PEORIA, Illinois – The 2021 Ledgestone Insurance Open is bigger and better.
Historically great indeed.
“We registered 2,000 participants this year, most of them here for this tournament and a record as the largest field of participants in the history of disc golf,” said Ledgestone founder and long-time director Nate Heinold. “It’s just huge to an extent that you can hardly imagine. We are very happy that the sport is thriving. “
The Disc Golf Pro Tour’s Ledgestone is bigger than ever in other ways too. The prize pool for the men’s and women’s pro divisions is $ 130,000 – the largest wallet in the history of the sport.
And the tournament, which has always acted as a fundraiser for local charities, is expecting a record donation this year.
“We plan to raise $ 150,000 for charities,” said Heinold. “That will be the largest sum we have ever been able to donate.”
Who is playing in the Ledgestone Insurance Open?
The field of pro-men and pro-women is stacked with elite world ranking players. This includes Ledgestone veteran Paul McBeth, who has $ 555,000 in career profits and just finished second at the Utah World Championships in late June.
James Conrad, who emerged from this tournament as world champion, is also represented in the Ledgestone field.
So did the world number one elite player Ricky Wysocki ($ 462,000 in career winnings). And in the women’s category, Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce face off just a few days after Allen Pierce beat the last hole for the world championship.
Wysocki and Allen won the Ledgestone 2020.
A look back from the basket of a fairway cut into the woods on the Northwood Park Black course in Morton, where the pros of the 2021 Ledgestone Insurance Open are tested.
Where is the Ledgestone Insurance Open played?
The 2021 edition of the event will take place at 12 courses around the Peoria area, but the pros will play at Lake Eureka and Northwood Park in Morton. The Ledgestone has grown to 74 employees, countless volunteers and 12 courses.
The game is played in Bradley Park (Peoria), Camp Kearney (Canton), Kennel Lake (Morton), Lake Eureka (Eureka), McNaughton Park (Pekin), Megiddo in Westwood Park (Morton), Northwood Park (Morton), Sunset Hills disc golf course (Pekin), Washington Park (Washington), Wildlife Prairie Park (Hanna City), Illinois Central College (East Peoria).
Review of 2020: How the Peoria’s largest disc golf tournament got bigger and better amid COVID-19
New this year is the Northwood Park Black Course in Morton. It’s a 10,500-foot course cut into Morton Forest and designed with US Open-style angles and hazards in mind.
“It is officially the hardest disc golf course in the world,” said Heinold. “It will challenge the best players in the world.”
Can fans participate in the Ledgestone Insurance Open?
The 2020 Ledgestone operated in pandemic conditions, with areas cordoned off to maintain distance, masks required and audience capacity reduced.
But 2021 has no capacity limits or a mask requirement for viewers.
“It’s a more normal feeling again,” said Heinold.
There are different ways to participate.
VIP Badge: $ 95 for the week includes parking, event entry, VIP tent access (food provided), and a spectator pack that includes a GRIPeq G Series bag, limited edition disc, tournament t-shirt, and tournament badge contains.
Weekly Parking Pass: $ 35 allows free parking for one person and entry to the event, plus a Ledgestone disc and t-shirt.
Day Parking Card: USD 10 includes entry on days when Pro Open men or women play in Eureka or Sunset Hills. Not available in Northwood Park
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star’s sports columnist covering Bradley men’s basketball, the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.