Juha Kytö - Tyyni's godfather, head of NBDG x European Pro Tour

Juha Kytö - Tyyni's godfather, head of NBDG x European Pro Tour

I am Juha Kytö from Finland. I have been playing disc golf for 12 years now. I also have a business in disc golf that turns 10 years old this March. Currently, I am in charge of NBDG and the European Pro Tour. Disc golf is my life on the side with my family.

Please give a short overview to the people that haven’t heard about Tyyni before – what is it like?

Tyyni is an event that I started in 2013. It is actually the first PDGA event I ever hosted. It started from being focused mainly on amateurs and has grown year by year, being one of the biggest events in Finland (attendee-wise). Until 2017 it was mainly a "normal C-tier" type of event that you can find during most of the weekends but in 2016 when I visited the biggest disc golf event in the world, Glass Blown Open, in the US, I got the inspiration to host a similar massive festival type of event in Europe. These types of events were not seen anywhere here during that time and after a long brainstorming with friends and presenting the idea to Latitude 64, Dynamic Discs and Westside Discs, it became a reality. Especially with the support from DD and Latitude 64, we were able to pull it off to launch and continue annually.

After 2017 it has been annually the biggest disc golf event in Europe having hundreds of players play simultaneously at the main event.

Tyyni is now over a week long disc golf event that creates a "disc golf bubble" in the area. It is where you can live and breathe only disc golf for the whole time in multiple courses. It is not just my event anymore but there are dozens of people working for it and of course all the players that are making the event what it is. The atmosphere is something you just need to experience for yourself. This year we have the main event on 6 different courses and including the side events there is a lot going on in 8 different venues, from the main event for 1000+ players to the one-round flex start events and evening doubles. This also creates fun side activities along with disc golf. One to mention is the local BBQ & grill Box that has created an official Tyyni Burger with us and it is sold out at every event as it is one of the best burgers you have ever eaten. Even without being related to disc golf, you would love it!

Here are some numbers from Tyyni 2022 so you get the perspective of what happens during the week:

– 6 days of disc golf
From Monday to Saturday, the week was packed with side events, ending with the main event starting on Thursday.– Over 1300 players
While the main event was filled with 830 players, together with all the side events the total player count was over 1300.

– 226 international players from 19 different nationalities
Estonia had the most visitors but we saw players from all over the world, including a handful from the US and Canada. Some even made a disc golf trip with the whole family. 

– 4000 PDGA-rated rounds and 250 000 throws
During the week, there were dozens of side events and the huge main event which made around 4000 played PDGA-rated rounds in total. During these rounds, there were around 250 000 total throws made!
With an average of 6 km per round, this means walking over 20 000 kilometers. That is halfway across the globe!
– Thousands of memories
Every player has at least one story to tell from Tyyni. Usually, more than one, and they last forever. Join Tyyni 2023 to experience YOUR memories!
What is the difference between Tyyni Open and Tyyni-X?

For a long time, Tyyni was mainly aimed towards amateurs only but the interest grew a lot in the Open division year by year. A couple of years ago we at NBDG made changes to our strategy to extend the focus more to the professional players and grow the professional scene and that also reflected Tyyni as a singular event. Right now, "Tyyni" is considered an over a week long event that has multiple events inside of it, including two big ones, Tyyni Open which is only for Open and Female Open divisions and is held only on one course, and the big one Tyyni-X which has pretty much all divisions PDGA offers and is played on 6 courses at the same time. And of course, there are tons of side events between them. If you want to play or spectate professional disc golf, Tyyni Open is the event.
When you want to focus more on having fun and experience disc golf in a spectacular way, aim for Tyyni-X. Or if you totally love them both, you can spend 10 days in Tyyni and enjoy so much disc golf that you have not experienced yet.
Here is a sneak peak of the Opening Ceremony from 2019 (with heavy rain!). Check out the video

Let’s talk about the format – what divisions are included, how many players will be playing, what kind of additional activities are available?

I try to keep it simple and let's talk about the Tyyni-X, the big one. There is pretty much every division available from the Open division to MA4 and FA4, and Juniors. The event is three rounds and it is played one round per day and every round is on a different course. The event is a True Amateur event and we have focused on offering a quite nice players' pack during the years which has included bags, jackets, umbrellas, and of course always nice discs.

Slowly but steadily, we are focusing the player pack on being more environmentally friendly and we are including more services in it instead of just disc golf gear. This includes your player photo for your personal use (with a professional photographer who is touring in Europe with the EPT crew), free food from local restaurants, and other services. What the player pack includes is always kept a secret until the day they are handed out to the players.
The side activities include one-round flex start events where you can combine practicing the course and competing or of course you can grow the list of different courses you play on during the week. We have doubles events in most wanted courses, there is Tyyni Burger available, Team Trilogy has their own sauna night, Trilogy Challenge, there's putting games and raffles at the tournament center, etc. History has shown that the PDGA-sanctioned side events are the most wanted ones as they have hundreds of players', even when they are played on a weekday.

And what is best, you can attend all the side events even if you are not registered for the main event. Many players are not able to play in the main event but they can come and pick a few one-rounds and play them. There is something for every visitor from just spending a few hours or the whole two weeks.

In which parks will players be playing? If you could only choose one, which one would you choose and why?

