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Gannon Buhr’s Win Marks 7th Idle-WILD Finish!

By Nick Quargnenti
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Celebrating 7 Years of Unique MPO Champions at the Idlewild Open

Article written by: Nick Quargnenti – DGPT Marketing Coordinator

In a sport where consistency and precision reign supreme, the LWS Open at Idlewild, presented by Dynamic Discs & The Nati, has carved out a niche of its own. For seven years running, this prestigious event on the Mixed Professional Open (MPO) side has seen a parade of distinct winners, a streak that was extended with Gannon Buhr’s (PDGA# 75412) triumphant victory this weekend. It’s a streak that defies convention and underscores the ever-evolving nature of disc golf.

Nestled in the heart of Burlington, Kentucky, the Idlewild course stands as a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship of its creators, Fred Salaz and Robert Herbert. Since its inception, the course has garnered a reputation as one of the finest disc golf courses in the world. With its rolling hills, challenging water hazards, and a mix of wooded and open holes, Idlewild offers a true test of a player’s skills. Accuracy and strategic placement take precedence over sheer distance, making it a course that demands finesse as much as power.

Idlewild. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Jason Kerl and Adam Jones, the driving forces behind The Nati and co-owners of the event, have been instrumental in elevating the Idlewild Open to its current status. Their meticulous event management has helped create an atmosphere that not only challenges players but also showcases the sport in its best light.

Valerie Mandujano Claims her 2023 LWS Open at Idlewild Victory. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Idlewild’s distinctiveness extends beyond its demanding layout and picturesque backdrop. Serving as a haven of opportunity, the Idlewild Open has witnessed the rise of four players who clinched their first Elite/Major victories on its revered grounds:

For these competitors, Idlewild isn’t merely a tournament; it’s where their disc golf legacy came to life.

In 2021, things got seriously exciting at the Idlewild Open. Kyle Klein etched his name into the record with a victory that nearly turned into a six-way playoff. Talk about adding an extra twist to Idlewild’s already wild reputation. When all was said and done, Klein found himself going head-to-head with Andrew Marwede (PDGA# 75590) in a two-hole playoff, a showdown that ended with Klein taking the win and scoring his first-ever DGPT Elite victory. This chapter in Idlewild’s story shows just how unpredictable and thrilling this course can be.

Kyle Klein Celebrates his 2021 Idlewild Open Victory. Photo: Brittany Dickerson / DGPT

Idlewild’s streak of unique MPO winners holds historical weight. In a realm that usually celebrates familiar faces, this event stands out as the sole one with more than five instances void of a returning champ. This not only highlights the intense rivalry and unpredictable nature of Idlewild, where any player can unveil a shocking score, but also accentuates the richness in today’s Pro Tour MPO competition. This is especially relevant in 2023, a season unparalleled in the history of the Pro Tour since its establishment.

Gannon Buhr During the Final Round at the LWS Open at Idlewild. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

This year, Gannon Buhr made his mark on Idlewild’s history with a strong showing at the LWS Open. His 32 under par victory became his fifth Disc Golf Pro Tour win and third Elite Event victory of the season, making him the first MPO player to hit that milestone this year. This accomplishment also placed him among the select group of Idlewild champions, becoming the seventh distinct MPO winner in the event’s seven years since joining the DGPT circuit in 2017.

Idlewild. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Idlewild’s unique charm is also represented in its quirky stats. The course holds the record for the shortest shots required on the tour to reach circle 1, averaging just 272 feet. Plus, two of its par 5s—Holes 8 and 16—are surprisingly easy to score on, with a higher eagle rate than other challenging course holes. In the final round, Hole 8 witnessed 19 Eagles (20% of the field), while Hole 16 saw 13 Eagles (13% of the field). However, despite these numbers, Idlewild’s unpredictable nature makes it a course for the brave-hearted.

Idlewild. Photo: Kevin Huver / DGPT

As the Disc Golf Pro Tour continues to evolve and players refine their skills, the LWS Open at Idlewild remains a constant, offering a unique challenge that has yet to be tamed by a single individual for seven consecutive years. It’s a testament to the unpredictability of the sport, the allure of the course, and the dedication of the athletes who take on its challenges.

As we celebrate Gannon Buhr’s victory and the continuation of Idlewild’s streak, we are reminded that in disc golf, just like in life, the journey is often more captivating than the destination. And in the case of Idlewild, that journey is one that disc golf enthusiasts eagerly look forward to year after year, wondering who will be the next player to conquer its formidable challenges and etch their name into history.

The Disc Golf Pro Tour resumes on August 17th for the exciting start of Playoffs at the 2023 Discraft Great Lakes Open! Tune it to Disc Golf Network to catch all the action LIVE.