The state of Illinois has never seen anything like this.
And the tournament is occurring right here in central Illinois.
The Ledgestone Insurance Championships will be Friday and Saturday at three local disc golf courses.
It officially is the largest disc golf tournament in Illinois’ history and among the biggest anywhere.
Northwood Park in Morton, Bradley Park in Peoria and Pekin’s McNaughton Park will be the sites for the Professional Disc Golf Association Super Tour event.
“We will have a very diverse field,” tournament director Nate Heinold said.
Players are registered from throughout the country. Some of the states represented are: Alaska, California, Kansas, Oregon and Tennessee.
At least six of the top 15 in the men’s world rankings are expected to compete, including No. 1 Will Schusterick of Nashville, Tenn.
Two of the top three women also are signed up for the event that the public is encouraged to attend.
Player participation more than doubled from a year ago to an anticipated count of more than 250.
The money and prizes are up four-to-five fold after the tournament raised more than $25,000 as of Aug. 20 through fund-raising efforts and sponsors.
The substantial purses, which will total nearly $45,000 for all divisions including prizes, are one of the Ledgestone Insurance Championships’ big attractions.
Heinold estimated 30-40 people try to play disc golf for a living and 5-10 can actually do it.
In all, 14 winners will crowned, spanning a variety of skills levels and ages.
With less than three weeks before the tournament, Heinold said it is both exciting and exhausting making preparations.
The main course at Morton was redesigned and now includes new concrete tees.
Some trimming also was done there, as well as at McNaughton Park.
Marking of out of bounds and painting lines were done at all three tournament layouts.
The competition kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The final nine, a compilation of the toughest holes at Northwood Park for the leading players, will start about 2 p.m. Saturday.
“That will be the most exciting time for sure,” said Heinold.
The Ledgestone Insurance Championships is the finale of the Ledgestone Insurance series.
Heinold figured by the end of the season-long series, he will have put in more than 750 hours.
Heinold, vice president of Ledgestone Insurance Group, has an office in Washington, located at 1142 Peoria St., by The Blend.
Besides being the spot for players to check in Thursday, there also will be a putting competition from 4 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot. The public can even take a shot.
Page 2 of 2 - Merchandise will be sold, including some rare items. Sales will continue at the tournament.
All tournament entrants receive a players pack, filled with goodies, which is made possible by main sponsors Ledgestone Insurance and Plastic Addicts.
Other sponsors include: Erie Insurance, Paragon, Huk Lab, McDonald’s, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Village of Morton, Goodfellas, Washington Community Bank, ABC Discs and Ty Dyed.
Any individuals interested in volunteering are encouraged to email Heinold at email@example.com. It is not necessary to be well-versed in the sport of disc golf.