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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to disc golf across the world, mirroring its impact across all sports. Throughout the world and to varying degrees, leagues and competitions have been cancelled or postponed.
Some public disc golf courses saw their baskets pulled out temporarily, as part of national, regional, and municipal containment measures such as quarantines and curfews (variously known as stay-at-home orders, shelter-in-place orders, or lockdowns). Nevertheless, as the pandemic progressed, most courses reopened, and some baseball parks set up a makeshift disc golf course to promote the sport, following the cancellation of professional baseball events across the United States.
During the pandemic, there was an increased interest in the sport,partly due to the fact that many disc golf courses remained open – unlike most sports facilities – and partly because disc golf is largely a socially distant sport.
On 6 March, five days before the World Health Organization classified the spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic,the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) issued its first statement about the COVID-19 outbreak to announce that it was "evaluating its potential impact on [its] membership across 43 countries on six continents, as well as disc golfers everywhere" and encouraged tournament directors to follow the directives of local authorities when making decisions related to their events.
On 11 March 2020, The College Disc Golf National Championship, a PDGA Major competition set to take place from 1–4 April at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, was one of the first major disc golf events to be postponed indefinitely.
On 13 March, the PDGA announced that PDGA-sanctioned tournaments will still be allowed in areas where they have not been banned.
On 18 March 2020 the International Disc Golf Center, serving as the PDGA headquarters, was closed to both staff and visitors until 6 April 2020, together with its three adjacent disc golf courses and pro shop.The next day, the PDGA amended temporarily section 1.03 "Withdrawals and Refunds" of the PDGA Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events to guarantee fair cancellations for both organizers and participants.
On 19 March 2020, Release Point reached out to Robert Jonas, professor at Texas Lutheran University, and published an article endorsing the continuation of play:
playing a round solo or with cohabitants at a course that is not seeing high traffic levels would be both relatively safe and ethical.
The article also answered safety questions and made sanitation recommendations for disc golfers who, in light of the pandemic, found themselves with more free time than usual for playing disc golf.
The following day, disc golf think tank Parked tackled the issue of baskets,which were thought to be a transmission vector for the virus, based on a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine about the virus's decay rate on various surfaces, such as metal baskets and plastic discs.
On 23 March 2020, the PDGA asked its members and the entire disc golf community to avoid going to disc golf courses.The next day, the association launched a social media campaign asking its members to "Skip The Course. Stay Home." It also encouraged the disc golf community to share pictures and videos of homemade baskets and practice throws online using the "#discgolffromhome" hashtag. Prominent professional disc golfers including Simon Lizotte also participated.
By 16 April 2020, the PDGA had temporarily furloughed more than half of its staff members and contract support in response to the pandemic. The remaining staff worked remotely and prioritized COVID-19 coordination efforts.
On 17 April 2020, the PDGA suspended event sanctioning through 31 May. All PDGA Major and PDGA National Tour events originally scheduled through July 31, 2020 were postponed.
On 6 May 2020, the PDGA reverted its stance on staying home altogether. Board of Directors president Justin Menickelli posted a "Letter on Responsible Recreation" with guidelines for "returning to the course for casual play," since sanctioned events were still postponed until 31 May.In his letter, he stressed the importance of following recommendations from local health authorities, and reminded players to adhere to common sense measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
5 Steps to Reinstate Event Sanctioning
- A government authority must issue directives that allow organized, competitive sporting events to resume.
- PDGA verifies government directives in cooperation with member-elected State and Provincial Coordinators and appointed Country Coordinators.
- Upon verification, sanctioning becomes available in that geographic area.
- PDGA will notify event directors in that geographic area, who must agree to government directives and PDGA Requirements for Competition During COVID-19.
- Sanctioning is reinstated for individual events.
On 14 May, the PDGA announced that it would begin phasing in event sanctioning on a regional basis using a five-step process. As a result, all events scheduled after 14 May 2020 were placed into reserved status with sanctioning pending, and would later be allowed to run "as soon as local directives permit organized, competitive sporting events to resume". The same day, Arkansas, Iceland, and Norway were the first regions to resume tournament sanctioning.
Several news outlets reported that disc golf was gaining traction as a form of outdoor recreation compatible with social distancing mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Infinite Discs and Discraft noted an increase in sales during the pandemic and reported difficulty in maintaining their inventory levels because of disruptions in the supply chain caused by the crisis.Sales of disc golf baskets, discs, and other equipment increased during the pandemic and exceeded most manufacturers' production capacity. The Discmania Store's Summer 2020 Mystery Box release was delayed for a month. Most disc golf retailers turned to online sales exclusively when they were forced to close their brick-and-mortar locations and operations.
