Disc Golf's Presidents Cup: What It Is & How It Works

Alex Williamson avatar
Alex WilliamsonWriter, Editor
Jul 18 • 7 min read
Two men shake hands in front of a table with a trophy as their teams look on
2017's Presidents Cup captains Dave Feldberg and Kari Vesala shake hands. Credit: Eino Ansio / Spin18

The Presidents Cup is a rare team disc golf competition at the professional level. It pits Team U.S.A. against Team Europe and has happened before every European Open – a PDGA Major – since the event started in 2006. The eighth Presidents Cup will go down on July 20, 2022.

Currently, team U.S.A. is 7-0, but Europe will field its strongest team ever in 2022 and is very hungry for its first win.

Below you can learn all about disc golf's Presidents Cup, including:

  • How to follow 2022 Presidents Cup scores live shot-by-shot
  • Who the 2022 Presidents Cup teams are and how they were chosen
  • The two different formats used during the Presidents Cup and how they work

How Can I Follow the Presidents Cup in Real Time?

In 2019, UDisc Live offered disc golf fans live scores of the Presidents Cup for the first time. In 2022, we're doing it again. You can see both how individual matches are going as well as where each team's score total stands.

Follow the Presidents Cup on UDisc Live.

The 2022 Disc Golf Presidents Cup Teams

As we mentioned earlier, the Presidents Cup is a match-up between Team U.S.A. and Team Europe. Each side puts forth its highest-level players who are competing at the European Open to compete in a mix of formats used nowhere else in the pro disc golf world.

The teams consist of 11 players each: A captain (who doesn't play), six male players, two female players, and two alternates (one man, one woman).

This year, most players earned spots based on their Disc Golf World Ranking at the end of 2021 though some were chosen through other methods.

Who Are Captains for Disc Golf's 2022 Presidents Cup & How Were They Chosen?

Photos of two men with beards side by side.
Left: U.S. captain Jeremy Koling. Right: Europe captain KJ Nybo. Photos: PDGA (Koling) and Disc Golf Pro Tour (Nybo)

Jeremy Koling is Team U.S.A. captain and K.J. Nybo of Denmark is Team Europe captain. Both are long-time pros with huge name recognition.

Captains don't play in the event. Their most important jobs are numbering their team's competing players (you can see the impact of this in the later 'How Does the Disc Golf Presidents Cup Work?' section) and choosing one male player to join their region's team.

The organizers of the European Open chose a list of captain candidates for both the U.S.A. and Europe. A fan vote then decided who should get the nod.

Nate Sexton would have made a repeat appearance as U.S.A. captain, but he opted not to attend the European Open this year. As second-highest vote-getter, Koling took on the U.S.A. captain role.

Nybo won easily, getting 46% of the vote out of four European candidates.

Team U.S.A. for 2022 Presidents Cup in Disc Golf

This is the current U.S.A. team:

Reserves:

All players made the team based on their World Ranking at the end of 2021 except those with stars. Those stars mean the following:

* Chosen by captain

** Chosen by fan vote

Team Europe for 2022 Presidents Cup in Disc Golf

This is the current European team:

Reserves:

All players made the team based on their World Ranking at the end of 2021 except those with stars. Those stars mean the following:

* Chosen by captain's vote

** Chosen by fan vote

How Does Disc Golf's Presidents Cup Work?

There are two phases of the Presidents Cup: phase 1) individual stroke play by card (nine holes) and phase 2) match play (maximum nine holes).

In both phases, how captains number players is meaningful. Since players' numbers aren't revealed until shortly before the event starts, we're not going to use names in this section. Instead, we'll refer to players like this:

  • US1, US2, US3, etc. refer to the U.S.A.'s #1, #2, #3, etc. men
  • E1, E2, E3, etc. refer to the Europe's #1, #2, #3, etc. men
  • USW1 and USW2 refer to the U.S.A.'s #1 and #2 women
  • EW1 and EW2 refer to the Europe's #1 and #2 women

How Does a Team Win Disc Golf's Presidents Cup?

There are a total of 52 points up for grabs at the Presidents Cup:

  • Phase 1: 28 points (though a single team can't win more than 24)
  • Phase 2: 24 points

A team needs 26.5 points to win the event.

How Does Phase 1 (Individual Play) of the Disc Golf Presidents Cup Work?

Players compete in groups of four, two U.S. players and two European players. The two women from each team play on the same card. Everyone is playing nine holes by typical individual tournament rules (also called 'individual best shot').

Cards are formed based on the numbers captains decide on. Here's what those cards will look like:

  • Card 1: US1, E1, US2, E2
  • Card 2: US3, E3, US4, E4
  • Card 3: US5, E5, US6, E6
  • Card 4: USW1, EW1, USW2, EW2

Everyone on each card is competing for a share of seven possible points:

  • 1st place on card = 4 points
  • 2nd place = 2 points
  • 3rd place = 1 point
  • 4th place = 0 points

Here's an example of how points could work out:

Player Score Points
E1 4-under par 4
US2 3-under par 2
US1 1-under par 1
E2 Par 0

In the above scenario, Team Europe would earn four points (4+0) and Team U.S.A. would earn three (2+1).

The maximum either team could earn during phase 1 is 24 points. They could do this by having the top two scorers on every card.

What If There Are Ties During Phase 1 of Disc Golf's Presidents Cup?

In the result of tied scores, players split points.

This is how the splits work for ties between two players:

  • Tie for 1st = 3 points per player
    Why? Split of 6 points (4 from 1st, 2 from 2nd)
  • Tie for 2nd = 1.5 points per player
    Why? Split of 3 points (2 from 2nd, 1 from 3rd)
  • Tie for 3rd = 0.5 points per player
    Why? Split of 1 point

And for ties between three players:

  • Three-way tie for first = 2.3 points per player
    Why? 7 points (4+2+1 from 1st-3rd) split 3 ways
  • Three-way tie for second = 1 point per player
    Why? 3 points (2+1 from 2nd and 3rd) split 3 ways

And, finally, for a four-way tie:

  • 1.75 points per player
    Why? 7 points split between four players

How Does Phase 2 (Match Play) of Disc Golf's Presidents Cup Work?

Players compete on the same cards as before on a maximum of nine holes. But this time they’re in a head-to-head match play competition with the same-numbered player on the other team.

That means US1 plays against E1, US2 plays against E2, etc.

There are only three possible point totals a player can earn for their team in this phase: 

  • Win: 3 points
  • Tie: 1.5 points
  • Loss: 0 points

The basic structure of match play is that players compete solely to 'win' more single holes than their opponent. For example, if US1 parred hole 1 and E1 bogeyed it, US1 would 'win' the hole and have a score of one. If both players parred, their totals would remain at zero.

In match play, players can't 'push' holes. In other words, tied holes have no value once they're complete.

Only holes won count toward players' scores. Strokes over or under par don't accumulate across holes, which allows players to run risky shots to tie or win a hole without fear of damaging their overall score.

Once a player has won more holes than there are holes left to play, they win their match and play stops.

If you'd like a deeper look at the rules of disc golf match play, check out our post "How Does Disc Golf Match Play Work?".

What If the Teams Are Tied After Phases 1 & 2 of Disc Golf's Presidents Cup?

If both teams have the same number of points at the end of phases 1 and 2, captains pick one player each to be in a sudden-death playoff.

Enjoy the Show!

Hopefully this overview has helped you learn everything you need to truly enjoy and understand disc golf's Presidents Cup!

Don't forget that you can follow all the scores on UDisc Live. Additionally, you can watch the action on the Disc Golf Network though subscribers and non-subscribers alike will need to pay extra to enjoy Presidents Cup coverage.

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