This event traditionally runs on the first Sunday in November. The reasoning behind holding the tournament on Sunday is that early November is the beginning of hunting season in Maine, but there is no hunting allowed on Sundays. It’s not necessarily a matter of safety (hunting isn’t allowed on or near the course property) but many local players are also hunters. The tournament being on a non-hunting day eliminates the need for these players to choose between their hobbies.
The Thorndike is named for Richard Thorndike, who for a long time was the Enmans’ go to trophy maker. He passed away shortly before the first event in 2003. The unfinished trophy intended for that event still resides on the mantle in the Dragan Field pro shop.
Proceeds from the inaugural event were donated to a Boys club for which Mr. Thorndike was a long time volunteer. In the following years, the Thorndike continues to be a charitable tournament, benefiting a number of charitable endeavors including raising funds to buy disc golf targets and discs for area schools. Since 2011, the event’s designated charity has been the Maine Children’s Cancer Program at Maine Medical Center in Portland.
The tournament was originally to be named the “Triple Cup” and consist of three divisions: Amateur, Geezer (over-40), and Junior. It became the Thorndike Triple Cup before that first event. In its third year, 2005, a Pro division was added. In 2007, the tournament temporarily was moved to Pleasant Hill for a year before returning to its rightful place at Dragan Field in 2008 with the traditional all divisions format that remains today. 2011 was the first year in which the Thorndike was sanctioned as a PDGA event.
More information on the Thorndike Memorial tournament can be found here.