Same courses, less wind.
August 30, 2022 by Josh Mansfield in Courses with comments
Emporia, Kansas, is one of the central disc golf hubs in the United States. Awarded the “Top Small Town” for disc golf by UDisc in 2020, Emporia is home to the Dynamic Discs headquarters and the long-running DGPT event the Dynamic Discs Open (formerly the Glass Blown Open). Emporia also played host to the 2016 World Championships, where Ricky Wysocki won his first title and Valerie Jenkins won her fourth.
In an unusual twist, the tour will return to Emporia this year for the World Championships; it will probably be the last time we see a repeat of Elite Series events at the same venue.
This year’s event features two courses that are more similar to one another than those at most recent World Championships, which tend to split between open and wooded.
Emporia Country Club
Measuring 11,189 feet on the MPO side and 9,507 feet for the FPO side, Emporia Country Club has been a staple on the Elite Series since 2015. While no longer the longest course on tour, the country club track feels longer than it is due to restrictive OB that requires an equal blend of shot shaping, ground control, and elite power. The country club is also accompanied by a near constant wind that elevates the difficulty of the course significantly. While the wind is forecasted to be significantly more mild than what we saw at this year’s iteration of the Dynamic Discs Open, it will almost certainly be a factor, especially in the afternoon MPO rounds.
Holes 6, 7, and 17 all feature shorter pins for the FPO division, while holes 4 and 14 saw tee pads changed for the MPO field. Hole 9 has a few OB rule changes that favor the player and hole 10 has an expanded safe landing zone off to the left of the hole.
The biggest change comes with changing of hole 12’s basket, which got moved back for both divisions. The hole will stay a par 3 for MPO and 4 for FPO, but the hole is drastically different from the hole at DDO.
Signature Hole: #16
Hole 16 is not only the signature hole of Emporia Country Club but one of the most iconic holes in our sport. It features a 320’ shot with a water carry nearly the entire way. The green is a true island in the middle of the pond, and reaching it is made exponentially more difficult in the typical headwind. Even after making the island, a player’s work is only halfway finished. They then take the long walk around the pond and over the bridge to the green where the basket, positioned next to the water, sets the condition for a nerve-wracking, championship-defining putt. Positioned near the end of the course, many tournaments have been won and lost on hole 16.
Jones Supreme is a true safari layout of Jones East and West, two staple courses in Emporia. It is a park style course that features small elevation changes, strategically designed around the limited trees available, and has OB perhaps more restrictive than even Emporia Country Club. Its first time on tour was at the Dynamic Discs Open earlier this year. Unfortunately, the first iteration of Jones Supreme was played in incredibly windy conditions that make it difficult to predict how it will play this week, but the OB is tight and punishing, even in calm conditions. Players will be required to test the OB in order to put themselves in attacking positions for birdie.
Three sets of changes stand out among other minor variations to the course. First, the island hole 1 (described in detail below) has added a wall at the back of the island to make it easier to land the green. Second, holes 4 and 6 have updated OB rules that supersede normal rules. If your teeshot does not land inbounds, you either go to the drop zone or have to retee. There is also a cycling of hole numbers that will be important to note if comparing notes from DDO. Hole 8 is now hole 10, hole 9 is now hole 8, and hole 10 is now hole 9. There are a few modifications for the FPO division on those holes. Finally, hole 7 will now be a par five for the FPO division.
Signature Hole: #1
It is not often that a signature hole measures less than 300 feet. The 290’ hole one was brutal in the severe winds of spring in Emporia. Its average round scores were 3.61, 3.31, 3.69, and 3.54 in the four rounds played at the Dynamic Discs Open. The island green has a small retaining wall in front that blocks shots that come in too low and artificial mulch on a postage stamp green that makes sticking the island difficult in the calmest of conditions. The course will now have a small wall behind the green to help catch shots that skipped off the green in the past. Miss the island, and you are left with a long circle two putt, severely downhill from the elevated basket with OB right behind the pin. It sets the tone for a player’s entire round and will be key to watch this week.
Here’s a primer on Jones Supreme from the course designer Eric McCabe1: