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Innovation and Thank You from the Idlewild Open

Things go crazy sometimes. These are the times that we learn and grow and improve. Take Idlewild weekend for instance.
With coverage of round one canceled and no card shuffle for round two, we had no easy way to cover the top players. That’s when we get creative. That’s when we learn new ways to do stuff and improve. I love our team.

In round 2 at the Idlewild open, Kevin Jones was in the lead. He was not on a feature card. The live card had played one hole total on the first day. There was no way to know if any of them would be in the hunt.

Working together, we came up with what seemed like the best solution. Seth Fendley would film Kevin Jones on his cell phone. Terry Miller and crew would shoot the live feature card just like they were supposed to do on day one.

Heading into the final round, Kevin Jones was still on top, and we had some footage of him thanks to Seth. We put this footage together into a montage for the Circle Zero show. Also heading into the final round, Paul McBeth had fallen off the lead card by carding two double bogeys and a quadruple bogey. Even with those eight strokes, he was in a three-way tie for third place, pushing him to the chase card.

With some significant efforts the night between rounds two and three, we determined that we might be able to capture some footage of Paul McBeth. Then we could upload it to an off-site server, have an off-site editor download and edit it into usable video clips, then have that off-site editor upload it to Jonny to utilize in the live broadcast. This would be just in case Paul McBeth made a run from the chase card.

As the final round began, Paul McBeth surprised no one when he carded birdies on five of the first six holes. Seth recorded and uploaded the Paul McBeth shots from the chase card. Our off-site editor downloaded and edited together clips for the live broadcast. He then uploaded them to Jonny who was able to use them during downtime to showcase what Paul was doing.

At hole 12, there was a backup and all of the Paul McBeth clips we were able to be shown as the live coverage team split to cover both the lead and chase cards. Spectators were treated with the fantastic coverage which included all of McBeth’s first 11 holes as well as the entire lead card to that point, and both cars from that point forward.

It made for one of the most compelling rounds of live disc golf we have ever produced, and it was born from the tragedy that was the weather on the first day. When adversity hits a passionate and capable team, it stands no chance. The group of people we’ve assembled to make the Disc Golf Pro Tour happen is genuinely something special.

Thank you to everyone for helping to make that beautiful Sunday at Idlewild happen, including the players, the Pro Tour team, and all of you for watching. I drink a toast of orange juice to you all. You are helping to make my dream of creating a sustainable Pro Tour for disc golf come true. Thank you thank you thank you.

​Article written by Pro Tour Director Steve Dodge