1,200ft, dead straight with out of bounds surrounding the fairway on both sides. The green is even more narrow than the fairway and has OB to the left, right and backside of the basket. No it isn’t a nightmare. It is Hole 1 at Emporia Country Club, just one of the two incredibly challenging courses at this event. The Dynamic Discs Open is going to be one of the most demanding events that players will see over the long season. As it always is, the Dynamic Discs Open (formerly the Glass Blown Open) will be held in Emporia, KS. The first two rounds are going to be played at Jones Gold with the final two rounds played at the Emporia Country Club. If I had to use one word to describe both of these courses, I would say: Daunting. They are absolutely monsterous! Jones Gold measures in at 11,075ft and if that isn’t enough, Emporia Country Club measures 11,229ft. Big distance is imperative if you want to even consider scoring. Unfortunately for our competitors, distance is not going to be their only apprehension. Whipping winds are not just common in Emporia but they are the standard. Combine the lengthy holes and whipping winds with a ridiculous amount of man-made OB and you have yourself a real problem.
Last week, after Round 1 at the Mid America Open, 20 players were within two strokes of the lead. Scorecards were tight. That is almost guaranteed to not be the case in Emporia this week. In 2020, McBeth won the event shooting -24 under for the tournament. Even par for the tournament landed 23rd place. The moral of the story is birdies are hard earned at the DDO. McBeth set the course record at Emporia Country Club last year shooting -11 in round 1. Players that can minimize OB throws, fight the wind and scratch out birdies here and there will put themselves in a really good spot here.
Nate Sexton: I can’t remember the exact quote but Jeremy Koling once said something to the tune of, Nate chooses the throws you wish you had. In other words, he is a cerebral player. He doesn’t have the biggest distance but he stays within himself and plays smart Golf. His ability to eliminate mistakes has kept him high on the leaderboard at this event in the past. Placing inside the Top 5 in two out of his three trips to this event.
JohnE McCray: At the young age of 49, JohnE is showing no signs of slowing down. Since 2015 he has played in this event four times, finishing inside the Top 10 each year. The Masters World Champion has played very well here. I’d expect nothing less again this year.
Casey White: This kid has been on a tear! Since WACO, he hasn’t finished out of the Top 10 in any A tier, National Tour or DGPT event he has played in. He has seemingly been unfazed by playing in front of the Jomez, GK Pro and Gatekeeper Media cameras, even standing toe-to-toe with Ricky Wysocki and Matty O in the Texas State Championship. White has the all-around game to score well and has a hot hand going into the DDO.
Paul McBeth: I know this is an obvious pick, however it is really hard to leave off the winner 3 out of the last 4 years in this event... Right now it feels like McBeth is just not in sync with his putter this season but it really isn’t hindering his tournament placements much. Since the start of the DGPT season McBeth has finished outside the top 5 only once. That lone “blemish” was a 9th place finish in Las Vegas to kick off the season.
Andrew Presnell: Not the biggest name in the sport, but a guy that can play. Placing shots where he needs to, to remove large numbers from his scorecard. While Presnell hasn't finished particularly high here, he has been consistent. Which is quite the feat on these wind blown Emporia courses.
Ricky Wysocki: Another really obvious pick. The guy is practically unstoppable right now though. He has won 3 of the last 4 tournaments he has played in, with a 5th place finish in the fourth. He is cashing putts from everywhere and throwing darts off the tee. This year’s DDO could turn into another Paul vs. Ricky battle really fast.
Calvin Heimburg: He has the skills to play well on every single course. But his game is very well suited for the DDO, he can bomb with accuracy, keeping the disc in bounds. Like Ricky and Casey he too has been on fire. Calvin has finished 5th or better in all 6 events played so far this year. For some reason though, it still feels like his top notch play has flown under the radar.