Close to 400 collegiate disc golfers are expected to turn out for the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships on April 12-15 at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex in North Augusta.
“Teams are traveling from as far as California and Oregon, and there are some big SEC colleges taking part as well,” said John Baker, event coordinator. “The event started in 2007 with eight teams, and it’s grown.”
Last year, Augusta University won the championship for a third time, and this year, the Jaguars will be up against teams from Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State and Penn State among others. In all, about 50 teams will be competing.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday with play from noon to 5:30 p.m. Play will resume Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the singles finals beginning at 5 p.m. There will be two rounds on each of those days with an hour break between rounds.
On Saturday, the first and second flight finals will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; the NIT finale shotgun will begin at 11:30 a.m.; and the national and women’s championships will begin at noon.
Ending times are estimates, according to Baker, as rounds could end early depending on how quickly the field plays. In the event of rain, play will be slower, he said.
Admission to the tournament is free.
After the end of the tournament, there’s a new event. The inaugural High Flyer Festival will be from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Derek May, the president of Morris Publishing Group and a past chairman of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, said he sees the festival as a great addition to the lineup. He said he hopes it will draw out those who’ve never been to a disc golf tournament before and pique their interest.
“One of the goals of this event is to get people to see disc golf is a fun sport,” he said. “By having a festival, it gives people another reason to come out.”
The Motet and Sister Hazel are the scheduled performers.
The Motet, a Denver-based band, has influences in jazz, funk and Afrobeat and has played at festivals such as Bonnaroo and Wakarusa. In 2016, the group release its most recent recording, Totem.
Sister Hazel is an alternative rock band from Gainesville, Fla. The band released its ninth studio album and first country album, Lighter in the Dark, in February 2016.
The local band Bethany and the Southside Boys are scheduled to open the festival.
Tickets for the High Flyer Festival cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. For more information on the tournament, visit www.ncdgc.com. For more information on the High Flyer Festival, visit www.highflyerfestival.com.