It’s a great time to be involved in Peoria disc golf, says Washington resident Nate Heinold, founder of the Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), the sport emerged in the 1960s, and the first known national championship took place in 1974 in Rochester, New York. In 1981, competitive play arrived in central Illinois with the formation of the Peoria Frisbee Club.
With at least a dozen courses spread throughout the region, the popularity of disc golf has boomed over the last decade—especially the last two years. The PDGA reports its active membership grew nearly 25 percent in 2015, while sanctioned disc golf events increased by 21 percent. In Illinois, that growth was even higher, with the number of active PDGA members up 28 percent—fifth highest in the nation—and PDGA events growing by 29 percent.
Coming up this month (August 15-21) is the sixth annual Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by Discraft, which will take place on eight courses across central Illinois, from Lake Eureka to Wildlife Prairie Park. Last year’s tournament was a turning point for the sport, as it featured the largest pro purse in history and served as a national tour stop, with participants from four different countries and nearly every U.S. state. This year, organizers expect more than 1,200 players and 3,000 spectators from all over the world. For more information on this event, visit lisopen.com. iBi