Greenhorn Tournament Series
In 2003, the first Greenhorn Tournament was held at Dragan Field as a way for new and experienced players alike to introduce themselves to tournament play in a fun, pressure-free, and learning-first atmosphere. All entrants received a disc, a mini-marker disc, and a PDGA rulebook (all the essentials) just for entering the event. Experienced players of various skill levels were on hand to explain rules of play and etiquette as well as offered advice on every aspect of the game from tee to green. This basic premise has continued through every Greenhorn event ever held.
Over the years, that one tournament has grown into two separate annual events, a singles and a doubles tournament, that each feature rules and skill clinics and two competitive rounds of disc golf. The primary goal remains to introduce as many tournament “Greenhorns” to the formal competitive side of the sport as possible. Since the first event, many Greenhorn “graduates” have gone on to play in (and win) tournaments around Maine and New England, as well as becoming some of the more prominent movers-and-shakers on the organizational side of local events.
That’s not to say that Greenhorn tournaments are just for players interested in pursuing tournaments as a regular hobby. Many, many players have participated in a Greenhorn event simply as a way of meeting new players, learning new techniques, and just learning proper rules for their casual rounds. Some have never played another formal competitive round since, but continue to play recreationally to this day. Greenhorn events are a great way to give oneself a solid foundation and get the most out of one’s game. And best of all, they’re fun for all ages.
In the first two years of the Greenhorn Tournament, a mixed format was utilized. The first round was a singles round in which players strived to shoot the lowest score they could. The second was an alternate-shot doubles round with the pairings determined in a high-low manner based on the first round scores. Participants were limited to players who had played no more than two disc golf tournaments ever.
In 2005, the GreenHorn Tournament became exclusively a singles event with the addition of a doubles version (see below). With the split, the eligibility rules for the singles event were expanded a bit. Any player with two or fewer tournaments played or any players who have more tournament experience but have never played a tournament above the PDGA-defined Recreational division are welcome to enter. This allows players that do have a few tournaments under their belt but perhaps not quite the skill-set to be highly competitive in them to take advantage of an inexpensive opportunity to broaden their tournament experience and perhaps learn something new as well.
The day begins with a 30-45 minute clinic going over the ins and outs of typical tournament etiquette and rules of play. The first round of play follows. During play, experienced players roam the course checking in with various groups and making themselves available for any questions and clarifications that might be necessary. In the second round, each of the experienced players on hand join a group and play alongside the Greenhorns for the full 18 holes. This gives the Greenhorns an outstanding opportunity to not only have two hours to pick the brain of a better player, but also a front-row seat to see how a higher-skilled player plays the holes they themselves are attempting to play.
Late in 2004, a second Greenhorn event was added, this time with a best-shot doubles format. The day’s itinerary is more or less the same as the singles, starting with the 30-45 minute rules clinic, followed by two rounds of play featuring veteran players roaming the course and offering advice. The eligibility rules are relaxed allowing experienced players to take part, but they are must play with a true Greenhorn as a partner.