With the cancellation of baseball events across the United States, several baseball parks set up a makeshift disc golf course and organized disc golf events during the pandemic.Notable ones include the 9-hole Bubba Watson's Diamond Disc Golf Challenge at the Admiral Fetterman Field in Pensacola, Florida, the 12-hole course at the Charlotte Knights' Truist Field stadium, and the 9-hole Diamond Disc Golf presented by Woodfin event at The Diamond stadium in Richmond, Virginia, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
The 2020 Australian Disc Golf Championships were cancelled as a result of COVID-19.On 18 March 2020, Australian Disc Golf suspended all ADG-sanctioned events, including all A, B, C and X tier tournaments and league, until 18 May 2020.
On 13 March 2020, the Finnish Disc Golf Association (FDGA, Finnish : Suomen frisbeegolfliitto) announced that all PDGA-sanctioned events in Finland would be cancelled or postponed through 5 April 2020.
On 20 March 2020, in light of a national lockdown, the Liga Latających Talerzy postponed its regular meetings and competitions, and considered organizing remote tournaments, whereby players would play individually and trust other players to keep track of their own score.With the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, events resumed on 24 May 2020. On 21 May 2020, Disc Golf Poland posted a notice deploring the state of the COVID-19 situation and how the government's response impacted disc golf in Poland.
The virus was confirmed to have reached Sweden on 31 January 2020, when a woman returning from Wuhan tested positive. The first death was reported on 11 March in Stockholm. Unlike many other countries, Sweden did not impose a generalized lockdown. Nevertheless, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Swedish : Folkhälsomyndigheten), the government agency responsible for managing the pandemic, issued several bans, as the crisis evolved.
On 27 March 2020, the Swedish government announced a ban on public gatherings and public events (such as sports competitions) with more than 50 participants. On 29 May 2020, the Swedish Disc Golf Association (Swedish : Svenska Discgolfförbundet) made official recommendations based on directives by the Swedish Sports Confederation (Swedish : Riksidrottsförbundet, RF) and the Swedish Police Authority (Swedish : Polismyndigheten).
On 16 April 2020, the Federal Council announced that businesses referred to in article 6, al. 3, of Order 2 COVID-19 would be authorized to reopen starting 27 April 2020, provided that they draft a COVID-19 protection plan (in Swiss Standard German :Schutzkonzept, French : Plan de protection). On 26 April 2020, the Swiss Disc Golf Association published the German-language version of its COVID-19 protection plan, and a French-language translation by Disc Golf Genève President Yannick Fernandez and Vice-president Emile Barbe followed suit a week later.
On 29 May 2020, the Swiss Federal Office of Sport, the Federal Office of Public Health, and the Swiss Olympic Association published updated graphics in German and French with new directives for resuming competitions in Switzerland, effective 6 June 2020. 2 metres (6.6 ft) of social distancing when possible, and sick players were banned from training and competitions.Per the new directives, sporting events were capped to 300 people, attendance lists were required for facilitating contact tracing, players were required to keep
The Junior Disc Golf Association (J.D.G.A) amended its rulebook by adding Section 7.1, which includes rules pertaining to COVID-19 safety. 99 °F (37 °C) are forbidden from play, and parents must report to a J.D.G.A official if a player is diagnosed with COVID-19.Per the new rules, all matches and events will take place outdoors, high fives and disc sharing are forbidden, and cards will be limited to 5 people, with officials ideally aiming for 3 people. Players with a fever above
On 13 March, the 2020 Dynamic Discs Glass Blown Open (GBO) was officially cancelled. The organizers later announced that the event would unfold from 28 April to 2 May per the initial schedule, but as a virtual event instead.
On 20 May 2020, a week after four out of six PDGA National Tour events were postponed or cancelled, the PDGA announced that the last two events of tour will be cancelled (the 2020 Delaware Disc Golf Challenge and the 2020 Music City Open). The Tour itself was delayed until 2021 amid uncertainty regarding sanctioning and minimal staff.Four of the PDGA Euro Tour's tournaments were cancelled, and one was postponed. The Disc Golf Pro Tour resumed after a hiatus on 13 March.
