Jacob Cullum

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – For the last 22 years, Winthrop University has hosted the U.S. Disc Golf Championship (USDGC), which draws contestants from across the globe every year to compete in the prestigious tournament.

This year’s event was held at the Winthrop Gold Course Oct. 6-9.

The tournament also included the Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship, which showcases the best female competitors from around the globe, while supporting women’s health initiatives.

As the tournaments have grown and disc golf has gained in popularity, Winthrop has become a premiere destination in the sport.

“Winthrop, as a result of the USDGC, is really in a league of its own,” said Jonathan Poole, tournament director for the USDGC who was a guest on the Palmetto Report podcast. “Not only is this the 23rd USDGC, but it is also the 28th major at Winthrop. I don’t know of any other venue that has hosted even double-digits.”

The three-day often draws hundreds of competitors, spectators and vendors, who set up tents and food stands around the course.

disc golf
The Winthrop Gold Course, site of the U.S. Disc Golf Championship Oct. 6-9, has hosted nearly 30 major disc golf events, making it a premiere destination in the sport (photo: Jacob Cullum).

“We follow around different events and set up shop here,” said Noel Smith, a vendor who was selling disc golf equipment and art. “We just went to Orlando a week ago for a different event and now we are here at Winthrop. It is cool to be able to work from the tent and be able to enjoy the tournament at the same time.”

Alex Faux, a former Winthrop student who was attending his professional disc golf event, said he was surprised by the turnout.

“Yeah, I was super surprised, I was expecting maybe a couple hundred people, but there looks to be a lot more and I’m happy to be one of them.”

Devin Young, a Rock Hill resident who often plays disc golf for fun, said he was lucky enough to caddy and keep score for a number of professional competitors, including five-time disc golf world champion Paige Pierce.

“The event was sweet. They put it together really well and getting to keep score for the pros on the first day was a really cool experience,” said Young.

Clerine Williams traveled from Clemson, S.C. to work security for the tournament.

“I have done a lot of work there (at Clemson) with their events and with football and I was blown away (in Rock Hill). I think the campus of Winthrop is beautiful, the lake area is just amazing, and I was just impressed as to how well this was put together,” said Williams.

Paul McBeth, of Huntington Beach, California, won this year’s USDGC with a score of -26 and Missy Gannon, of Beacon, N.Y., won the women’s championship with a score of -2.

Organizers said this year’s tournament was a success and they will look forward to a return to the Winthrop Gold Course in 2022.