Ledgestone TD Nate Heinold is happy to announce the release of the 2022 Ledgestone course schedule here. The 2022 schedule continues with the same theme of 2020 and 2021, with all AM players playing three courses. The event staff did a large survey after the 2021 event to gauge feedback on the course schedule and other topics, and that helped determine the schedule for 2022. This is the 5th announcement in our series of the Twelve Days of Ledgestone.
Two courses are being added to the 2022 course schedule, while all twelve courses from 2021 will return. The two new courses to the schedule are the courses at Illinois Central College (ICC) and Maxwell Park. The course at ICC has been used for many events over the years, including the US Women’s event when it used to be held in Peoria. The event has shied away from using ICC in the past because of parking restraints, but with the event moving to tee times the issue has been minimized. Parking will also be available just down the road from the course at the Horticulture lab. The ICC course is located between Washington and Peoria, and is within 20 minutes of most of the event locations. The course at Maxwell Park in Normal is seeing its addition to the schedule for the first time. The event has previously not gone to Bloomington/Normal, but with the recent redesign of the property the tournament felt it was time. “I went to college in Normal and literally played Maxwell Park almost every day. I have been waiting for the opportunity to take Ledgestone down I-74 and this is the perfect opportunity,” said Heinold. The course was recently redesigned by Dana Vicich of Disc Golf Park and is approximately 25 minutes from both Eureka and Morton. The course will see a much different version presented than the local players have seen over the last several years. The Normal Park is currently working on finishing up the project, with the expectation of the course being open sometime in the Spring of 2022. “Maxwell Park was a well loved course, but the emerald ash borer wreaked it's havoc and killed nearly all of the trees on the course. Over the last three years, the course has been completely redesigned and now offers a fresh look on the old favorite. In addition to an 18 hole course that features two baskets per hole, there is also a 7 hole beginner & family style course on site,” said Vicich.
MPO and FPO players will be playing the same courses they played in 2021, with FPO playing two rounds at Sunset and two rounds at Northwood Black Shorts, while MPO will take on Eureka Temp for two rounds and Northwood Black for two rounds. Northwood Black is undergoing some minor changes to the newer par 5’s (holes 6 and 14) that will open up landing zones compared to the 2021 layout.
MA1 players will once again get a chance to crack the Eureka Temp course, which they were able to play for the first time in 2020. On top of playing the showcase MPO course for one of their rounds, they will once again also get to compete at Wildlife Prairie Park and Sunset Hills, which is the showcase FPO course. The full field of MA1 will be just over 330 players.
MA2 will play an identical schedule to 2021, with Northwood Blue, Kennel Lake and Eureka Permanent being used. MA2 will include two pools of players with a maximum of 360 spots being available. In the biggest change to the Ledgestone pool sizes, MA3 will have a whopping three pools with the capacity for 540 players, and will be the only division to compete at their courses: Bradley, McNaughton and Westwood. That schedule is identical to the one they used in 2021. McNaughton (aka McNasty) has long been a local favorite course, with Ken Climo calling it one of his top five courses in the country, while Westwood is a tight, wooded course that traverses up and down several hills. Bradley is a classic Peoria course that has been around since the 80’s and was designed in the mid 2000’s. MA4 will play a different schedule this year based on survey feedback, as they will tackle ICC, Washington and Maxwell, with Washington once again utilizing two temporary holes and two combined holes.
Based on survey feedback, we made slight changes to the course schedules for several age based divisions, including MA40. MA40 will have its own pool with 180 players and will play a course schedule that includes Camp Kearney, Wildlife and Kennel Lake. Based on survey feedback we also amended the course schedule for MP50 and they will now play Sunset Hills, Eureka Permanent and Camp Kearney. Finally, we took in additional feedback as it relates to the FA1 division, and they will now play a course schedule that includes Maxwell Park, Camp Kearney and ICC.
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 2300+ 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. 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. While the tournament tries to ensure that divisions play similar courses each year, that doesn’t always work. The tournament takes in constant feedback about the courses that various divisions play, and will continue to do that in the future.
The 12th Annual Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open will take place August 11th to the 14th in Central Illinois. Registration will take place exclusively at Disc Golf Scene and will open in early 2022. Registration for AM players and age protected professionals will take place here and registration for the DGPT event will take place here.