Posted by randomtiz
G’morning all and what a beautiful Saturday it is! An early disc golf round already lined up with friends and I can’t wait to get this day started. But before I head out, I had the pleasure of playing in my first Trilogy Challenge last weekend (May 30th) at Oregon Park and wanted to share how it went.
What is the Trilogy Challenge you might ask?
The Trilogy Challenge is brought to you by Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64°, and Westside Discs who’s goal is to gain better visibility of the sport and get more new players involved. In each player pack, you get three discs to use in the tournament–a Westside Elasto Sampo Driver, a Dynamic Discs Fusion Evidence Midrange, and a Lat 64° Retro Macana Putter. Basically everything you need to play a round. On top of the three discs, each player gets a Trilogy stamped mini, a mini clipboard, mini sharpie, scorecard and a pencil. All included in your entry cost of $30! Pretty sweet deal.
Now what about the format?
The format of the tournament is up to the TD. The one I participated in was a two-round format where the first round silver-to-silver and the second round gold-to-gold layout. Each round had its own winner–scores didn’t carry over from one to the next. For the first round, everyone played from the shortest layout there at Oregon Park which was silver-to-silver. In the Trilogy Challenge, players were only allowed to throw the three discs they received in this year’s player pack. The second round format was a bit different. Everyone played the long layout, gold-to-gold, and had the option to either add their three Trilogy discs from last year’s player pack OR substitute one of the three from this year with one of their own. I didn’t throw the driver much the first round on the short layout, so I opted to switch it out for one of my other drivers the second round.
Via their website, The Trilogy Challenge is a worldwide event from May 29th to September 20th that concludes with the Trilogy Öppna in Emporia, Kansas on September 19th-20th. The discs in each player pack will be unreleased until the last Challenge in Emporia. So be sure to get in on the action!
Between the two rounds, they had several raffle giveaways which consisted of Dynamic Discs Soldier & Cadet DG bags, Lat 64, Westside, and Dynamic Discs drivers, mids and putters. I won the first raffle drawing (shoutout to Jason Kirkaldy for drawing my name) of a brand new DD Soldier bag filled with 9 discs!
I had a great time with friends and meeting several new faces out there. It was a lot of fun and I will be playing next year in it for sure. The turnout was huge! I felt like everything went really smoothly and a big shoutout and thanks to Walter Black for running TD this year! I had a chance to talk to Walter earlier this week on how the tourney went. Here’s what Walter had to say:
So, we all start somewhere, right? It is easy to forget after years of playing and moving up from beginner to league play to playing tournaments just how hard those first throws were. How awkward it was to throw a disc the way it is supposed to be thrown. How confusing the different discs and their numbers were. How just finding other people to play with is an obstacle. When I decided to run the Trilogy Challenge, I wanted to be sure I didn’t forget what it was like to be new to the sport.
Our club gets together early in the year to hash out the events we want to host. Last year’s Trilogy Challenge was a success and I asked to run it again this year. I had only one real question for the club and that was, “Do you want me to make money?” The answer was “No”. They didn’t want me to make money. The club wanted everything we took in to be paid back out. It is an important distinction for me because if I don’t have to make money, then I can spend what I feel I need to attract the largest number of players. More players, more money. More money, more prizes. More prizes, more players. I had posters and postcards made to make sure anyone who visited Oregon Park knew about the event. We tapped into social media on the Cobb Disc Golf Club and Atlanta Disc Golf Organization Facebook page. The registrations were slow to get going but as we got closer and closer to the event date they started snowballing.
When we originally planned our Trilogy Challenge we wanted to offer more than what was necessary. More opportunities to play and compete and more prizes. Everyone played the Trilogy Challenge just as Dynamic Discs intended. One round, winner wins the prize pack. A second optional round was added with a few twists. It would be played on the longest layout of the course and would have it’s own prize. We expanded the number of prizes and had a drawing for them. Anything you could win with skill, you could win by getting lucky. No matter how new you were to the sport, everyone paid the same to enter, everyone would have a chance to win. I added another Soldier bag and nine discs to be won in a drawing and also upgraded the Cadet bags to Soldier bags. For the second round winner, a choice of a Recruit practice basket or any bag/backpack that Dynamic Discs sold was offered. There was also a drawing for the same Recruit basket or bag/backpack that could be won just for purchasing a player pack. For the drawings you didn’t have to be present to win. You didn’t even have to play. If you purchased a player pack you were entered into all the drawings.
More players are always good right up to the point that they aren’t and a week out we were rapidly approaching our limit for what the course could accommodate. I knew from experience we would get 20-30 participants walk-up on the day of the event. The problem was, I was already at my limit with the players who had preregistered. Where was I going to put another 30? At the last moment I contacted Dynamic Discs and tossed up another event, the Friday Night Flight, and got another winners pack for that event along with 50 more player packs. I wasn’t going to turn anyone away. I needed to get 25-30 players who had registered for Saturday to play their Trilogy Challenge round on Friday night to make room for the walk-ups I expected for Saturday. Just enough to give us a little breathing room.
For Friday we did a simple flex start where the players could show up after work and get grouped with a few others and head out to play. This was attractive for some because they could get their round in and be done in less than two hours. Friday night I had 33 total participants play their Trilogy Challenge round but I still had a problem. Only 20 had preregistered. The other thirteen were walk-ups. This meant that while I did manage to pull some away, I was still going to have more than 90 players show up on Saturday.
I worried about how Saturday would play out well into the night on Friday, not getting to bed until around 2am. I was trying to figure out the best way to get 90+ players to fit on an 18-hole course. I could do cards for five and a few sixes but how long would that take with all the new players even on the shortest layout? I could split the field and run two rounds but what would 40-50 players do for two hours while the other half played? Both of these options had their advantages and disadvantages. I really didn’t like either choice. I give credit to one of the players for suggesting a rolling start. Everyone would head to hole one when they were ready to play and be sent out in groups of 3, 4 or 5. Friends could play with friends and solo players would be added in to fill out the card. Players would already be out on the course while others were just checking in. It worked very well with just a short wait time at hole one.
In total, we sold out of all 125 player packs and I only had to turn one person away because we just didn’t have any more. The Trilogy Challenge is Dynamic Discs effort to #growthesport but the additional prizes also attracted some very good long-time players. The winning round for both Friday and Saturday on the short silver-to-silver layout was a 13-under par 41. John Riley, a local player, won on Friday while Jason Kirkaldy, who traveled all the way from Augusta, won on Saturday. The second round was very competitive on the longer gold-to-gold layout with Jason Kirkaldy winning by one stroke over John Riley and Jermaine Barksdale with an 8-under par 51. But let’s not forget the real winners here. The three dads playing with their young sons. The fireman and his girlfriend, neither of whom had ever thrown a disc before, playing for the first time. The women, although few, playing together. All the other new players and beginners who came out and played with nearly one-hundred other disc golfers. We all start somewhere. That’s a pretty good start.
For information about the Trilogy Challenge and seeing if there are any in your area, check out http://trilogychallenge.com/.
Want to see what Dogleg JT thought of this year’s Trilogy Challenge discs? Read/watch his latest post here.