Podium finishers in the MPO division of the 2019 Kootenay Up and Down. Paul Rodgers photo.

Podium finishers in the MPO division of the 2019 Kootenay Up and Down. Paul Rodgers photo.

Registration opens and players flood in for Kootenay Up and Down disc golf tournament

80 players out of a max 144 registered in less than 24 hours

Registration for the Kootenay Up and Down Presented by Innova Champion Discs, a PDGA-sanctioned B-tier disc golf tournament happening in Cranbrook from September 25 to 26, opened at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jul. 15 and less than 24 hours later 80 players have already signed up.

“It feels great to get back to hosting events after having to postpone or cancel our annual events due to pandemic restrictions,” said tournament director Serge Gosselin.

“But the one positive we can take from the pandemic, is the incredible growth our sport has seen world wide. In less than 24 hours of opening up registration for our B-Tier (2.5 months away), we’ve already reached numbers that are just a handful away from the highest numbers we’ve ever had. The excitement is evident in both players and tournament staff.”

READ MORE: The Kootenay Up and Down disc golf tournament

The tournament has capacity for 144 players. Disc golfers will be coming from all over Alberta, B.C. and if restrictions allow, the north west U.S., and can sign up into a huge range of divisions based on skill level and age.

The pro divisions consist of MPO, FPO Open Women, MP40 40+, 50+ and 60+. There is a total of eight divisions in the amateur category and then another two junior divisions as well.

The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has a section on their website explaining what division you should most likely sign up for, if you are uncertain of where your abilities put you.

For example, the Recreational division consists of players who “have played 1-2 years and are gaining consistency and experience. Throw 200-300 feet, make 4-6/10 putts from 20 feet, learning different shots.”

READ MORE: Women’s global disc golf tournament tentatively scheduled in Cranbrook

Intermediate is available to amateur players — meaning players who will not accept cash from the event — “who have played 2-3 years with improved consistency and accuracy. Throw 250-350 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 20 feet.”

Advanced is the top amateur division and the required division for male amateur players under the age of 40 with a player rating greater than 935. If you’re wondering how ratings work the PDGA has a whole section explaining that as well.

The PDGA says advanced competitors are “tournament experienced players who have played disc golf for several years, and developed consistency. Throw 300-450 feet, make 5-7/10 putts from 25-30 feet, have different shots in their arsenal.”

The Kootenay Up and Down will be played at two of the area’s finest courses: Wycliffe Disc Golf Course and the Cranbrook Disc Golf Course, located at the College of the Rockies.

The 54-hole event kicks off on Friday, Sept. 24 with player check-ins starting at 1 p.m. and an optional, but certainly encouraged random draw doubles round at 4:30 p.m.

The tournament officially gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 25 with the B Pool teeing off at 9 a.m. at the Cranbrook course and the A Pool at 9 a.m. at Wycliffe.

After lunch, round two begins at 1:30 p.m. with Pool A teeing off at the Cranbrook DGC and Pool B at Wycliffe.

READ MORE: First disc golf tournament of the 2019 season a roaring success

The final round tee times begin at Wycliffe on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 8:45 a.m.

In addition to three rounds of disc golf plus the optional doubles on Friday, there will also be other events like putting and longest drive contests. Furthermore, through the generosity of local sponsors, the event also is able to offer prizes for special event winners such as Closest to Pin and longest putt.

Event organizers are currently looking for more sponsors to help support the tournament.

The Heritage Inn in Cranbrook has signed on as the host hotel for the event, offering deals to touring players.

“The success of the Gutshot NADGT, the first event in the East Kootenay since pandemic restrictions lifted, along with the registration numbers of the Fernie NADGT set for August, and what we’ve seen in the last 24 hrs of the Kootenay Up & Down registration page, we are confident and excited to provide everyone with another great weekend of disc golf,” Gosselin said.

READ MORE: The Deerborne Gutshot: Sold out Elkford disc golf tournament a huge success

If you’re interested in learning more or signing up yourself you can do so at this link https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Kootenay_Up_and_Down_2021/

Remember, even if you’re new to the sport, there’s a division for everyone, and the events are a ton of fun, in addition to having a great competitive edge to them as well.


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