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National Disc Golf Day Returns With Virtual Tournament

July 27, 2020

2020 hasn’t exactly gone as planned, right? But we’re hoping to bring the spirit back a bit this weekend with another annual installment of our favorite celebration: National Disc Golf Day, which takes place on Saturday, August 1.

And to make up for some of this year’s heartache, we’ve decided to extend the festivities with a weekend-long virtual tournament that will bring together every disc golfer in America on the same leaderboard.

Fifth Annual National Disc Golf Day Takes on New Significance Amidst Global Health Crisis

Since 2016, the first Saturday in August has been celebrated throughout the United States as National Disc Golf Day. This year, as the sport grapples with a pandemic that shuttered competition for months and continues to have a wide-ranging impact, the August 1 holiday takes on greater significance: a unique opportunity to showcase disc golf’s universal appeal and accessibility to a large nationwide audience at a moment when there is unprecedented demand for safe, inexpensive outdoor recreation.

The sport’s inclusion on the popular National Day Calendar was the result of an effort led by Throw Pink Co-founder Sara Nicholson and Minnesota PDGA State Coordinator Jason Wilder who, in consultation with disc golf legends Dan “Stork” Roddick #003, Jim Palmeri #023, and Tom Monroe #033, chose early August for its significance to the sport dating back to the legendary 1974 American Flying Disc Open.

After a rigorous application process in which they were tasked with demonstrating disc golf’s organizational and historical bona fides, Nicholson and Wilder’s bid was selected as one of only 30 honorees from the 18,000-odd proposals received each year by the National Day Calendar Committee.

“It was an exciting day when I received the email from the National Calendar folks,” Nicholson said. “It felt like a big win for the future of the sport – being recognized outside of the disc golf world on a site that over 3 million people (per year) were visiting.”

The National Day Calendar organization says that over 20,000 media outlets have sourced stories from their website and that, “as the #1 trending topic of all time on social media, National Day Calendar offers a powerful media mix of digital, radio, social media and television news platforms that reach a hyper-engaged audience of celebrators across the United States and around the globe.”

This year the PDGA is helping to promote National Disc Golf Day by partnering with tournament directors to shine a spotlight on local clubs and events and spread the word that disc golf is an affordable, safe activity for new participants, families, and anyone looking to get their competitive juices flowing.

“It seems that there is a boom in new disc golfers right now,” Nicholson added. “People need something to bring them joy with so many stressful things happening in the world, and disc golf is doing just that.”

Virtual Tournament Added For 2020

Sure, we want all disc golfers to head out to the course on National Disc Golf Day. But at the PDGA, competition is what we do. 

With that in mind, we’re happy to introduce the 2020 National Disc Golf Day Virtual Tournament.

How’s it work? Simple: if you’re playing a PDGA-sanctioned tournament from Friday, July 31 to Sunday August 2 – which we’re now dubbing National Disc Golf Weekend – you’re in, so long as you have a round on Saturday. That includes everything from a one-day flex-start to a three-day, elite-level A-Tier. If you’re a TD, you don’t have to do anything different to have your tournament on the list. Just do your thing and technology  will handle the rest.

From there, we’ll take competitors’ average PDGA round ratings and stack them up against every player in that division across the United States that weekend. It’s a callback to 2011’s Global Disc Golf Tournament and our small way to bring a little much-needed unity to the table. 

Plus, we’re hoping it might encourage the creation of a couple more tournaments. That’s what PDGA Director of Technology Steve Ganz and Board Member Mike Sullivan did when they put together National Disc Golf Day at Clark’s Run and National Disc Golf Day at Bluemont Park, a pair of low-cost, high-fun C-Tiers.

“We noticed there were no tournaments in all of Virginia that day,” Ganz said. “So we decided to do something about it and each of us sanctioned a one-round flex-start event so our local communities had somewhere to celebrate National Disc Golf Day.”

Billed as “no frills, just disc golf!” each tournament sports a $5 entry fee and will adhere to the PDGA’s COVID-19 protocols  

That adds nicely to the 3,630 participants currently on the virtual leaderboard across 27 divisions. We’ll see you on the course this weekend – no matter where in the States you are.

What Is Disc Golf?

Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with more than 10,000 courses in existence and two professional-level tours. The sport is played using the same general rules, terminology, and etiquette as golf, but with different equipment; the player throws an aerodynamically shaped flying disc into a standardized target that usually features metal chains. The objective, just as in golf, is to play in as few throws of the disc as possible.

Leagues on National Disc Golf Day – Saturday, August 1st

Tournaments on National Disc Golf Day – Saturday, August 1st

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