Ledgestone TD Nate Heinold is happy to announce the release of the 2021 Ledgestone course schedule. The 2021 schedule continues with the same theme of 2020, with all AM players playing three courses. “We did a massive survey about one month after the 2020 event,” said Heinold. “The results were clear in that AM players preferred playing 3 courses over 2 courses by a wide margin.” This is the 6th announcement in our series of the Twelve Days of Ledgestone.
Three courses are being added to the schedule for the 2021 tournament, which will bring the total amount of courses to 11. Washington Park and Wildlife Prairie Park will make their return to the Ledgestone course schedule mix, while a second course at Northwood will be used. You can read about the addition of Wildlife from our 4th announcement. The addition of our second course at Northwood may come as a surprise to some, but the work on this property has been ongoing since 2017. You can read more about the updates at Northwood from our 5th release. Washington Park has not been utilized for several years, but the tournament staff is super excited to bring this course back. “We have gotten approval to utilize some land on the high school’s property for the event, which will allow us to construct two really nice temporary holes past hole 12. This will allow us to eliminate and/or combine a few other holes, which will add some extra difficulty to the Washington course,” said Heinold. One of the holes on the high school property will be a par 4 that will measure nearly 600’ and the other will be a par 3. The tentative plan will call for the combination of holes 17 and 18 into one hole, and the removal of hole 13. The final design will be released in the spring.
MPO players will be playing two rounds on the famous Northwood Black Course, which will include the wooded holes built for the 2019 PDGA Pro Worlds event plus Gold hole 7 and then 12 new wooded holes. The course, when complete, will measure nearly 11,000’ and will play as one of the hardest courses in the world. FPO players have asked the tournament for several years to put Northwood back into the mix, so the 2021 course schedule will see FPO playing Northwood again. They will be playing the Blue layout on the Black course. “The feedback we received from MPO playing an open course (Eureka) and a wooded course (Northwood) was overwhelmingly positive. We started to hear FPO players ask for the same kind of layout, so we made it a priority in 2021 to make that happen,” finished Heinold.
MA1 players will once again get a chance to crack the Eureka Temp course, which they were able to play for the first time in 2020. On top of playing the showcase MPO course for one of their rounds, they will also get to compete at Wildlife Prairie Park and Sunset Hills, which is the showcase FPO course. “This year’s MA1 course schedule is the strongest schedule we have been able to offer these elite amateur players. Eureka is one of the hardest courses in the world, while Sunset is no slouch. Wildlife offers a chance to those players who feel more comfortable in the woods their time to shine,” said Heinold. For the first time ever, the tournament will be offering two pools of MA1 players, with an expectation of over 300 MA1 players.
MA2 will also have two pools of players for the first time ever, and will include a course rotation of Kennel Lake, Northwood (Original) and Eureka Permanent. Kennel Lake was well received in its first year of existence, as many raved about the course. The other division that will get to play Kennel Lake is MA4, and the tournament will utilize the alternate pins on holes 16, 17 and 18 to help with flow. MA3 will once again have two pools of players, and they will compete at Bradley, McNaughton and Westwood. Westwood underwent several upgrades last year as it relates to safety, as several new bridges and steps were installed. McNaughton (aka McNasty) has long been a local favorite course, with Ken Climo calling it one of his top five courses in the country. MA40 will be our largest age based division, and they will get to play Westwood, Wildlife and Northwood Blue (which is the shorter layout of the black course).
Creating a course schedule is no easy task. Many hours are devoted to the process of deciding who plays what course, how many players go into each pool, what days the pools play the courses, etc. “The course scheduling process is actually quite complicated. Not only do we need to think about how many players should be in a specific pool of players, we then need to figure out who those players should be grouped with on a specific course on a specific day to make sure the course flow is good,” said Heinold. Careful attention is paid to what courses are suitable for which divisions, but at the end of the day it’s about numbers. While some players may not get to play their favorite course, all AMs (and age based pros) will play different courses each day. The selection of courses has been made to try to give as much variety as possible, while remaining appropriate to divisional skill levels. While the tournament tries to ensure that divisions play similar courses each year, that doesn’t always work. The tournament found that the new design of Eureka Permanent played a little harder than expected, and so this year’s course schedule was adjusted accordingly. Likewise Kennel Lake (specifically the last three holes) added significant time to rounds for certain divisions, so what divisions played that course was adjusted (as well as the utilization of alternate pins for 3 holes).
The 11th Annual Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open will take place August 5th to the 8th in Central Illinois. Registration will take place exclusively at Disc Golf Scene and will open in early 2021. Registration for AM players and age protected professionals will take place at dgscene.com/ledgestoneam and registration for the DGPT event will take place at dgscene.com/ledgestone21.