Professional Disc Golf Championships coming to SRU
Professional Disc Golf competitors Martin Handel (left) and Jamie Skiendziel, from Saint Thomas, Ontario, Canada, have earned invitations to compete in the World Championships Aug. 1-8. The duo recently stopped by Slippery Rock University to practice on the University's 18-hole course, which is the site for the championship finals.
July 8, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 400 of the top disc golf athletes on the planet are set to come to Slippery Rock University for the 2015 Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) world championships Aug. 1-8.
In addition to hosting the final round for all divisions at noon Aug. 8, SRU will also be the site of several preliminary and semifinal rounds throughout the week leading to the final round of competition. This is the first time in the tournament's history, which dates back to 1982, that the PDGA world championships will be held in western Pennsylvania."
"We are very excited about having the world disc golf championships at Slippery Rock University this year," said SRU President Cheryl Norton. "It will be a wonderful opportunity for our community to enjoy world-class disc golf in person. This year's championships will also be a great chance for the elite disc golfers of the world to experience a state-of-the-art-course, our beautiful campus and the warm and welcoming community of Slippery Rock."
In preparation for the world championships, SRU recently redesigned and expanded its nine-hole disc golf course into a full 18-hole course. The course is located in the Aebersold Student Recreation Center/James P. McFarland Recreational Sports Complex areas of campus. The par-66, 9,956-foot course is divided into three six-hole loops, offering a mixture of scenic and challenging holes ranging from open grass areas to wooded holes with varying elevation, wind and water hazards that will provide players with a true test of their skill. An overhead shot of the impressive course can be viewed here.
J. Gary Dropcho, a Pennsylvania Disc Golf Hall of Fame inductee and 2015 PDGA world championship tournament director, designed Slippery Rock's course and said that SRU was selected to host the championships for a variety of reasons.
"Slippery Rock has the existing infrastructure to support the event," Dropcho said. "We are expecting 1,000 spectators and 400 participants and Slippery Rock can easily handle those numbers. SRU is also conveniently located between the other courses hosting the opening rounds. Additionally, the course itself is optimal for showcasing the sport."
Preliminary round play will be Aug. 4-7 at four local courses: Slippery Rock University, Deer Lakes Park, Knob Hill Park and Moraine State Park. The top four players in each division at the end of preliminary round play advance to take part in a final nine-hole round at SRU Aug. 8 to decide one champion per division. A complete schedule breakdown of tee times and round locations can be found here.
All rounds are open to the public. There is no cost of admission or parking fee for any of the rounds played at Slippery Rock. Restrooms and concessions will also be available to the public. For those unable to attend, DiscGolfPlanet.tv is scheduled to broadcast from the championship throughout the week.
To date, 420 players are registered to compete in one of 12 divisions (Open-Men, Open-Women, Masters-Men, Masters-Women, Grandmasters-Men, Grandmasters-Women, Senior Grandmasters-Men, Senior Grandmasters-Women, Legends-Men, Legends-Women, Senior Legends-Men, Grand Legends-Men). To qualify for the 2015 PDGA world championships entrants must have reached a certain point threshold, differing per division, at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
This year's field includes 30 former champions as well as athletes from the U.S., Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Thailand. Last year $18,475 in prize winnings was distributed among the world champions in each division.
Disc golf rules are the same as traditional golf, but a flying disc or Frisbee substitute for the ball and clubs. The sport was formalized in the 1970's, and shares the object of completing each hole in the fewest disc throws. A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the "hole." For more information on disc golf visit www.pdga.com.
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