Every year tournament director Nate Heinold offers one of the best amateur player packs in the country. This year is no exception. “The player’s pack for this year’s event will have a value of over $250. With the amateur entry only being $100 it’s pretty easy to make your money back and then some before even throwing a disc in the tournament,” said Heinold.
A lot of tournaments provide solid player packs and take more money out of the amateur payout, but Heinold has never favored that approach. “I tend to go with a monster player’s pack and a monster payout.” While most tournaments don’t have the ability to offer that approach, the Ledgestone is a rare exception. Some tournaments tend to go with a bigger player’s pack and then use the amateur entry fees to help boost the pro payout. “We have a best of both worlds approach with our tournament. I cater to both the professional and amateur players. We don’t need to take any money from the amateurs to boost the professional payout,” said Heinold. He went on to explain that all of the added cash for the professional side comes from sponsorship. All of the player pack items come from sponsorship as well.
So what will this year’s player pack consist of? “We toyed with a few different ideas, but we ended up going with 7 discs, two shirts, two towels, a hat, a Discraft mini, a Discraft scorecard, a nice water bottle, stickers, a Sportsack and some other small items,” said Heinold. The players pack will also feature something to hold all of the items, which could be a box. The discs featured in the player’s pack have not yet been determined, but Heinold says that they will include some special discs just for the tournament. The discs will have a nice flow to them.
“Bob Julio (Discraft Team Manager) and I typically like to make sure the discs we put in the player’s pack make sense for all of the players in the tournament. So we won’t have a bunch of overstable stuff, and we won’t have a bunch of understable stuff. It’s a nice mix,” said Heinold. What that means is that players can probably expect a throwing putter, a putting putter, a midrange or two, a fairway driver and a couple higher speed drivers. Heinold is also exploring ways to allow players to pick what discs they get in their player packs. “With most player packs, players don’t get to pick the color, weight, etc. We are going to try to fix that for this year’s tournament,” said Heinold. With nearly 800 amateur players each getting 7 discs, the logistics will be tough to manage, but they are working on a solution to give players more choice with their discs.
The player’s pack is not the only benefit of playing as an amateur. This year’s amateur payout will be nearly $60,000 in prize money, with first place in Men’s Advanced being $1200. Amateurs will also get a buffet dinner and an ice cream social. Plastic Addicts will be doing the amateur payout and will have discs, baskets, bags, clothing, and many more items. Players will also be able to use their payout vouchers online. The projected payout is located here. Registration for all divisions opens 2/18/16 at 6PM CST at Disc Golf Scene. Don’t miss it!