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Hole 16 at Emporia Country Club: Where Precision Meets Opportunity

By Nick Quargnenti
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The world of professional disc golf is filled with exhilarating challenges and breathtaking moments, and the Dynamic Discs Open, hosted at the Emporia Country Club, is no exception. Among the myriad of captivating holes, Hole 16 undeniably shines as a signature par 3, blending beauty and challenge for those who dare to conquer the infamous island hole.

As players approach Hole 16, they are greeted by a par 3 that demands both precision and power. Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the course, this hole proves to be a significant test of skill and strategy. Measuring 320 feet in length, Hole 16 demands players to carefully consider their approach angle and disc selection to conquer it successfully. As Kevin Jones (PDGA# 41760) would know, even the best throws on this hole can lead to unfortunate disaster.

To achieve a birdie on Hole 16, players need a near-perfect combination of distance, accuracy, and finesse. The initial drive is crucial, requiring enough power to cover the distance of treacherous waters while navigating potential obstacles. For instance, the familiar gusts of the Kansas wind have the uncanny ability to quickly turn an otherwise flawless shot into a demanding recovery, testing the resilience and adaptability of even the most skilled players.

If one does not land their shot safely on the island, they’ll have to make their way to the drop zone. This renowned drop zone sits 95 feet from the basket, a shot that Ricky Wysocki (PDGA# 38008) is quite familiar with.

During round 1 of the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open, Sai Ananda (PDGA# 58303) also secured her par from the treacherous drop zone.

A birdie on Hole 16 has the potential to ignite a player’s momentum, propelling them towards a strong finish in the remaining two holes. On the other hand, failing to reach the island can spell disaster for those seeking to make a final push at the end of their round. Hole 16 was pivotal this year when Hailey King (PDGA# 81351) secured a two-stroke swing against Holyn Handley (PDGA# 133547) during the final round of the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open.

Moreover, in the event of a tie at the Dynamic Discs Open, a playoff brings the players back to the tee of Hole 16, preceding Hole 18. The two holes are replayed repeatedly until one player emerges victorious, mirroring the intense playoff battle between King and Handley during the tournament’s final round.

We should also recall the legendary feat of Paul McBeth (PDGA# 27523) who achieved his astonishing 6th PDGA World Championship in a parallel scenario less than a year ago. This gripping playoff battle against Aaron Gossage (PDGA# 35449) in 2022 added yet another glorious chapter to the iconic hole’s storied history.

During the climactic final round of the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open, Hole 16 proved to be a challenging hurdle for competitors. In the MPO division, the average score on Hole 16 exceeded par at 3.13, while the FPO division faced an even greater difficulty with an average score of 3.74.

Holyn Handley on Hole 16 at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

On Championship Sunday the birdie percentage on Hole 16 stood at 33% for MPO players, providing a glimpse of the opportunities that presented themselves to those who executed their shots flawlessly. On the other hand, the birdie percentage for FPO participants was notably lower at 11%, reflecting the heightened challenge faced by the FPO players on this particular hole.

Putting on Hole 16 at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Conversely, the bogey percentage shed light on the treacherous nature of Hole 16, with 32% of MPO players succumbing to bogeys during the final round. The FPO division had an even higher bogey percentage, standing at 57%. This highlights the unforgiving consequences of errant shots or misjudgments on this demanding hole.

Matty O. on Hole 16 at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

Overall, the statistics for Hole 16 at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open reveal its formidable nature. It demanded precise execution, strategic decision-making, and the ability to handle the pressure of the tournament’s final round.

If one executes to perfection an ace is even within reach, take a look at this phenomenal shot by Katelyn Belty on Hole 16 during this year’s Dynamic Discs Open.

Hole 16 at the Emporia Country Club during the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open offered a captivating mix of challenge and opportunity. This remarkable hole showcased the immense skill and mental fortitude required to navigate the memorable shot successfully. Its unique challenges will continue to inspire future generations of disc golfers, reminding them of the beauty and thrill that lies within the game.

Calvin Heimburg on Hole 16 at the 2023 Dynamic Discs Open. Photos: Kevin Huver / DGPT

 

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