Ledgestone Disc Golf is happy to announce the release of the 2024 Ledgestone course schedule. The 2024 schedule continues with the same theme of the last three years, with all AM players playing three courses. The event staff did a large survey after the 2023 event to gauge feedback on the course schedule and other topics, and that helped determine the schedule for 2024. This is the 3rd announcement in our series of the Twelve Days of Ledgestone promotion.
With the day 3 announcement, Ledgestone is doing a 10% off sale on the entire store. This sale will only run today, December 11th exclusively at the Ledgestone retail website. This discount will be above and beyond any other discounts offered. “We wanted to add some extra value with our 12 Days of Ledgestone promotion this year, and that is why we are offering these daily, exclusive discounts,” said Heinold.
One new course will be added to the course schedule for 2024, while all existing courses will return. Brady Park in East Peoria, IL is a new 18 hole course that makes its debut at this year’s Ledgestone event. Ledgestone TD Nate Heinold walked the design this last fall, issued a grant to the Fon du Lac park district to help pay for baskets and greenlit the course for inclusion in the 2024 event after getting confirmation from the park district that the course would be ready for the 2024 event. The course will be mostly wooded and will include 4 to 5 wooded par 4’s and will be a blue level intermediate/advanced course.
Based on survey and staff feedback, two Amateur courses will see major changes. Those changes were initially announced in October, with Westwood and Wildlife affected. At Westwood, Holes 3 and 4 will be eliminated from the tournament layout. After hole 2, players will proceed to the left after climbing the stairs and will play a new hole in the open field next to the water tower. Hole 4’s teepad will then start in the open field and finish near the woods edge, providing a seamless walk to Hole 5. In addition, the event will lay down gravel millings for the paths on 14 and 16 and additional mulch on various steeper walkways, while also adding a short pin position on hole 18. These changes should make the course much more playable if inclement weather is present.
At Wildlife, hole 6 will be eliminated from the course and a new hole will be added from the long tee on hole 8 to the bottom of the hill. Currently the walk down hole 6 can be treacherous, so the team is working on a safer path that is currently available to go from hole 5 pin to hole 7 tee. In addition, we are currently working on options to make hole 16 safer during inclement weather. Finally, we have several additional areas that will see better pathways created so players can safely traverse the course.
Additional survey feedback showed that players wanted to see variety in the course schedule from year to year. With that in mind, we have tweaked almost every division’s course schedule so they will not be playing an identical course schedule compared to 2024. With nearly 75% of our players coming back to play Ledgestone year after year, the team wanted to provide a variety of courses for players to experience.
As announced by the PDGA last month, the 2024 PDGA Champions Cup will take place at Northwood Park in Morton in April 2024. This change necessitated a change to the Ledgestone MPO and FPO course schedule. With the PDGA and DGPT’s desire not to play the same course in two tour events in one season, the Ledgestone team agreed to remove Northwood from the MPO and FPO course schedule for the 2024 Ledgestone event. This means that MPO will play 4 rounds at Eureka and FPO will play 4 rounds at Sunset Hills for the 2024 Ledgestone event, which will once again be an Elite+ event.
Based on heavy demand in the MA1 division, we will be adding a third pool of MA1 players, with the total MA1 field being 432 players for the 2024 event. With Lake Eureka Temp being played all 4 days by MPO, MA1 will no longer play Eureka Temp, instead playing a round at Northwood Black. “Northwood Black is the hardest course on the DGPT and we think it will be an exciting test for MA1 players to compete on one of the most famous courses in the world, a course they will exclusively get to play for the event,” said Heinold. MA1 will also get to play Wildlife Prairie Park and Sunset Hills.
MA2 will play two new courses for their division, with Brady Park and Westwood joining Kennel Lake. MA2 will once again include two pools of players with a maximum of 360 spots being available. MA3 will have three pools with the capacity for 540 players, and will be the only division to compete at their courses: Bradley, McNaughton and Eureka Permanent. The one schedule change for 2024 is the swapping out of Westwood and the addition of Eureka Permanent. MA4 will swap Three Sisters for Maxwell and will tackle ICC, Washington and Three Sisters.
Based on survey feedback, we tweaked the schedule for MA40 and removed Wildlife so they will play Three Sisters, Brady Park and Kennel Lake, while MA50 will play Northwood Blue, Maxwell Park and ICC. FA1 and FA2 will play Maxwell Park, Three Sisters and Northwood Blue, taking survey feedback from the ladies that indicated a desire to toughen up their course schedule. MJ18 will tackle Westwood, Maxwell and Northwood Blue while MJ15 will tackle the same layout.
Creating a course schedule is no easy task. Many hours are devoted to the process of deciding who plays what course, how many players go into each pool, what days the pools play the courses, etc. This year’s tournament will also host a disc golf record 2400+ players, which makes the process even more daunting. “The course scheduling process is actually quite complicated. Not only do we need to think about how many players should be in a specific pool of players, we then need to figure out who those players should be grouped with on a specific course on a specific day to make sure the course flow is good,” said Heinold. “And then to top it off, we have to figure out what divisions should be in which teeing order each day,” finished Heinold. Careful attention is paid to what courses are suitable for which divisions, but at the end of the day it’s about numbers. While some players may not get to play their favorite course, all AMs (and age based pros) will play different courses each day. The selection of courses has been made to try to give as much variety as possible, while remaining appropriate to divisional skill levels. The tournament takes in constant feedback about the courses that various divisions play, and will continue to do that in the future.
The 14th Annual Discraft Ledgestone Open will take place August 1st to August 4th in Central Illinois. Registration will take place exclusively at Disc Golf Scene and will open 1/1/24. Registration for AM players and age protected professionals will take place here.