The United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC) unfolded on 7–10 October 2020 as scheduled originally, but no spectators were allowed on site, and smaller events were suspended: Opening and Closing ceremonies, Big Arm Big Heart Distance Showcase, EDGE (Education Disc Golf Experience) Learning Village, Competitor and Fan Hospitality Areas, and Tournament Pro Shop On-Site.The 2020 Throw Pink Women's Event was rescheduled for 11 October, and it included precautionary measures including COVID-19 screening at the entrance, limiting the size of clinic groups to 4 people, and requiring facemasks except when actively throwing.
|Event||Location||Original schedule||Announcement||New schedule|
|2020 Texas State Disc Golf Championships||Tyler, Texas||26–29 March||13 March||Cancelled|
|2020 College Disc Golf National Championship (CDGNC)||Rock Hill, South Carolina||1–4 April||11 March,||Cancelled|
|2020 Spring Forester||Varaždin, Croatia||10–12 April||13 March||Cancelled|
|2020 Jonesboro Open||Jonesboro, Arkansas||17–19 April||Mid-March||1-3 October|
|2020 Dynamic Discs Glass Blown Open (GBO)||Emporia, Kansas||28 April–2 May||13 March, 17 March||28 April-2 May (virtual)|
|2020 Australian Disc Golf Championships||Inverleigh, Victoria||-||14 June||Cancelled|
|2020 Santa Cruz Masters Cup presented by Innova Disc Golf||Santa Cruz, California||15–17 May||16 March||Cancelled|
|2020 PDGA United States Amateur Disc Golf Championships (USADGC)||Milford, Michigan||5–7 June||17 March||Cancelled|
|2020 PDGA Professional Disc Golf World Championships||Ogden, Utah||13–20 June||17 March||To be announced|
|2020 Beaver State Fling||Estacada, Oregon||26–28 June||17 March||To be announced|
|2020 PDGA Junior Disc Golf World Championships||Emporia, Kansas||8–11 July||17 March||Cancelled|
|2020 European Open||Nokia, Finland||16–19 July||17 March||To be announced|
|2020 PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships||Orlando, Florida||25 July–1 August||17 March||To be announced|
|2020 United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC)||Rock Hill, South Carolina||7–10 October||18 September||Original schedule; scaled-down; no on-site spectators|
Disc golf is a flying disc sport in which players throw a disc at a target; it is played using rules similar to golf. Most disc golf discs are made out of polypropylene plastic, otherwise known as polypropene, which is a thermoplastic polymer resin used in a wide variety of applications. Discs are also made using a variety of other plastic types that are heated and molded into individual discs. The sport is usually played on a course with 9 or 18 holes. Players complete a hole by throwing a disc from a tee pad or area toward a target, known as a basket, throwing again from where the previous throw landed, until the basket is reached. Usually, the number of throws a player uses to reach each basket is tallied, and players seek to complete each hole in the lowest number of total throws.
DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course, commonly known as "DeLa", is a world-renowned 29-hole disc golf course in the hills of DeLaveaga Park above Santa Cruz, California. It boasts one of the original long disc golf courses, with some holes measuring more than 500 feet in length. The 27th hole, known as "Top of the World," is one of the most famous holes in disc golf; the tee box is situated nearly 600 feet from the pin—and 100 feet above it. DeLaveaga placed #10 on Release Point's 2019 list of World's Best Disc Golf Courses.
Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) is a membership organization dedicated to the promotion and sustainable growth of disc golf. It promotes the sport through player participation, tournament development, spectator participation, course development, rules and competitive standards, media and sponsor relations, and public education and outreach.
John Houck was born May 15, 1960 in Long Beach, California. He has designed more Championship disc golf courses than anyone living today. Since 1983, he has been devoted to the evolution and promotion of disc sports, including golf, ultimate, and freestyle, with a focus on the growth of disc golf since 1988.
The United States Disc Golf Championship is a disc golf tournament held at the Winthrop Gold Course, on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The professional event has been held annually as a PDGA sanctioned Major since 1999. Along with the PDGA World Championships, it is one of the most prestigious major tournaments in disc golf. The primary sponsor for the event since its beginnings in 1999 has been Innova Champion Discs, a prominent disc manufacturer. Ken Climo currently holds a record five US Disc Golf Championships. The 2016 USDGC champion, Jeremy "Big Jerm" Koling, was leading the tournament after the third round. He was declared the winner when the fourth round was canceled due to inclement weather produced by Hurricane Matthew.
The PDGA World Championship is one of several major championships in the sport of disc golf, along with the United States Disc Golf Championship. Held annually since 1982, the event crowns world champions in several divisions in the professional disc golf fields. Since 1983, male and female competitors have played at the same venue every year.
