For one weekend each year since 2017, Jonesboro, a town of 76,000 in northeastern Arkansas, has turned into the most important place for competitive disc golf in the United States as a stop on the Disc Golf Pro Tour. And that's all thanks to the Jonesboro Open.
A major reason the tournament is on the pro circuit is the existence of Disc Side of Heaven, a community-supported course with length, thoughtfully constructed fairways, and lots of elevation changes. It's an elite course designed for elite players.
Learn more about the 2022 Jonesboro Open (Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24) below:
- Who won the 2022 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament
- How to watch footage of the 2022 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament
- History of the Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament
- Highlights from previous Jonesboro Open disc golf tournaments
2022 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament Hole-By-Hole Scores & Stats
You can see hole-by-hole live scores, in-depth stats, and more for all competitors in both divisions of the 2022 Jonesboro Open on UDisc Live.
Who Won the Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament in 2022?
Calvin Heimburg (26-under par) and Kristin Tattar (24-under par) won the 2022 Jonesboro Open disc golf tournament in MPO and FPO respectively.
Learn who else finished on the podium below.
How To Watch the 2022 Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament
Jonesboro Open Disc Golf Tournament History
The Jonesboro Open has an atypical origin story among Pro Tour stops. Whereas most events on the circuit had been institutions in their respective areas for many years and had slowly gained prestige, the first iteration of the Jonesboro Open in any form was its DGPT debut.
The 2022 edition will be the sixth anniversary of the competition. Tournament Director Brad Pietz said it grew out of a disc golf void in the community.
"Myself and other people who had moved to town from other parts of the country and loved disc golf saw a need in the city to do something," he said.
Pietz said it was a "tough sell" to those outside of the disc golf community in Jonesboro, but only a few years in, things have turned around completely.
"We told people we could build this big event and have a major economic impact for the city, but it was met with a lot of hesitation," Pietz said. "And now, in year five, I have people from all across the city calling me and asking how they can be involved."
The tournament has become a mainstay in Jonesboro, with residents eagerly anticipating the mass of people it brings to town and the boost it provides to the local economy during the week of the event.
"The local campground is a 770-acre city park and it doesn't fill up throughout the year very often," Pietz said. "The Jonesboro Open fills it and it's literally overflowing."
In 2017, when the Jonesboro Open first joined the DGPT, few outside Arkansas had ever heard of the city and fewer had ever heard of the Disc Side of Heaven course hosting the tournament.
"There were a lot of people who thought [DGPT founder and majority owner until late 2019] Steve Dodge had lost his mind putting a Pro Tour event somewhere that no one had ever heard of," Pietz said. "But again, just five years later, several players will tell you the Disc Side of Heaven's Championship Course is their favorite course on tour."
But no matter how much players liked the course and the community supported the event, the Jonesboro Open wouldn't have stayed on the Disc Golf Pro Tour if it hadn't been run smoothly year after year. As our article "What Do Pro Disc Golfers Want Most From Tournaments?" shows, pros care a lot about tournament directors running events well. And Pietz has been up to the job from day one.
Pietz is the biggest reason the Jonesboro Open was added to the tour without the event having existed before. He has worked in college athletics and event management for over two decades, so organizing a disc golf tournament is just another day on the job for him.
"I've done 20 years of working sold-out concerts, working Final Fours, and working Sugar Bowls, Independence Bowls, and Cotton Bowls," he said. "My entire career has been large event management. I was able to let Steve know that if I can put 30,000-40,000 people into a football stadium every other Saturday, then I think I could handle a disc golf event."
With that sort of experience, Pietz naturally executed the event like the DGPT expected from year one and has established the Jonesboro Open as a staple on tour, turning a little-known town in Arkansas into a must-visit destination for disc golfers in the process.
The Jonesboro Open has also become an opportunity to create an even greater impact. In 2021, the tournament partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, St. Jude is only an hour drive from the Disc Side of Heaven course. The event raised $45,000 for St. Jude's last year.
Here are some of the standout moments from past Jonesboro Opens.
Women Play in Snowstorm in 2018
The second round of the 2018 tournament included an event rarely seen on the Disc Golf Pro Tour: a snowstorm. The women battled through frigid temperatures and blowing snow during a round that likely ranks among the most memorable of their professional careers.
Watch this clip from The Disc Golf Guy's YouTube channel, which shows competitors stepping up to a slippery hole 1 tee pad with dark skies overhead and snow blowing in their faces.
The 2018 second round was 50° Fahrenheit/10° Celsius colder than the second round of the event in 2017. It's no surprise that no one in the Open Women field was able to shoot under par during this historically wintry round.
Gurthie Calls Ace
In 2020, Garrett Gurthie stepped up to hole 15's tee at the Disc Side of Heaven course, threw a gentle 270-foot/82-meter hyzer, and promptly smashed an ace.
Watch the clip from JomezPro below:
We've seen plenty of impressive aces before, so besides being a tournament ace caught on camera, what makes this relatively short hole-in-one so special?
It's how this ace fulfilled a promise. Gurthie's father was in the hospital during this tournament, and Gurthie told him he would make an ace for him before he went to play. If you listen closely, as Gurthie reaches into the basket to pull out his disc and show it to the camera, you can hear him say, "That's for you dad."
2020 Battle Between McBeth and Heimburg
McBeth and Heimburg made something special out of the 2020 Jonesboro Open.
The two were tied after round one, ranked first and second on the leaderboard after round two (with McBeth in front), and still ranked first and second on the leaderboard after the dust settled in round three (with Heimburg on top). They were both a tier above the rest of the field at this particular event.
Heimburg trailed McBeth by three heading into the final round but was able to claw back and take the lead after hole 9, highlighted by a major two-stroke swing on hole 5. Watch the differences in their drives in the clip below (Heimburg directly followed by McBeth):
Heimburg went on to make his putt while McBeth carded a bogey.
The drama continued throughout the round, and the full back nine of the two players going virtually shot for shot is well worth the (re)watch.