For the sixth time in PDGA history, a disc golf event will have a $100,000 professional payout. Nate Heinold, tournament director of the Ledgestone Insurance
Open presented by Discraft, is thrilled to announce that this year’s professional payout will be more than $100,000 with a full field of players. The 2015 event featured a then record $117,453 professional payout while last year’s event featured a $95,400 professional payout. Heinold is determined to make sure this year’s event hits $100,000. “Last year we didn’t quite make it to $100,000, but I expect this year to push above that figure. With the changes we are making and the growth of disc golf in general we expect to fill up on the professional side.” There are room for slightly less than 300 professional players, which is smaller than in year’s past. “Going to one course for the MPO players cuts down the amount of players slightly for that division, so that reduces the total amount of players on the professional side,” said Heinold. The tournament expects demand to be higher for all professional divisions because of the positive changes the tournament has made, as well as the fact that slightly less professional spots are available. See the full payout.
The MPO payout certainly looks the most staggering. The MPO division comprises the most players so it will certainly garner the most attention. The other divisions are no slouch when it comes to the payout, including the FPO division which is projected to pay $2300 to the winner. The FPO division is also unique in that it will see 21 of 32 women paid. “We want to do whatever we can to support the growth of disc golf on the Women’s side, and we feel that paying more women will help that growth,” said Heinold. The Ledgestone Insurance Open is unique in how much added cash goes into the event. No tournament can boast the added cash that Ledgestone wields. No tournament has ever added $50,000 of added cash to an event, and this will be Ledgestone’s third straight year of doing so. Heinold is also quick to point out that his added cash is true added cash. “Some tournaments say they have X dollars of added cash, when it’s really a smaller amount because they subtract course fees, management fees, expenses, etc from player entry fees. That’s certainly within PDGA guidelines, but it’s not how we do it. We don’t subtract anything from player entry fees except for the PDGA fees,” said Heinold.
Entry fees are $5 lower for MPO and FPO players compared to last year, while age protected professional divisions are $55 lower. The lower entry fee for the age protected professional players should spur more players to sign up, according to Heinold. Registration opens 3/1 for MPO players rated 970 and above and FPO players rated 900 and above. Registration will take place exclusively at Disc Golf scene.
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