August 19, 2020 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with comments
Winthrop University has given Innova Discs the green light to run the 2020 United States Disc Golf Championship and Women’s National Championship at the Winthrop Gold course in October.
“We are good to go,” said USDGC Tournament Director Jonathan Poole.
Because the event is set to be held on a college campus, there were lingering doubts about whether or not Winthrop University would allow the event to take place, especially after delays to the start of the school year and the cancellation of Big South sports.
Given that the disc golf course is set on property alongside athletic fields, it may have actually made it easier for Winthrop to allow the tournament to move forward, since there won’t be nearly as many people around for athletics.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for all those student-athletes looking forward to their season, but for our situation, I think it helps,” said Poole.
Now that the uncertainty of whether the event will be able to continue is gone, the next stages of planning and preparation begin. Andrew Duvall, the current course designer at Winthrop Gold, will be working to prepare the course for USDGC — and for the Women’s National Championship. Different teepads and pin placements are already under consideration for some holes, and Poole has reached out to Paige Pierce, Catrina Allen, Sarah Hokom, and other FPO players that have played Winthrop Gold in the past for feedback on how to improve the layout for the FPO field.
Don’t be surprised to see changes to the MPO layout, too: last year’s new holes were panned by players.
Like most professional disc golf tournaments this year, USDGC and the WNC will be held without spectators and with none of the bells and whistles of the tournament in a normal season. There won’t be gatherings, a pro shop, live music, or other elements of the tournament that players and fans have come to enjoy.
“You show up, you get your temperature checked, there’s 15 minute tee time intervals, you play your round, and you get out of there,” said Poole.
There will still be a livestream of the tournament, though not as a part of the Disc Golf Pro Tour’s Disc Golf Network. USDGC made a two year commitment to their livestreaming provider, Vimeo, last year, so the broadcast will again be hosted on their site.
“Our plan is to have two distinctly different shows, because it’s two separate majors,” said Poole of the broadcast plan of the USDGC and WNC events. The women’s rounds are planned for the morning and the men’s for the afternoon. Fulcrum Media will return to produce the streams from each of the events after handling broadcasting duties each of the past two years. “There was never really a lot of doubt that we would have them back this year,” said Poole.
But aside from the players, media, and event staff, nobody will be allowed on site. “Our goal is going to be to run the event at 250 people or fewer,” said Poole.
The tournaments — the only majors in 2020 — are scheduled for October 7-10 in Rock Hill, SC.