It's no secret Disc Golf is growing fast in the old continent, but while most of the focus seems to be on the Nordic countries, many countries in Central Europe are also showing very healthy numbers in terms of growth. And when it comes to Central Europe, Czech Republic is leading the way in numbers of new courses installed and new players acquired every year, especially if you look at the per capita ratios. In the past 3 years the Czech Disc Golf course network has grown from 5 to 40 and while at the start of the decade the tournaments in Czech Republic were few and far between, the Czech Disc Golf Association's yearly calendar listed over 80 tournaments and other events for 2014 alone.
While there are many factors generating the growth of Disc Golf in Czech Republic, probably the biggest influence has been generated by Premysl Novak and his crew, who have been working closely with Discmania since 2011. Mr. Novak is the man behind many of the biggest tournaments in Czech Republic, as well as the head of ProDiscgolf.cz web shop, main course designer for DiscGolfPark in Czech Republic and overall an A-class promoter of the sport. The main event of the Czech Disc Golf season, the Konopiste Open, is also run by Mr. Novak & Co.
The Archduke - a unique course and an unique environment
The Konopiste Castle located only short a 30 minute drive south from Prague has a rich history. Built in the 1280's, the castle and the vast park area guarding the fortress dating back to the 1800's have seen many wars and owners. Despite the changing times, the park has remained well cultivated, filled with majestic oaks and pines, deep forests and sunlit meadows over rolling hills. Needless to say, the park is just perfect for Disc Golf. 2015 will mark the 3rd consecutive year Premysl Novak and his team are putting together an event in these unique surroundings and for 2015, the bar has been raised higher than ever.
The original course design of "the Archduke" course was made by Lukas Filandr and Premysl Novak in 2013 and in 2014 it saw some changes thanks to a new tournament hotel. For the 2015 event the changes will be even more substantial and the course itself will be noticeably more challenging, thanks to Discmania CEO and course designer extraordinaire Jussi Meresmaa. Jussi visited the event site twice in 2014 to make sure his finalized course design for the Konopiste Open 2015 will give the players more than their money's worth. Course design -wise Jussi is known for designing the European Open Major course in Nokia, Finland. Jussi's design input is also visible in the upcoming Aussie Open and on dozens of permanent courses in Europe.
The First EuroTour event in Czech Republic
Ever since its inception in 2013, the Konopiste Open has filled up fast. The best players in the region have struck a strong liking towards the tournament and its unique course. We've had our scouts in the field on both occasions Konopiste Open has been held and the potential of the event has been clear to us here at Discmania from day one. For the 2015 edition, we are proud to be the presenting sponsor of Konopiste Open. 2015 will also mark the first year of this event being a leg of the PDGA EuroTour, the top Pro tour in Europe at the moment. Considering the unique atmosphere, cost-efficient travel and accommodation options and the superb course, we strongly believe this is the EuroTour event you don't want to miss in 2015.
The 2015 edition of Konopiste Open will be held May 7th thru 10th. The tournament site is now open and the registration will open on the 8th of February. Whether you'd like to be a part of this event as a player or simply interested in seeing this unique tournament as a spectator, make sure to clear your schedule for the 2nd weekend of May. We expect this event to fill up fast, so don't miss your chance to experience the best in Central European Disc Golf!
On that note, here's some video impressions from the 2014 event:
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