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International

Maxime Tanghe tees off at the Creeksea Classic while Blær Örn Ásgeirsson (left) and Tony Ferro (second from right) look on. Photo: PDGA Europe

If you want a succinct summary of last weekend’s Creeksea Classic in Burnham on Crouch, England, look no further than this comment from competitor Tony Ferro: “Everyone came to play this weekend, and the course conditions were perfect for it.”

Henna Blomroos, shown here during the 2019 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships, closed out her season with a victory at the EuroTour's Nokia Open. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen

If disc golf fans know anything about Nokia, Finland, other than its connection to cell phones, it’s that it’s home to one of the most famous courses in the sport. That course, The Beast, is mostly thought of as the challenge awaiting contenders at the prestigious European Open. But last weekend The Beast roared back to life—with some slight modifications—to play host to the penultimate EuroTour event of the season: the Nokia Open.

Paul McBeth (left), Gregg Barsby, Catrina Allen, and Henna Blomroos celebrate after the 2017 European Open. Photo: Eino Ansio | Spin 18

NOKIA, Finland -- The European Open will take center stage this week as 2019's first professional PDGA Major, with 144 competitors ready to tackle "The Beast" for the first time since 2017. If you can't be in the crowd of thousands here at Nokia DiscGolfPark for European disc golf's most prestigious affair over the next four days, there are still plenty of options to keep track of the action.

Here's everything you need to know to follow the European Open:

2017's President Cup captains Dave Feldberg and Kari Vesala shake hands. Photo: Eino Ansio | Spin18

This article was originally published on UDisc's Release Point blog and is republished with permission.

Kevin Jones took home the win in his first European tournament. Photo: PDGA Europe

With Estonia just a hop, skip, and a ferry ride away from Finland, the seventh EuroTour event of the season, the Estonian Open, offered the perfect warm-up for this week’s PDGA Major, the European Open. And if the action in Estonia was a harbinger of what’s to come, we’re in for some exciting rounds in Nokia.

View Georgiou, shown here at February's Samui Swine Classic, has taken her smooth, yet powerful game from Thailand to a month-long European sojourn. Photo: Kingsley Flett

Brazil is a country of great and striking contrast. Across the crowded cities and sprawling countryside, the mansions creep up on the favelas, or vice versa, often separated only by a road or a containing wall. The jungle engulfs the habitation, and the churning sea of humanity breaks in crashing waves over coastal mountains and hills to leave ghettos that cling to near vertical planes through marvelous feats of ingenuity and the sheer structural integrity of the human spirit.

Slinging in Singapore

Local Course Knowledge Trumps the Tourists

Singapore Sling Tournament Director Lance DuBos, left, gathers tee signs for this weekend's event. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

This weekend is looming as a historic milestone for disc golf in southeast Asia, as the first PDGA Tour events will be held on the island city-state of Singapore and in neighboring Malaysia, two countries only separated by the one kilometer-wide Singapore Strait.

A scene from the opening ceremony of the Xiamen Beach Ultimate Open. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

When we last checked in from overseas, the PDGA and Prodigy Team contingent in China had arrived back in Shanghai by bullet train. They then took to a sports field at an experimental middle school in the country’s largest district to introduce disc golf to teachers and students, who were already learning ultimate Frisbee. The school’s 350 to 400 students spectated from the sidelines and oohed and ahhed as Will Schusterick and Dave Greenwell launched midranges and drivers the length of the pitch and beyond.

Three-time United States Disc Golf Champion Will Schusterick demonstrates proper forehand technique for a group of university students in China. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

On Monday the disc golf ambassadors to China and their China Disc Golf Center hosts sped north from Suzhou to Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, traveling the 800 kilometers (497 miles) by bullet train in under four hours, with cruising speeds that reached 305 kph (190 mph).

Our visit to this metropolis of 6 million was hosted by Mr. Wong, vice president of the sports department at Shandong University, one of the country’s 15 double-A rated academic institutions, and Mr. Lee, a local sports organizer.

Songqing Guo took fifth place in the Advanced division at China's first PDGA-sanctioned tournament Sunday. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

Sunday marked a milestone in the evolution of disc golf, when the first PDGA-sanctioned tour event was held in the People’s Republic of China. Surely “Steady” Ed Headrick was smiling down on the proceedings from his eternal flight, knowing that the sport he formalized some 40 years ago was now taking off in the world’s most populous nation.

Disc Golf Hall of Fame member Dave Greenwell demonstrates proper putting technique in China. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

Thursday morning Team Prodigy members Will Schusterick and Dave Greenwell had the privilege of introducing disc golf to some truly beautiful people in Ningpo, China, an exercise in basic skills transfer that they will cherish as one of the highlights of their long careers in disc golf.

Ultimate Frisbee players at Nottingham Ningbo University get a lesson in disc golf. Photo: Brian Hoeniger

PDGA International Director Brian Hoeniger, Prodigy Disc President Michael Sullivan, and Prodigy team members Will Schusterick and David Greenwell have arrived in the Peoples’ Republic of China to begin a two-and-a-half week whirlwind tour that will include demonstration workshops to local students, training of physical education teachers in disc golf instruction, and meetings with local government officials.

Nigel Mills (left) celebrates with Philo Brathwaite after his 2017 Samui Swine Classic win. Photo: Samui Disc Golf

Flashback to 2003: Beyoncé was (still) lighting up the airwaves, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King triumphed as box office royalty, and Nigel Mills was parked at a comfortable job in Santa Monica, California. Born and bred in nearby Venice Beach, his days at powerhouse video game developer Activision found him working on titles like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2x, where Mills served as the inspiration for a hidden character: a donut-scarfing, kick-flipping cop named Officer Dick.

PDGA International Director Brian Hoeniger #4022 is pleased to announce the completion and release of the 2015 PDGA International Program Guide which provides in-depth information on PDGA activities and protocol in all countries outside of USA and Canada. In 2014, the 10th year of the International Program, there were 3100+ International Members, 360+ sanctioned events, and 28 PDGA affiliated countries in Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

On the 9th and 10th of November, in the city of Varazdin, the first ever PDGA event was held in Croatia. The tournament, named "Drava Forester", was organized by the Lagoda Disc Golf Company and the Varazdin Disc Golf Club. The event was supported by Croatian Ministry of Tourism and therefore the organizers were able to offer special prices and low tournament fees for players from all over the Europe. The event was heavily attended, as 50 players from 12 different countries were present.
 

As an enthusiastic disc golf player you often find yourself observing your surroundings to be a possible disc golf course. You look at a beautiful hill and think about how perfect it would be to place a basket there. Or you walk in a forest and see nothing but throwing corridors.

There was no exception to how I observed the surroundings around Nairobi, Kenya when I moved there 18 months ago to work as a P.E. teacher at the Swedish School. Nairobi is the total opposite of the picture that many Westerners make of Africa. In Nairobi it is hilly, leafy and green all year round.