Interview – Thomas Gilbert

Thomas Gilbert is a Canadian Disc Golfer currently touring on the DGPT and PDGA National Tour. Thomas was Innova-sponsored for quite some time but has found a new and terrific home with new sponsor; Prodigy Discs. His content can be found in live coverage rounds, tutorials and more across various YouTube channels like his own, Jomez Pro, Gatekeeper Media, GKPro, True North Disc Golf and others.

Did you have a sports background prior to disc golf?

Growing up I played a ton of sports. I was on all kinds of school sports teams such as cross country, volleyball, soccer, swimming, badminton, tennis, track and Field, baseball, and of course Ultimate Frisbee.

Do you recall what course or even the hole you were on when you fell in love with disc golf? Can you tell us about when that happened?

I can remember it was hole 15 at ET Seton disc golf course, Henrik Londen showed me how to do a proper reach back and I then proceeded to throw the disc twice as far as I ever had before, and I was hooked.

What are the Thomas Gilbert top three tips for players doing most of their throwing on wooded courses?

  1. Know your discs stability 
  2. Throw the shots that best shape the gap
  3. Be confident in you ability to execute the shot

You can throw well over 600ft at will with a lot of discs but, everyone has that first disc that really started to make distance more exciting. Which disc was that for you as a newer player?

Blizzard destroyers used to bomb for me! 

Where does accuracy come into play when it comes to learning how to throw further?


I think it’s much easier to learn how to throw far first and then learn to narrow down the accuracy. If you fine tune your whole form first that will make it harder to change the muscle memory to throw farther. 

You had advice from some of the biggest names in disc golf on how to switch manufacturers when you switched from Innova to Prodigy earlier this year. What would you say was one challenge that you didn’t see coming in the process even after all the support?

Trying to find some of the discs that were necessary for my arm speed and for the shots that these pros were throwing.

Many current and former Prodigy athletes also reached out to you with discs at the time of the move, can you share some of the best of the bunch and whom they came from?

Chris Dickerson reached out really early to give me a bunch of early run D1’s and D2’s, Kevin Jones also gave me a bunch of good runs of his drivers, Jeremy Koling gave me what he had left of his tournament bag from when he was with prodigy, and several other pros gave a few discs here and there from their backups.

You have likely played a high number of Canada’s disc golf courses from the most beautiful to the average park and beyond. Can you give us your top three courses Canada-wide but also a true underrated hidden gem?

May be an image of 2 people, people standing, outerwear and tree
Thomas with pint-sized pro; Nikko Forbes

I would say Canada’s top three courses are Hillcrest Farms in PEI, Raptors Knoll in BC, and Project 15 in Ontario. A hidden gem is probably going to be Dad‘s of Muskoka, it’s a really fun pitch and putt course that is really pretty. 

You play every event you play with the best players on the planet and some of the best all-time, is it inevitable that the form and technique between world-class players with influence each other?

Definitely, I would say that a lot of pros, especially up and comers, have molded their form of some of the legendary players of the sport. We can all see something that a certain player does that works really well and test out whether that form can possibly work with our throws.

I am sure some Canadian disc golfer might want to know..Are there any notable hockey fans across the PDGA field?

Any pros from Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Five things you miss the most about Canada while touring the US and Europe most of the year?

I miss the summer weather, my local disc golf friends, my family, free healthcare, and home cooked meals! 

Many Canadians go on disc golf vacations and enjoy playing outside of Canada. What three parts of the world should Canadians consider visiting for the area’s disc golf and tourist attractions when it becomes safe to travel again?

I would highly recommend going to Portland, OR for amazing amazing courses they have, Santa Cruz is a really fun area to play disc golf and hang out, and finally the dream location would be in Nokia, Finland to play The Beast and Tampere disc golf park. 

Ready to rip!

Every disc golfer needs a swiss army knife / jack of all trades type disc. Which disc in your bag has that job currently and what flight characteristics make for a good disc for this slot in general?

The FX2 has been my utility disc so far with Prodigy, I can use it for forehands backhands skip shots. 

Looking past the COVID-19 struggles, do you feel the sport will continue to grow when the world and it’s regular activities resume? If so, how do you feel TDs should tackle the boom in demand for tournaments?

I think disc golf will continue to grow a tonne once the pandemic is over. I think this growth has gotten the ball rolling and more and more players will discover the sport from the players that have this past year and a half. I think TDs will need to tackle the boom of demand by opening up their events to tee times or three day weekends to increase field sizes. 

We want to humbly thank Thomas for his time! Be sure to follow him on the following social media links! YouTube, Facebook, Instagram! Prodigy Disc Golf

SNDG Social media?

These days, the world seems to operate through social media but websites are still a crucial part of the internet world. Chasing information down on various social media platforms can be a task, especially now with a building population trying to unplug themselves from the worlds of Facebook, Instagram etc. For a long time in fact, it seemed like if you weren’t on Facebook, you would get no information as it became the major highway with websites being seen as obsolete to some.

We have chosen to do a hub-style website so that anyone and everyone out there can access all the information about disc golf taking place above the mighty Lake Superior in one spot. No need for an account or logging into anything, just simply stop by, get what you need, hang out a bit and all without needing to sift through a newsfeed or clutter.

Social media platforms also take more work to properly maintain than most people think so the decision was simple to only devote our volunteer time to a single hub type resource. Those however that would like to get more involved with Thunder Bay Disc Golf are definitely welcome in the Birch Point Disc Golf Course group that covers not just BPDGC but all things Thunder Bay DG related.

The BPDG group is a great way to find other locals to play with, ask questions about local courses or even put up a post about a disc that sailed its way into Boulevard Lake! See you there!

See you at the BPDGC Facebook page!

Experience Minnesota & Wisconsin Disc Golf

Thunder Bay has four very nice courses for local players to choose from but there comes a time for most disc golfers when curiosity starts to build about what sort of courses might exist outside of their community. It’s not so much about being bored with the courses immediately available because there are always ways to switch things up to make even the simplest of courses fresh for any player. The need to explore and throw new territory is just part of the disc golf process for most.

Nearly anyone and everyone living in or from this area has spent some amount of time in Minnesota. Duluth and Minneapolis have long been very popular weekend getaway locations for northwestern Ontario residents. You name the reason; concerts, shopping, NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA, UFC, WWE and a million other things mixed with a short drive distance has always made the area a magnet. Heck, sometimes people just go for the food! Well, the next time there are plans to head down for any reason, we recommend that everyone pack their disc golf stuff.

When the borders open and travel becomes safe again, disc golfers from Thunder Bay and the surrounding areas have two full states next door packed full of some of the planet’s best and top-rated disc golf courses. What would you say if I told you that between Tbay and the nearby well-known Duluth MN, there are nearly 20 courses to play. Yes, that’s right, if you live in Thunder Bay, you have 20+ courses are just about a 3-hr drive away from your front door.

Airborn Disc Golf Reserve

Moving outside Duluth and the 3-hr marker to within 6-8 hours drive distance, both states have some of the best courses in the world available. A list that includes top level professional level courses like The Airborn Disc Golf Preserve, Giant’s Ridge, The Valley, Highbridge Hills Disc Golf Megaplex, uDisc’s highest rated course; Blue Ribbon Pines and so many others. All these courses and we haven’t even touched on all the mid-level pro spots, recreactional 9-hole courses and others that can be found in the same communities.

These states and their courses are not legendary for only providing a disc golf experience for professional level players, that would limit their use to a small % of players. Every course mentioned has at very least short tees with some of them having three sets of tees or dual basket locations for a wide range of skill sets. Several of the properties mentioned also feature more than one course so the value of trips to these areas is very high for any level of player.

Disc golf road trips and vacations can be enjoyable for players of any skill range but it can also create a bit of frustration for any player if things aren’t guided. Not knowing the course alone can make any course a struggle for even the best disc golfer so taking on a brand new course as a beginner can be easier with some local assistance. Finding local players from the various areas to guide a round is usually pretty easy through various means of social media. Often times, local clubs and courses will have Facebook pages that can make reaching out for some help pretty simple.

PDGA-members can also get a lot more value out of their membership by registering for any one of the giant number of events that take place across the two beautiful states and their courses. Several players from our region have had a great time competing in events across the border. Anyone looking for a local perspective will likely find more than a few players in Thunder Bay that can lend some thoughts on course suggestions, places to stay near the courses and more.

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Highbridge Hills Disc Golf Megaplex

Players from Minnesota have often compared the courses in the Thunder Bay region to the courses they see at home in their areas. This is mostly due to the very similar heavily forested environment that links the regions together across the border. As a result, the courses are for the most part a blend of tightly wooded to open and wooded designs. Thunder Bay’s courses provide local disc golfers with a great training ground for trips down to MN and WI.

Airborn Disc Golf Preserve

Suggestions / Recommendations:

We talked to a couple MN regulars and a course designer about the region and while doing so we asked for some handy tips and suggestions. Having played the region ourselves in the past we also have a few things to share from a travelling perspective.

A major suggestion for trips to these areas is to ensure to plan and pack for tough terrain. Good footwear is simply a must for disc golf on any terrain in our opinion. The terrain and playing time on many MN and WI courses can be a bit tough on players so being dressed properly is always a plus. Packing sunblock, water, a snack, good quality bug dope and other things into a disc golf bag can be a little bit different for some players but these are all must-have items for long courses / long days.

BUGS! The bugs in northwestern Ontario are well known for being pretty tough to deal with at times but there’s something about the northern Minnesota insect population that just seems a bit more aggressive and active. Leave the skin-so-soft and other watered down bug repellents at home, they won’t be too effective. Instead, buy and pack the strong stuff or for those that want the moonshine of bug dopes, the USA is a lot more relaxed on deet content (please research deet before using).

A Statistical Breakdown Of Blue Ribbon Pines | Ultiworld Disc Golf
Blue ribbon pines

What Is Disc Golf Etiquette?

Disc golf if one of the most relaxed sports out there to play in each and every way. Part of what gives the sport that allure is the etiquette and conduct involved that have been written into the sport from the beginning.

Learning the ropes, dos, don’ts, rights, wrongs and never-evers of a new sport can be intimidating for anyone. Never mind just sports, the whole “this is new” learning curve applies everywhere for all of us. New schools, new jobs, new relationships, new cities and many other new things can involve some time to get settled, it’s only natural. That said, those on new soil always need to do their due diligence to get the lay of the land and adapt to their new surroundings to succeed.

We wanted to repost some of our favourite resources for helping new players get accustomed to the ins and outs of conduct on the course. Let’s get it started with our favourite NO B.S type teacher; Scott Stokely!

Additional info

For those that prefer to read instead of watch or just for additional info, please see the following links for a lot more detail on the subject.

Lastly, we would like to add a very simple top 10 list of our own that doesn’t require a lot of detail

  1. Wait for pedestrians at all times, if you aren’t 100% sure, wait longer
  2. Don’t litter, everything you brought in, you bring out
  3. Let quicker players / groups play through
  4. If you are playing music, keep the volume reasonable and profanity minimal
  5. Don’t turn away from your shots, watch your disc until it stops moving
  6. If you are smoking, vaping etc, do it where it does not affect other players
  7. Know the basic rules of the game and always be actively trying to learn more
  8. Call or text the number if you find a disc, leaving it in a basket doesn’t help
  9. Do not speak suddenly or make a loud noise when another player is throwing
  10. Dogs are welcome but please ensure they are leashed, behaved and cleaned up after

Interview – Kat Mertsch

Kat Mertsch is an American FPO player competing on the DGPT and PDGA National Tour. Kat is currently sponsored by Innova and has also been part of the Dynamic Discs roster in the past. She won the PDGA’s rookie of the year in 2020 and holds a 911 rating (as of April 2021). Instagram: @the_legit_kat

Tell us about the first time you stepped onto a disc golf course. Were you a natural
or was there a few stray throws that day?

The first time I stepped on a course, I had no idea what I was doing. I was straight trash honestly. But I threw a forehand one day and it flew real nice so I think I had a natural forehand. Still though, most shots went wild.

Did you have an athletic background prior to disc golf, if so, which sports and how did your past athletics help propel your disc golf progress?

I played in a decent amount of sports in high school but golf was the family sport. My dad was real into ball golf before lost his leg. Like really into it. He would always try to get my brothers to take it serious and stuff.

My brother, Wedge, did a little bit. I remember growing up, we had this cup with an arch way big enough for a ball to go through and we would try to hit the ball through it. It was dope but other than that I played basketball, soft ball, track, and cross country. I had a great basketball coach that taught me how to dig deep and push through anything and I think that’s helped me a bit.

Everyone has that moment where they throw noticeably further for the first time.
What disc was in your hand and what change in your technique had you been
working on?

I don’t really remember what disc it was but when I figured out how to throw
backhand I could kinda launch it out there. I just started to really change my
technique like last week. In my run up, I kept moving the disc way too much so my
boyfriend suggested keeping the disc in my power pocket until I was ready to reach
back. There has been some improvement so far and I feel like I could gain more
control with it.

Commit to your shot. A majority of the time if you miss your line on any wooded course, it’s probably going to be a bad deal. At least it is for me anyway..

Your brother; Wedge Mertsch also plays at the professional level. How much has his
advice and game influenced yours over the years and what do you feel is the most
valuable trait in your game that came from him?

Wedge has always pushed me to do well with disc golf. I think the most important
thing he has ever told me to do was to be humble. He’s done a good job of helping
me mentally through the majority of it. Wedge can play some good disc golf too.

He’s got a super gnarly forehand and a good amount of distance on his backhands. When
his putting is on, he is the best putter in the world. I believe he could make it on tour
with ease. I’d say my whole game is kinda inspired by my brother’s play. He taught
me how to forehand and putt. Everything I got, beside the backhand, I got from my
brother.

Just how crucial do you feel field practice is to not only learning new skills but also
maintaining your strengths? Additionally, do you think players can improve, only
playing course rounds?

Field practice is the best thing to do to gain consistency and control of your frisbees.
It gives you a chance to practice certain shots that may need work on. You can gain
so much knowledge from just going out to a field. When it comes to if I think players
can improve only playing course rounds, it comes down to the player and what they
think is the best for them and their progress. Everyone gets better in their own way
and everyone practices differently.

The PDGA national tour and DGPT take players through some of the most beautiful
and technical wooded courses in the world. What three tips above all can you throw
at players doing most of their throwing in the forest?

  • Enjoy the scenery. The woods hold the most beauty.
  • Commit to your shot. A majority of the time if you miss your line on any wooded
    course, it’s probably going to be a bad deal. At least it is for me anyways.
  • Get in enough practice rounds. Try to have a decent idea what to do from anywhere.

On the spot, picture it mentally; you are standing at hole #1 of the hardest course you have ever played and you have to throw a whole round with only one disc. What course is it and what disc are you taking with you on this journey?

I’d take my blue bottom stamped Innova Destroyer. That’s like my favorite disc to
throw. It always comes back.

As a newer or even intermediate player, finding a putter that really seems to provide confidence can be really tough even if form isn’t as much the issue. Which putter was the first to provide that confidence for you when you started?

Just a classic Aviar. I loved it the minute I held it. And I still do.

You won the PDGA’s Rookie Of The Year honours in 2020, how did that feel and can you tell us about how it matched up to some of your other career highlights?

I worked hard for it so it felt extremely satisfying. I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve
done so far. I don’t think it really matched up to anything I’ve done. It’s a good one to
get.

Many of the best courses in disc golf are fairly well known by the sport’s enthusiasts but what about a few seriously awesome hidden gems according to Kat Mertsch?

Persimmon Ridge and Pine Valley are two courses in Arkansas that I absolutely love. They are both long and beautiful. Pine Valley has some big tall pine trees that add some difficulty to it. But I love them.

If you were to rely on only movies to roughly describe your personal best and worst competitive disc golf rounds ever, what flicks would get the nod?

For my personal best, it would probably be like Rock a Doodle. My worst would be that once scene in Full Metal Jacket when they are in the bathroom in the barracks at the beginning. Sometimes, disc golf takes me to a dark place.

Lastly, can you give us the current ups and downs of touring / van life or is all pretty positive so far early on?

Touring is hard. Trying to compete with the best is hard but I have found out that I am in this learning process. Everytime I play disc golf, I learn something. In all honesty, it’s been extremely hard to keep my head up and keep going. At the end of the day though, I know that everything I’m feeling and everything I’m going through is worth it. Van life is different but I like it. I’ve had my check engine light come on a few times and I’ve had to get a new sink head but I have a little home on wheels.


We want to thank Kat kindly for her time and wish her only the best in her touring efforts and beyond. Those wanting to follow and/or support Kat on tour can do so RIGHT HERE!

Should you register for the PDGA?

PDGA Canada | Professional Disc Golf Association

The benefits of a PDGA membership can be endless for some but nearly worthless for others. The “Professional” in the name alone can tend to be a bit misunderstood. Everyone at any level of skill is welcome to be a part of the PDGA just as events have divisions for all the very same skill levels.

Before we discuss the upsides of registering however, we need to find out if the PDGA is right for you. The first factor is the amount of PDGA-sanctioned events in your community. If your community has very few or none at all, there will be little to no opportunity to get your money back.

I can hear what you are thinking.. “what does he mean get my money back?”. To better explain, PDGA events carry an additional $10 fee for non-PDGA members and the price of the membership is roughly $65CDN so as a member in Canada, all that would be needed to reclaim the fee is about 6-7 events a year. If your city / town and the surrounding areas / townships has that many events or more, the membership pays for itself. If you play more events than that, it becomes a good financial decision.

Disc Golfer Summer 2020

In the past, Thunder Bay has not had enough PDGA-sanctioned events to warrant a membership for those wanting full benefit so registration in the region has always been quite low. We have had only one PDGA-santioned event yearly so it was tough to justify the expense. The 2021 disc golf season will feature between 5-7 sanctioned events so the ability to reclaim the expense locally has never been better. Moving forward past COVID-19 local PDGA members will also be able to save additional fees playing one of a huge selection of events taking place in nearby US states like MN, WS and others.

The next factor involved when considering a PDGA membership is your own personal level of competition. As mentioned previously, the PDGA welcomes any and all skill levels. Many beginner, casual, junior, senior and other players renew their registration each and every year. In fact amateur players make up the majority of the PDGA’s memberships by a wide margin so the belief that the PDGA is “only for pros” is quite a misconception. Many players do however opt to remain completely casual and choose not to play events which is a completely respectable mindset.

For additional perks, first time members will receive a very cool welcome package with a sweet premium plastic PDGA stamped disc and mini along with some other fun stuff. All members get a continuous subscription to Disc Golfer Magazine. It’s a great magazine with solid content and not at all thrown together.

For a complete list of all the features and benefits that come with a PDGA membership annually, see the list HERE.

Have You Watched Pro Coverage?

Every sport has a top level no matter how recreational the sport might seem and at the highest level of any sport, there are players that do things that are thought of as impossible to most of us. A level that enthusiasts and fans can connect with but can only dream of achieving. Players that have a huge impact on how we play and even sometimes what we throw. Disc golf has just such a level.

I tried watching pro coverage when I first started disc golf because I am the type of person that likes seeing what’s possible at the highest level. I have grown up playing and watching many different sports and no matter how much better the athletes were than myself, there was always something to be learned from watching professionals. The down side was….well, the coverage in 2014 was pretty rough compared to the professional coverage I was used to as a sports fan.

JomezPro Best Disc Golf Shots of 2019 - Kona Panis

Fast forward to March 2020, I am just shaking the rust off of about two years away from the sport so I looked up a bunch of technique videos. Rounds and rounds of professional coverage started finding their way into my suggested video stream on YouTube and with COVID-19 just settling in, I had a lot of free time. I watched one round, then ten more, then 10-20 more after that. It was an endless supply but more impressive was that the quality of the coverage had improved by about 100 times since I’d last watched.

Jomez Pro, GK Pro, Gatekeeper Media, The Disc Golf Guy, Par Save Productions, The Spin TV, Central Coast Disc Golf, Ace Run Pro and more are all small production companies that film and produce truly awesome coverage of the best players on earth playing the nicest courses on earth week after week. With multiple cards in all rounds of tournaments being filmed, the coverage feels truly complete. The best part is, it’s all available free on YouTube for watching on your TV via smartTV, console etc. All production companies have patreons and ways to support should you want to contribute!

OTB Tour Skins #20 | F9 | Innova Course | Las Vegas Challenge - YouTube

Watching pro coverage can be an invaluable teaching resource. It shows players what is possible with an advanced to elite level skill set. There are just so many things players of any skill level can pull from watching endless rounds of perfect technique being applied to the coolest courses on earth. What I really liked about it at first however was watching the professionals with perfect technique hit the first available tree, toss their drive 60ft into the water or hit the band from 10ft away. It gave me a better outlook on the game knowing bad things can happen to every player, we are all human.

That really only scratches the surface. The social media push in the whole disc golf world has been huge the last few years with every year being bigger than the last. Players once had to order footage of championship level events, now fans of the sport get coverage of multiple rounds from every event available next-day. Additionally players can find pro level skins matches, practice rounds, what’s in the bag videos and a lot of other content available. More disc golfers are showcasing their great personalities and positive life outlooks in addition to their disc golf skills so be sure to check out the individual social media of the players that interest you.

Professional disc golf might not be and likely never will be at the same level as the major sports but our sport is growing at a much faster pace than ever before. The sport saw it’s first million dollar contract and then it’s first 10-million dollar contract in a short span. With all of that, the coverage continues to get better and better each year. Better cameras, graphics and commentary done mostly by the players that always leans on the lighter side of things.

WATCH: Garrett Gurthie Aces 432′ Par 4 - DISC GOLF NEWS FEED

Whether it is seeing Garrett Gurthie throw an albatross ace on a par 4, Paul McBeth lacing a headwind putt from 65ft like it’s child’s play, kid Canada himself; Thomas Gilbert throwing in from 180ft or another possible million scenarios, finding the time to see what the pros can do with the same discs we all have in our bags, is something every disc golfer should look into on some level. What have you got to lose? It’s free.

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Tips Of The Month: May 2021

Welcome to the very first tips of the month post! Each week we will select a few videos from the world of YouTube that all point towards one specific skill or a few relatable skills. We hope that players can learn new shots, techniques and facts about the game that will help improve their skill set.

This month: Playing in your first tournament / tournament preparation

How to choose your division

With more events happening in the region, many players will find themselves having to choose between divisions during the registration process. For many players, choosing a division involves a fair bit of thought, for some however, the decision is simple. Choosing the best division definitely gets easier as players become more in tune with their skill set, the competition level in their community and their expectations / preferences for competitive play.

Having trouble picking a division? Here’s a quick breakdown to help with divisions for both sanctioned and non-sanctioned play:

Sanctioned PDGA Play:

PDGA play has a long list of set divisions for tournament directors to choose from according to what fits their event and community’s needs best. These divisions are further explained in great detail HERE.

MA3/FA3: Play here if this is your first event or you’re not at all comfortable yet in a competitive setting. Casual players with more than a few years experience may also consider MA2 / FA2.

MA2/FA2: For MA2, play here if you can throw the disc with some degree of accuracy for at least 225-250 feet or more. Players in the MA2 division will often hit 5-7 putts out of 10 from 20 feet. These factors will change a little for FA2 with 3-5 putts out of 10 from 20 feet and a minimum accurate distance of roughly 150-175ft.