The different courses are assigned to different pools. The low-rated amateurs are in the best spot as they have multiple different divisions they choose to play in and by that, there is more freedom of choice on what courses you would play in the event. The courses have been assigned by difficulty so the most difficult ones are to higher rated divisions and easier ones for lower amateurs.

Here is the list of all the venues:

Event center: Sibbe Disc Golf (Sipoo)
Course for Tyyni Open: EPT Sibbe Disc Golf (Sipoo)
Tyyni X: Sibbe Disc Golf (Sipoo), Nevas Golf (Sipoo), Keinukallio (Kerava), Ford DGP (Tuusula), Talma DGP (Sipoo), Kartano (Sipoo)
Tyyni One Round events: Same six courses as in TYYNI X
Other side events: Hornhattula (Porvoo), Söderkulla DGP (Sipoo)
Practice and warm-up area: Massby football field (Sipoo)

I can't really pick a favorite one as all of them are the best and some with different ways; here is my two cents for each course:

Nevas Golf is a pop-up course on a golf course. Expect to have beautiful open holes. I love to throw 150m+ rollers here as I can't reach more than 100m+ on air. In Nevas, you can enjoy the views and a nice walk in case the score is not that satisfying.

Sibbe is of course my home course and one the best maintained in Europe making it always being in good shape. The holes have a good variety of shots from technical to distance.

Keinukallio is one of the most difficult courses there is. If you want a challenge, go to Keinukallio.

Kartano is a pop-up course built in the garden of Söderkulla Mansion. The holes are not too long and it is mainly a technical course in a great location, in a good-looking park and woods only a walking distance from the town center.

Ford DGP (the longer one) is one of the most popular courses in Finland as it has a good variety of different types of shots needed in the woods. Not the most picturesque one but for competitions it is a 6/5 course!

Talma is a new wooded course in Sipoo and serves its purpose in lower divisions as a fun and technical course. Next to it you also have a Ski Park which offers tree climbing, wire gliding and plenty of activities for the whole family.
All the courses, schedules and everything is explorable on Tyyni's website forfurther planning: https://www.tyyni.com
How is the registration set up? If someone wants to sign up, how much would it cost and how should he/she do it?

Registration is already open for the main event(s) and you can find more details on the Tyyni website: https://www.tyyni.com/competitor-info

EPT event cost is 200€ and Tyyni-X event varies from 150€ to 80€ depending on the division. Side events will cost 10€ to 30€.

Side events registration will start in spring and they are announced on the Tyyni website and social media.

In conclusion, please tell a fun story about the previous Tyyni competition.

As you can imagine, in 10 years there have been tons of great stories from Tyyni and every year there is something that you can't expect to happen. Here are a few of my favorite ones (not in particular order)

Ricky Wysocki and ice cream

At the 2018 Tyyni we had ice cream cones with "I won my card" trophies on the side with customized trophies. After the last round when Ricky won the whole event, he heard about this and went to get his well-deserved ice cream. What he did not realize was that the award ceremony was just about to start and he needed to get on the stage. And he sure did, keeping his winning speech while eating ice cream! This is also one of Ricky's favorite memories.

Where's Robert McCall?

In 2018 the crew from Dynamic Discs also visited Tyyni. This included Rusco, Bobby Brown, Robert McCall and Emac together with Ricky and Paige. They flew in on Tuesday night and when arriving at Sibbe (hotel and tournament center) we quickly decided to take them to Tyyni Burgers, of course. All of us jumped into 5 cars (there were a total of ~15 of us) and drove to the Box Grill. We went and took tables from the patio, placed in an order of ~15 Tyyni burgers when suddenly someone realized "Have you seen Robert?"

It turned out that while we planned the eating at the hotel yard and left quite fast, Robert McCall took a shower in the meantime and was 100% unaware of what was going to happen. He was left alone in the hotel, which had no one in reception either as it was fully booked for us, and was roaming around there all by himself and no one around. No cell phone connection or internet so he could contact anyone. That ended up of course for a good laugh by us all and Robert also enjoying the tasty Tyyni Burger.
Tyyni vs Finnish Air-Force and a delivery to remember

Two memories that are not exactly the most "fun" moments but for all the TD:s out there, this is for you. You never know what barriers you might confront while hosting an event.

At 2016 Tyyni we were playing at Kivikko course in Helsinki. Few of the holes are located on a skiing hill. The course is located close to the airport area and this weekend they had some sort of a military practice where the Finnish Air Force was heavily involved. Guess where their commander base was located? Yup, at the course. Negotiation did not start well as they did not really care about what we were doing but luckily we got things sorted out even a bit and were able to modify the course and they moved a bit to the side so we both fitted there.

The event was played with jet fighters flying over us for the whole day. Legendary. Sadly no pictures of it. 

Another memory that sticks with me is back from the 2017 event. We were getting 700 DD Commander bags for the player packs and they were supposed to arrive on a specific date so I arranged for people to unload the cargo with me. Something came up and the delivery did not show up when scheduled. Instead, it arrived a week later, unannounced. I had no one to unload them to the storage area and just when the delivery man called that it was unloaded, it was about to SNOW. Did I mention it was in the middle of MAY?

So, I unloaded all the 700 bags alone from the yard to the storage as quickly as I could before the snow could ruin them all. Few of the boxes suffered quite badly at the end. And why has this stuck in my memory so well? That day also happened to be my birthday. Unloading hundreds of boxes in a snowstorm was not exactly what I had planned to do all day. Check out the video