports outside of the major pro leagues. There are tons of gems hidden in its depths. For example, we know that Ken Climo (#4297) has played in at least 455 PDGA events, winning 223 of them – including 15 world titles – and is still tops in all-time tournament earnings at $430,843 (although the likes of Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki are now closing ground quickly). Valarie Jenkins (#17495) sits atop the list of women’s career earners, while Canada’s Elaine King (#3090) and Germany’s Simon Lizotte (#8332) lead international money earners.

There are countless others who have contributed to this legacy, including those dedicated tournament directors of yore who sent in their results in a timely and legible manner and the early disc golf press corps, of whom Rick Rothstein (#2458) of Disc Golf World News merits special mention. Without these pioneers and the core group of fanatical players who helped to develop the sport at the grassroots level during its formative years, who knows where we would be today?

hist_poster_1.jpgThat said, the historical results project will probably forever be a work in progress. There are many pre-1995 events in the archive where we only have the round-by-round scores for the top finishers in each division. Other tournaments have places of finish but no individual scores, and then there are the missing events from time immemorial – the late 1970s and early 1980s. Folklore tells us that the first PDGA events were held in 1977 on such hallowed grounds as Pasadena’s Oak Grove and Philadelphia’s Sedgley Woods, but there are only a handful of records in the organization's hands from those groundbreaking competitions.

With that in mind, we are closing this announcement with a call to the old-timers among us – especially those with one, two, three, or early four-digit member numbers and who were either TDs long, long ago or have amassed personal libraries of early disc golf literature – to go dig in your basements and crawl spaces. If you could then send to the PDGA office the originals or copies of any PDGA-sanctioned event data you discover that is not displayed in the archive, that would be terrific.

Thanks, everyone, and enjoy!

Comments

Anyone have the Intermediate Men results from the Tennessee's 23rd Flying Disc Championships, Sept 19-20 1998? This division is missing from the results. Ken Folger was the TD. (only tourney results missing from my "career". thanks Lorrie and Amber, good job, I know it was a TON of work.

The first 2 official PDGA events were at the Styx River Resort in Alabama and Craigmeur Ski Area in New Jersey in May 1977.Sedgley did not get poleholes until 1978, they were using trees in 1977.

Wow, thanks Amber, Lorrie, and the PDGA for reviving this history. We're reaching the point where the pioneers are leaving us and taking their memories and artifacts with them. Your efforts will be appreciated for many years to come!

Submitted by speedyinga on

Thank you Lorrie and Amber for all you have done. The Disc Golf Hall of Fame appreciates your efforts to preserve the accomplishments of so many great players, course developers and tournament directors.

Submitted by rbclark on

I am a little surprised that Nobody contacted me, as I was the PDGA statistician during the time Ted was Administrator. Yes, I have lots of data.... RB Clark

Submitted by 1BDHYYZ (not verified) on

Lorrie here RB. I am delighted that you have reached out, thank you! Our information gathering was based on TD reports plus the early publishings by Ace Mason et al. We would be very grateful to receive any info you have to offer. So little was documented in those days, the stalwart efforts and yeoman service of the dedicated is easily lost so please, by all means, if you have stats/results to to offer, our arms are open! Using the CONTACT button on top right of pdga.com home page you can either contact TOUR ASSISTANT Amber under PDGA Office Staff, or myself via the International Program under Programs. Once again, thanks for reaching out. And thanks for your efforts in the formative years of the sport. Well done! Lorrie

Submitted by mvs784 on

Grats ! I did notice on my profile page as of how many events i played !

I'm hoping to see down the Fairway . Tournament Aces added to a players profile ! I have 2 . Pro Worlds 2007 , woodland / bear #10 , and ten years later . Standing Rocks Open . Mid Loop # 4 .. Keep at er" .. K - - - - - - - Y ! :)

This is great news! However, I see no link anywhere in the article to where the results are "posted on this site." How/where do we access this information?

Submitted by mvs784 on

Could I please get an update ...I played the 1994 Rocket city Open in huntsville ,ala. !
If you look via John pecunia's stats . I was there .. I must fess up . my profile says since 1994 .. But I didn't get a pdga # 16252 till 2000 , I was never offered !

Submitted by lumper1 on

Where can we view this archive? I have always hoped that an archive of old events would be available to gander at and see who played and all that.

Submitted by BDHYYZ (not verified) on

All historical results are available by either 1) select events from top menu and then search thru the calendar from 1979 to 2001, or 2) to see your own results go to your personal member page and search thru your own events played calendar

Submitted by dtwest57 on

Thanks Amber and Lorrie!! Catching up with the history of our sport is really important and you are right to put the call out for us old timers to looks through our stashes of documentation. I will do so. - Dave West # 752

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