DISC FAMILY ROBINSON

Professional disc golfers put on a show in 18th Annual Savannah Open

EZRA ROBINSON

They don’t exactly match the typical stereotypes for a professional athlete. That doesn’t mean that professional disc golfers aren’t every bit as competitive–and every bit as talented–as any other professional athlete.

The 18th Annual Savannah Open presented by The Upholstery Shop by Leo powered by Prodigy Discs featured 91 professional disc golfers competing for a $9,201 purse over a weekend (Jan. 15-16) at Pooler’s Tom Triplett Park. A course opened in 2004 at the Chatham County operated complex, the track is made up of 20 holes spanning over 8,000 feet in total length. Each of the 91 players in the 2022 field played three rounds (60 holes) before a final six-hole playoff for the top-five players on the leaderboard.

Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) mainstay Ezra Robinson (33-under, 186) walked away the winner this year, edging his brother Isaac Robinson (188) by two strokes and 2021 Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) Champion Nathan Queen (191) by five strokes. For winning, Ezra Robinson took home $893 while Isaac pocketed $684 and Queen $508.

The victory came just two days after Robinson hosted an “Ezra Robinson Clinic” at Tom Triplett for area amateur players.

Savannah’s latest chance to host a professional sporting event wasn’t welcomed by much fanfare, like say the EnMarket Savannah Hockey Classic taking place the same weekend in downtown Savannah. Still, for an 18th consecutive year, the Savannah Open delivered as the growing sport’s marquee event for the area. Tournament Director Valerie Williams said COVID-19 concerns caused many professionals usually present for one of the season’s first events to miss this year. That list included last year’s champ, Michael Johansen, but the Savannah Open’s ascent matches the rise in disc golf’s popularity in the Savannah area as well as across the entire country.

PDGA events are classed into three-tiers (A, B and C) based off the tournament’s purse size. The Savannah Open began at the lowest, as a C-Tier event, but nowadays it’s a B-Tier, solidified as ever. Johansen’s prize for winning last year was $826, slightly less than what Robinson earned this year. Further proof for the Open’s rise in prestige with each passing year.

The course at Tom Triplett isn’t the only disc golf track in the area. Bacon Park golf course has hosted events in the past and a newly built Georgia Southern Disc Golf Course is located on Armstrong’s campus on Savannah’s southside. Courses in Guyton and on Tybee Island are also relatively new.

More info on amateur events and course information for Savannah residents can be found by visiting the Savannah Disc Golf Association’s Facebook group.

About The Author

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon has been writing in Savannah since 2016 and is host of Hot Grits Podcast.
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