Charlotte was home to the Professional Disc Golf Association’s Amateur World Championship from July 21 through Saturday. Nine courses in the greater Charlotte area were used by 677 disc golfers, according to the PDGA, competing in either an open division or in divisions based on age and divided into male and female brackets.
“The PDGA is very pleased to come back to Charlotte for another world championship,” said Shawn Sinclair, PDGA events coordinator. The combined professional and amateur championships had previously been held in the Charlotte area in 1986, 1997 and 2012.
Luke Humphries of The Colony, Texas, had the lowest score of 286 competitors in the men’s open amateur division. Winning the women’s open amateur division was Alexis Mandujano from Universal City, Texas. Mark Huether of Charlotte won the men’s 40+ division, shooting -50 over 8 rounds, the lowest score of the 108 competitors in that age division.
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Other winners included: Women 40+: April Gilliam from Kingsport, Tenn.; Men 50+: Bill Cary of Minneapolis, Minn.; Women 50+: Jennifer Costa of Marietta, Ga.; Men 60+: Mark Hauser of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Women 60+: Dona Stanley of Chapel Hill; Men 70+: Donald Parker of Plymouth, Minn.
Disc golf, or Frisbee™ golf as it is more commonly known, is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States with over 7,000 courses in existence and many more being installed each year, according to the PDGA. The sport is played using the same general rules, terminology and etiquette as traditional golf, but instead of using a club to hit a ball into a hole in the ground, the player throws a high-tech flying disc into a standardized target.
Most courses are comprised of 18 par-rated holes with diverse terrain and natural obstacles. The object, just as in traditional golf, is to play in as few throws of the disc as possible. Serious competitors carry a bag of approximately 10 to 25 discs, each one having a different flight characteristic, but the sport can be played recreationally with only one disc. Golf discs differ greatly in design from the Frisbee™ used for playing catch and can be skillfully thrown by the sport’s top professional players as far as 500 feet with pinpoint accuracy.
The PDGA contributed to this story.