Discs will fly across York County in 2019 as hundreds of competitors from around the globe converge for the PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships, a weeklong Major that will drive more than $1 million in estimated economic benefits to the region while growing the sport locally.
Coming to York County for the first time, the event will give the area’s status as a hotbed for disc golf a significant boost, with the top qualified amateurs, both male and female, competing across several age divisions. It will run July 20-27, 2019.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau expects as many as 1,800 competitors and spectators from outside the area to attend. Participants will come from across the United States, as well as countries like Finland, Japan, Australia, Brazil and more international locations.
Supported by a $10,000 York County Tourism Grant, the YCCVB’s Sport York team and the Gifford Pinchot Disc Golf Club partnered to bid on the lucrative event.
Chas Ford, a member of the local club, will serve as Co-Tournament Director. He brings a wealth of experience, including serving in leadership roles for both the 2008 PDGA Pro/Am Worlds in Michigan and the 2015 Pro Worlds in Pittsburgh.
“South-central Pennsylvania has a unique blend of beautifully designed and well-maintained courses that will challenge players of all ages and leave a lasting impression on every competitor,” Ford said. “Our local club is committed to promoting the sport of disc golf, and we’re proud to play a part in bringing this marquee event to York County. PDGA majors offer an opportunity to not only introduce visitors to York County, but also grow a sport everyone can enjoy.”
The PDGA will use disc golf courses at Codorus State Park, Gifford Pinchot State Park, Codorus Township Park, Muddy Run and Heritage Hills Golf Resort & Conference Center.
Similar in concept to traditional golf, disc golf is played with a disc instead of a ball. Competitors must throw their disc from a tee area to a marked target, accruing “strokes” along the way. The fewer strokes needed to reach the target, the better a competitor’s score.
York County will offer disc golfers a fun and challenging array of courses that will take them through hilly terrain, scenic wooded areas and more dynamic locations.
“In addition to York County’s excellent selection of disc golf courses, the PDGA also appreciated the tremendous outpouring of community support from York County,” said Michael Downes, PDGA Events Manager. “The Gifford Pinchot Disc Golf Club provides an experienced, on-the-ground team to help coordinate the event, while the York County CVB proved instrumental in compiling a bid that ensured the 2019 World Championships will be a success. We’re thrilled to bring one of the Majors back to Pennsylvania in 2019.”
Previous host locations include Quad Cities, Iowa; and Madison, Wisconsin. Charlotte will host the event in 2018. York County bested five other destinations to land the 2019 event.
“This is an opportunity to position York County as a premier destination for a growing sport that’s accessible to people all over the world,” said Laura Gurreri, Sales Director for the York County CVB. “In just the past five years, the number of PDGA-sanctioned events and leagues has more than doubled. We’re tapping into this market by hosting a major event and believe a successful World Championships will position York County as a destination for disc golf for years to come.”
Participants will range in age from 16 to 80 years old, offering another chance for York County to connect with youth visitors.
“Hosting youth sports offers the greatest return on investment, considering the compounding economic potential for our community," said Mark Sindicich, Chair of the YCCVB’s Board of Directors. "Youth athletes have the greatest opportunities to return as visitors, students and residents, ensuring York County’s vitality for years to come."
For more information about the PDGA and the sport of disc golf, please visit www.pdga.com.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Sport York program is designed to recruit events and generate additional economic impact in York County. Sport York positions York County as Pennsylvania’s Premier Sports Destination, highlighting the area’s dynamic facilities and central location on the East Coast. For further information about Sport York, visit www.yorkpa.org/sports.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The York County CVB’s Vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit www.yorkpa.org.