Disc golf elite come to Frisco for 2017 Peak One Championship from July 28-30
Think disc golf is only for lazy Sunday afternoons with your best buds and a dog?
This weekend, for the 15th year running, a stacked field of 115 amateur and professional disc golfers descends on the Peak One Disc Golf Course for the annual Peak One Championships. The three-day event includes two tournaments — amateurs on Saturday, pros on Sunday — along with a beer garden, a public long-drive contest, benefit play on Friday and more frolfing in 72 hours than most courses see all summer long. The whole thing is put on by the town of Frisco and Mile High Disc Golf Club, which combined its annual tournament with the now-defunct Mile High Classic a few years back to launch one of the largest disc tournaments in the central Rocky Mountains.
“The tournament has been happening in one form or fashion for the past 15 years, but we’ve been through a few incarnations,” said Mike Storrs, tournament director with MHDGC. “It’s grown and grown ever since then.”
Pros meet ams
And grow it has. The tournament sold out long before players arrived in Summit County, with a waitlist of 70 players hoping for an odd cancellation entry. In past years, organizers opened the tournament up to as many as 290 players, but now that the event is sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golfers Association as a B Tier tourney — one step below the highest level, A Tier, which is only granted to three tournaments per state, per season — Storrs and crew wanted to shrink the field.
The weekend kicks off on Friday with open practice from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration runs from 2-5 p.m. at the Frisco Nordic Center, along with qualifiers for the public long-drive contest at the tubing hill. At 5:30 p.m., the public is invited to play a round of random-draw doubles to benefit the family of Blake Bostic, a local chef who died following an altercation at Frisco’s Snowshoe Motel in 2014. Entry is $5 per player, with registration from 5-5:30 p.m.
Tournament play gets started on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with a shotgun start for amateur players. Disc golfers from every corner of the state are registered to play for custom trophies and bragging rights, while everyone who is entered leaves with swag galore: a tourney T-shirt, five discs of various sizes, lunch and a raffle ticket, plus the post-play party on Saturday.
What can ams expect on Saturday? A course that’s “challenging,” Storrs said, even though it’s not quite as challenging as it was before pine beetles decimated the terrain. The format is three rounds of 23 holes apiece, with winners of the men’s advanced title earning a paid entry for the 2017 Colorado Disc Golf Championships on the Western Slope from Sept. 1-4.
“It’s a course that will punish mistakes,” Storrs said. “You’ll see some low scores out there, but there will be a big spread from the middle of the field to the top of the field. We’ve got a challenging layout waiting for people this weekend.”
Big names, low scores
The big guns come out to play on Sunday, starting between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. with another shotgun start. As of now, the start list is a who’s who of the disc golf world: Colten Montgomery of Longmont, local boy Zane Levin of Breckenridge, defending champion Rob Nichols of Henderson, even Boulder’s Eagle McMahon, who’s one of the top-rated players in the world and worth $11,500 in prize earnings this season. The women’s pro field is light — just two players, Missy Gannon of Loveland and McKayla Thomas of Fort Collins — but the play still promises to be fierce. Top finishers will take home $600 to $700.
The weekend wraps up with the awards ceremony and long-drive finals, both held immediately after the pro tourney.
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