MA40/FA40/MA50: Play here if you fit into either the MA2/FA2/MA1/FA1 division characteristics but would prefer to play with other folks who are in your age bracket (either 40+ or 50+). Larger tournaments will also have masters divisions for professionals.

MA1/FA1: Play here if you’ve had some experience with competition and feel confident in your accuracy, distance and putting, but aren’t necessarily ready to play pro yet.

MPO/FPO: Play here if you are a professional. This guide is likely redundant if this pertains to you, but here’s a high-five anyways for taking the plunge to pro!

Non-Sanctioned Play:

Often, non-sanctioned events will offer simplified / condensed divisions with a different format than players will see in PDGA-sanctioned play. The names of divisions can essentially be whatever they choose so some decoding may have to be done.

Competitive / Open: Professionals, players that might normally play MA1 and other top compeition

Intermediate: Experienced with an average skill set and relaxed need for competition. Players from many sanctioned divisions can fall into non-sanctioned intermediate divisions.

Recreational: First time players, beginners, very casual players.

Masters: Usually limited to players age 40+ but not all tournaments offer divisions for 40+ and 50+

First, players need a goal going into the event to be able to choose effectively. Are you playing to win or playing for fun? Do you want to play under pressure or play more casually for the event?

Knowing the field and the community you are registering as part of is hugely key during the registration process. This is easy for players entering local events but quite difficult for players traveling to areas they have no knowledge of.

Players that remain amateurs when their scores suggest they should pursue the MPO or FPO divisions can tend to draw the dreaded “sandbagger” talk but there’s another important factor to consider. Some players just prefer not to play in the open / pro divisions because they don’t wish to play for money and prefer to remain an amateur. This is a fairly common outlook in disc golf so be careful not to judge other players for the divisions they choose to play in barring situations like very good players playing vs. newer players in the recreational division. Just because someone can go pro doesn’t mean they have to.

Knowing when to make a jump to a higher division or perhaps dropping to a lower division can be really tough to figure out. Luckily, like everything else in disc golf, there’s a few great YouTube videos to explain it perfectly.

Flex Start Events Explained

The 2021 disc golf season is going to not only break but it will completely shatter any previous year for disc golf events. One of the main new additions will be flex starts. Flex start tournaments have become increasingly more and more popular each and every year around the disc golf world because they are cheap, easy, fun and unique for everyone involved. Being that the format is new to our community, some information is always needed to get started.

Quick Facts

  • Single-round “hot round wins”
  • Cash payouts for MPO / FPO are common but generous merch-outs are as well
  • Gift card and/or disc golf merchandise prizes for all other divisions
  • Round can be thrown anytime inside a flexible time window (ex: 9am-6pm)
  • Cards must be at least 3 players but cannot exceed 4
  • PDGA-rated when sanctioned
  • Standard PDGA rules
  • Course is not closed to non-tourney players

The Process

  • Show up to the course at the same time as your card mates
  • Throw your round
  • Report your score to the course official on-site within 30mins of finishing
  • You’re all done!

FAQ

“Can I throw my round solo or with just one friend?”

For the purpose of properly officiating and governing a round, a card must have at least 3 players. The players on a card must officiate each other during tournament play and to do so within the rules, there must be someone on the card to second a call on another player one way or the other. Ex: Player A says player B went out of bounds, player B disagrees so then player C must second the decision on whether the disc is OB or not.

“What happens in the event of a tie?”

Often the players with the “hot round” / lead in their divisions will stay around the course until the rounds are done or return to the course nearing the end of the time window. If two or more players tie for first place in a division and are all available at the end of the day, they would do a sudden death playoff. If only two of the 3+ tied players are available, they would do a playoff and the other players would remain tied. If any less than two of the tied players are available, the tournament would go as a tie.

“How do COVID restrictions affect flex start events?”

With the small card size, flexible time window to spread cards out and zero gathering necessary, flex starts are actually quite friendly to covid-19 restrictions. For the 2021 season, we may have to take a little bit of the “flex” out of flex events to ensure player safety. For this season alone, we will be trying to schedule rough / approx tee times to help space out the cards.