Junior disc golfers train and compete daily at the Macha Disc Golf Course. Photo: Esther Schultz
Imagine a place where, every day, the disc golf course is packed with kids eager to learn the game. Imagine that every day a full-time professional on staff trains these kids, one age group at a time, instilling technique as well as dedication and discipline.
One could ask: Is this place home to a future world champion?
As the sport of disc golf continues to grow, so must the way in which it is organized. One of the changes we saw in 2017 was the debut of a dedicated World Championships event for professional age-based divisions and, as many of you already know, we'll see our junior divisions getting their own dedicated World Championships event in 2018. So we're excited to announce another change for 2018 that affects players of all age-based divisions and introduces a couple of new divisions as well.
In 1998, “Steady” Ed Headrick #1, the inventor of the disc golf basket and founder of DGA (Disc Golf Association), took a chance on a young boy and brought him to his first PDGA Disc Golf World Championships. That young boy was none other than 13 year old Nate Doss #11794. At the time, Ed could have never imagined the effect this would have on young Nate, who would eventually go on to become a 3X winner of the PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships as well as a 1X winner of the PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just finished a round, feeling pretty good about yourself and your score, only to find that some kid who doesn’t even look old enough to throw a disc played in your division…and beat you? If this were 20 years ago, the number of people who said yes to that question would be pretty slim. Anymore, not so much. Like most other activities in life, starting out young is often a huge advantage.
On Saturday, November 9th, 86 players converged on the Ironworks Hills disc golf course in Winchester, KY for the 6th Annual Kentucky Rec, Novice and Junior Disc Golf Championships. Of the 86, an astounding 47 juniors (more than half of the field!) competed in the event, proving that Kentucky is a hot spot for junior participation. A modified version of the Ironworks course was used for the event; nine permanent holes, plus 11 more temporary holes were set up to create a challenging but fun 20-hole layout for the participants to enjoy. Although the wind was present all day (gusts up to 20 mph), it w