2020 In Review
2020 has been a doozy of a year for everyone. Disc golf has seen an explosion of interest since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Google searches have been up two-fold for most of the year, including through the winter. In turn, professional disc golfers have been put on center stage. ESPN aired the final round of the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship where we saw Kevin Jones, for team Prodigy, beat his fellow teammate, Chris Dickerson, along with Austin Hannum and Calvin Heimburg at Hornets Nest in Charlotte, North Carolina. Additionally, the Disc Golf Pro Tour has inked a 3 year extension with SmashboxxTV to enhance the Disc Golf Network coverage of live tour events over the coming years. The exciting end to the season, the expansion in interest of the sport as well as enhancements the touring body has made should lead to an even more exciting 2021 season. Many big faces stayed put while equally big faces moved on to greener pastures. We have tried to keep up with the significant moves but, I must admit, there has been a flurry of them which should make for a lot of fun when the season begins in Las Vegas at the end of February.
Who Stayed Put and Who Moved On?
Arguably the biggest mover and shaker in the offseason has been Prodigy Discs. They extended the first and second place finishers in the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, Kevin Jones and Chris Dickerson, to go along with the mainstay's Cale Leiviska, Seppo Paju and Heather Young. Their big splash came in the free agency market by swiping up Austin Hannum from Discraft, Thomas Gilbert and Sara Sinclair from Innova and Isaac Robinson, brother of Prodigy team member Ezra Robinson, from MVP. With those signings and their finish in the DGPT Championship, Prodigy has positioned themselves to be among the big boys on the tour this coming season. Among the big boys, despite losing Austin Hannum to Prodigy, Discraft was able to retain much of their talent as well as sign Scott Withers away from Innova and Ezra Aderhold away from his mixed bag. Brodie Smith, Hailey King, Andrew Presnell and Adam Hammes all signed extensions to stay on the Discraft in the coming season. Innova did not make any significant acquisitions in the offseason but did resign a good chunk of their roster with Nate Sexton, Garrett Gurthie, Calvin Heimburg and Jeremy Koling on signing extensions. The trilogy team extended Nikko Locastro to the Westside team as well as Paige Shue, Sarah Giplin and Miles Seasborn for his 14th year with Dynamic Discs. Discmania continued their sponsorship of Eagle McMahon, Nate Perkins, Colten Montgomery, Kyle Klein and Casey White, who they also promoted to the Tour team. Drew Gibson is continuing his 2020 sponsorship into 2021 with Infinite Discs. After spending the last 5 years with Innova James Conrad announced he will be spending his 2021 campaign, and beyond, with MVP discs in his bag. With all of these moves, 2021 looks to be a banner year for both the Tour and the industry as a whole. I am excited to see what is in store and I hope you are, too!