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PDGA Senior Player of the Year: Juliana Korver

PDGA Senior Player of the Year: Juliana Korver

The board announces the winner for the 2021 season

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 23:55

Juliana Korver

Juliana Korver at the 2022 United States Women's Disc Golf Championships

The word "legendary" – like similar terms such as "awesome" or "epic" – has been somewhat trivialized due to overuse. But that does not mean that, in certain contexts, "legendary" is an incorrect descriptor. In fact, it may be the only accurate and appropriate term available to describe the subject at hand.

Such is the case when exploring the historical list of winners of the PDGA Senior Player of the Year award. Each of 37 previous honorees – dating back to 1984 – is a legend in the disc golf world. They are pioneers who helped to invent and elevate the game. They are the foundation of a sport enjoyed by players of all ages, around the world. And, they are recognized for their continuing excellence inside – and outside – the ropes.

Every year, the PDGA Board of Directors nominates a slate of candidates for consideration for the Jim Olsen Sr. Award, given to the Senior Player of the Year (SPOY). Criteria used in nominating candidates includes:

  • Overall points total
  • Total events played
  • Earnings
  • Contributions to the sport or the PDGA

Additionally, candidates for SPOY must be 50 years of age or more in the year of consideration.

After an eventful 2021, the PDGA Board of Directors has selected a disc golfer for recognition.

Juliana Korver is the 2021 PDGA Senior Player of the Year

Juliana Korver did not intend for 2021 to be a “comeback” year. After an active career in the 1990s and 2000s, highlighted by five World Championships – and five Female Player of the Year awards – between 1998 and 2003, Korver had reduced her play to a handful of events per year over the past 15 years while pursuing a software engineering career.

Then came a global pandemic.

In early 2021, the year of Korver’s 50th birthday, she lost her job due to the economic impacts of COVID.

Able to practice and compete with more freedom, Korver won the FP40 division at the Memorial Championships, then followed that up with an FP40 victory at the 2021 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships.

“The sport started calling to me and my desire to compete came pouring back,” said Korver.

Korver ultimately decided to pursue the Disc Golf Pro Tour, committing to a touring schedule by May, 2021. She ultimately competed in 11 DGPT Elite and Silver Series events, plus two PDGA National Tour events. She collected several top-10 finishes, qualified for the DGPT Tour Championships, and earned the most points as a DGPT rookie, becoming the DGPT Rookie of the Year.

“2021 was a surprise to me,” Korver said. “I didn’t plan to be on tour again.”

In addition to competing in more than 20 professional events, Korver worked with UPlay, participated in clinics, and offered one-on-one instruction – all noteworthy efforts to grow the game and increase disc golf participation.

Korver is the third female in a row to win the Jim Olsen Sr. Award, following Donna Stanley (2019) and Andi Young (2020).

Note: Recently, Juliana Korver was a guest on the PDGA Radio podcast.



Submitted by AviarX on

Congratulations Juliana! Always also worth noting that Juliana CASHED at the USDGC!
2001: In the past 19 USDGC’s, only one woman, Juliana Korver, has placed high enough to cash. Korver tied Nate Doss and Todd Branch for 50th place, which put her ahead of 74 other (male) competitors. Korver, who won 5 World Titles, ranked cashing at the USDGC high among her impressive list of career achievements.
“Cashing against the top men in the sport in a major event is quite possibly the accomplishment I am most proud of in all my years playing disc golf,” said Korver.