The GreenHorn program is one aimed at introducing players to the competitive side of disc golf and teaching them the proper rules, etiquette, and expectations associated with formal competition.
It originated as a single tournament in 2003 held at Dragan Field in Auburn Maine. I took over the idea in 2004, expanding it to a two tournament schedule (one singles, one doubles). The GreenHorn series has run that way annually at Dragan Field ever since.
The event schedule for the tournaments is the same for both the singles and doubles versions.
- Registration and Check-in from 8:00 – 9:30am
- Rules Clinic from 9:30 – 10:15am
- Round 1 starting around 10:15
- Lunch Break
- Round 2 starting around 1:15-1:30
- Awards immediately following round 2
At check-in, players receive a player pack consisting of at least one disc, a mini marker disc, and the most current edition of the PDGA rule book and competition manual.
During the 45 minute rules clinic, all the essential rules and practices of tournament play are discussed. Players are taken from tee to green covering the rules they’ll need to know in a tournament such as marking the lie and stance on the fairway/green, correctly holing out, dealing with OB, dealing with lost discs, dealing with obstacles both casual and permanent, courtesy and good etiquette, etc. Proper scorekeeping is the last key topic covered before the clinic concludes with an introduction to the scoreport. Players are then sent out to their starting holes and the first round begins with a two-minute warning and a start horn.
During the first round and the lunch break, there are often veteran players on hand to answer any questions or concerns that players may have. This can vary from settling a rules question on the course to offering an impromptu putting lesson during lunch.
In the singles tournament, each veteran mentor is assigned to a playing group in round 2 to play along. The idea is for the mentors to put into action everything (rules, etiquette, strategy) that’s been discussed so the players can better see it in action. To make it interesting, a bonus prize is offered to any GreenHorn who can beat their group’s mentor in the round.
The day concludes with award certificates to the top finishers. Players are encouraged to play at least one more tournament somewhere, anywhere before the end of the year. Some do, some do not. Those that do have gone on to be quite prolific in their tournament play in the years that followed their GreenHorn experience.
The full history of the GreenHorn tournament can be found at GreenHornDiscGolf.com.