Story by Jacob Arvidson
The constant pitter-patter of feet can be heard scurrying across the warehouse floor. There isn’t a whole lot of walking going on these days. Everything happens at double speed in the hours before the Wave 4 drop for the 2021 Ledgestone Insurance Open. The clock ticks on and there is still much to be done.
Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself” echoes through the building, suggesting a sense of calm, even if only fleetingly.
Over a dozen people are hard at work on the floor of the warehouse.
Movement is limited in the maze of disc shelves and boxes, towers of GripEq bags and ZUCA carts, but each person knows how to navigate the chaos, keeping the process as streamlined as possible.
A small group works busily in the back corner, unloading box after box of disc golf goods. Another ferries boxes to their next locations in the warehouse. Yet another staffer calls out orders, checking the inventory of each shipment and directing it to the picture-takers before sending it to its rightful place on the shelf. Meanwhile, the constant shutter of a camera can be heard as two staff workers photograph individual discs in the photo booth.
Several staff members spent the entire previous night in the warehouse keeping progress moving. Many others worked until 4:30am before heading home to catch some sleep to ensure they had enough energy for the final push on release day.
The Wave 4 drop is the biggest of all the signature Ledgestone releases. This final drop added over 20,000 new items to the retail site.
It features OG Glo Jawbreaker Lunas, Michael Johansen Scorches, Paul Ulibarri CryZtal Zones and 200 special edition CryZtal Lunas and CryZtal Fierces which include Paul McBeth and Paige Pierce signatures and a certificate of authenticity. All of these can be purchased (while available) at shoplisopen.com.
Items for each wave of new releases can’t be added to the website until the shipment is received and unboxed, inventory is taken and photographed, and each item is categorized and shelved accordingly. Once that process is complete, Dalton Sackett, one of tournament director Nate Heinold’s most senior lieutenants, uploads and lists each item to the Ledgestone Insurance Open online shop.
No operation this large takes place without a few hiccups. However, Sackett maintains a calm demeanor, ready to react and troubleshoot within the fast-paced, high pressure environment.
Sackett spends most of the day on his computers getting the website ready to go.
“The most stressful part is counting the endless number of discs that we have received over the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We have to make sure they are ready to go for the customers to purchase on the website and we only have a limited time to do it.”
Even when the camera battery starts to drain and 250 disc pictures become blurry in the upload process, corrections happen on the fly and the situation quickly remedied.
Staff in the warehouse are hard at work and have their own system to navigate the narrow aisles as efficently as possible.
“When things like blurry pictures happen, the first priority is to make sure the pictures are retaken in the best possible quality that we can provide,” Sackett said. “It’s important that the customer has an exact image of what they’re buying.”
As the clock starts to tick down toward the 7:30pm CT launch time, the flock of hard-working staff on the warehouse floor slowly head home for the evening after downing some well-deserved pizza. The remaining staff breathes a deep sigh of relief, but just like the sense of calm given off by the music in the warehouse, it’s fleeting.
At precisely 7:30pm the online orders start to pour in. Over the next few days, the stress will mount again as each of the thousands of discs are tracked down, packaged up, and shipped off to their expectant new owners.