Nikko Locastro is a professional disc golf player from St. Louis, Missouri. He has been playing the sport professionally since 2006. As of December 2020, Locastro is ranked 15th in the world, and has the 25th highest rating, currently at 1030. In 2009, and then again in 2010, he broke Barry Schultz's season winnings record. He was previously sponsored by Gateway Disc Golf, Dynamic Discs, Innova Discs, and Prodigy Disc. He is currently sponsored by Westside Discs. In 2011, Locastro was awarded the Player of the Year award, for the third consecutive year.
David Feldberg is an American professional disc golfer, tournament director, and team manager at Latitude 64. At the end of the 2017 season, he was the 45th ranked disc golfer in the world. Feldberg is one of the most successful disc golfers in the sport's history, having won 6 unique majors, second all time.
Paul McBeth is an American professional disc golfer from Huntington Beach, California. He won the PDGA World Championships four times in a row and again in 2019, making him a five-time champion. He has not finished outside the top 2 at a World championship for the past 9 years. McBeth was the top rated player of the PDGA in 2015, 2017, 2018, and again in 2019.
Paige Pierce is a professional disc golfer from Plano, Texas. She has won 5 World Championships and 15 total Major Championships, and has been consistently ranked among the top professional women since 2011. In 2018 she broke the record for the highest PDGA player rating a woman had ever achieved at 978. Since then she has broken her own record several times, most recently at 996 rated in March 2021 Her current rating as of August 2021 is 988. She is currently sponsored by Discraft.
Toronto Island Park Disc Golf Course is a world-class 18-hole disc golf course located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Set on the western side of Ward's Island, the course offers a picturesque view of the Toronto skyline and was one of 12-time PDGA World Champion Ken Climo's favorite courses. It was established in 1980 by Toronto Island Disc Golf Experience (TIDE) in partnership with the City of Toronto Parks Department and expanded in 2017 by Christopher Lowcock. Toronto Island Park Disc Golf Course hosted the Disc Golf World Championships in 1987.
Disc golf was first invented in the early 1900s. The first game was held in Bladworth, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1926. Ronald Brandon Cain and a group of his Bladworth Elementary School buddies played a game of throwing tin lids into 4 foot wide circles drawn into sandy patches on their school grounds. They called the game Tin Lid Golf and played on a fairly regular basis. However, after they grew older and went their separate ways, the game came to an end. It was not until the 1970s that modern disc golf would be introduced to Canadians at the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in Toronto and Vancouver, BC.
UDisc is a disc golf app for scorekeeping, statistics, and discovery for smartphones and tablet computers running the Android or iOS operating system. The app is also compatible with Android's Wear OS and Apple Watch.
Schmitten Discgolf Parcours is a seasonal 18-hole disc golf course located in Zell am See, Austria. The course is set on a ski slope and progresses downhill. The first hole is 1,830 metres (6,000 ft) above sea level and the last hole is 430 metres (1,410 ft) lower. Established on 15 June 2009, it was the first disc golf course in Austria and the 3,000th course to be added to the PDGA Course Directory. It is open for free to players who purchased a valid cable car ticket.
Disc golf is a popular sport in the United States played at the recreational, club, and international competition levels.
The COVID-19 pandemic was publicly reported to have reached the U.S. state of Maine on March 12, 2020. As of October 2, 2021, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services reported 65,294 confirmed cases and 26,174 probable cases in the state, with 1,026 deaths attributed to the virus.
Eagle Wynne McMahon is an American professional disc golfer from Boulder, Colorado. Mcmahon is currently sponsored by Discmania Golf Discs, and alongside Simon Lizotte, he is their top player. McMahon is a former number one ranked Disc Golf player in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the conduct of sports in the Philippines affecting both competitive sports leagues and tournaments and recreational sports.
Disc golf is a popular sport in Finland played at the recreational, club, and international competition levels.
Disc golf is a popular sport in Estonia, where it is played at the recreational, club, and international competition levels.
Wahoos Stadium has also been doubling (tripling? quadrupling?) as a disc-golf course designed by Bubba himself and will this weekend host an on-field screening of Frozen 2.
Corps of Engineers updates preventative measures in place for COVID-19 at Barre Falls Dam
Barre, Mass. – In accordance with the most recent Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Stay-At-Home and Safe Practices Advisory, the following COVID-19 measures continue at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Barre Falls Dam, Barre, Mass.
- The Barre Falls Dam Disc Golf Course is closed to the public until further notice.[...]
In addition to the group size limitation, these traditional USDGC elements have been suspended for 2020: Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Big Arm Big Heart Distance Showcase, EDGE (Education Disc Golf Experience) Learning Village, Competitor and Fan Hospitality Areas, Tournament Pro Shop On-Site
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Championship and delay the start of the 2020-2021 Season.