Disc Golf Pro Tour set to make stop in Milford this weekend

Christian Peck-Dimit
The Detroit News

Kensington Metropark will host the 41st annual Discraft’s Great Lakes Open this weekend as the Disc Golf Pro Tour makes its 10th stop of the season at one of its most unique courses.

The top 58 professional women and the top 140 professional men are set to face off across the course’s 18 holes from Friday to Sunday this weekend.

The Pro Disc Golf Tour makes a stop in Milford this weekend for the Discraft's Great Lakes Open.

The Open is named after the Michigan-based disc golf disc manufacturer, whose headquarters is less than 10 miles from the course. The course the Open is played on originally was built for the U.S. Amateur Championship, which is still played on the course every year in mid-June.

“(Discraft) said, what would it take for us to make this into a professional event as well,” Seth Fendley, DGPT vice president of administration and finance. “They looked at the course, they made a few holes more difficult, as it is whenever you have pros, and really found a good setup with the location and how it plays.”

Discraft now sponsors both the DGLO and the Amateur Championship.

This will be the 41st year Kensington has hosted the event, and the stark elevation changes make it a tall task for competitors. 

“It’s sort of grueling in that they throw down the first hill, they throw up the second one, then they throw down the third one, that’s Holes 1, 2 and 3,” Fendley said. “It’s a very unique track in that it’s got the elevation changes, but also it’s got some distance to it as well.”

The course is known as the toboggan as it was built on hills used during the winter as toboggan hills, making it the only one of its kind on the tour. Because of this, the course only remains open during the summer, beginning the season with the U.S. Amateur Championship and closing it with the DGLO.

The DGLO marks the 10th of 16 total courses played throughout the season. Only three more opens remain before a pair of playoffs, in which players qualify for based on points earned throughout the season, and the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship in mid-October. 

The top 80 male and top 40 female finishers earned tour cards, meaning they are automatically registered for the initial 13 stops on the tour, with the rest of the field being filled out according to a rating system the tour uses to determine each player's skill level.

Whether a player participates in a particular open also is dependent on proximity and availability.

“When we’re in Las Vegas, there are pros from Nevada and California that are playing that aren’t necessarily going to come to Michigan,” Fendley said.

The DGLO is also one of the most well-attended stops on the tour, Fendley said, as more than 2,000 spectators are expected Sunday. 

“We have room for more; the biggest thing for us is letting people know if you want to come watch, you can go online and buy tickets and come out here and see what it’s like to be at a professional disc golf event,” Fendley said. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend; obviously we’re on toboggan hills, so it’s quite a hike, it’s still fun.”

Discraft’s Great Lakes Open

► When: Friday-Sunday first tee time is 7:30 a.m., final tee-time is 3:30 p.m. for all three days. 

► Where: Kensington Metropark, Milford

► What: The Great Lakes Open is the 10th stop on the Disc Pro Golf Tour out of 13 stops. 140 men and 58 women will take part in the Open. Players then qualify for two playoff courses before the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship in mid-October

► Visit here for ticket information.