Timo Juursalu: Lone Star Disc Alutaguse Open 2023

Timo Juursalu: Lone Star Disc Alutaguse Open 2023

The Alutaguse Open, which has priorly been organized 11 times, will again take place this summer. How would you describe this competition, what is it like?

The Alutaguse Open started back in 2013 when Robert Peets, the project manager of the Alutaguse Recreation and Sports Centre, organized the first disc golf competition in Alutaguse. There were 13 participants and I managed to win the competition. The following year I had the opportunity to organize the competition and as I’ve later jokingly said, I won the right to organize the competition for the next 10 times. Although the competition originally started from the Alutaguse disc golf park, in recent years, it has gradually moved to the Mäetaguse disc golf park. There was, however, no point in changing the name of the competition as both parks are situated in the municipality of Alutaguse.

Watch Alutaguse Open 2023 teaser, Alutaguse Open 2023

The Alutaguse Open is also one of the stages of the PDGA Euro Tour. What’s the story of Alutaguse Open and how have you managed to reach such a large audience?

It’s true that the Alutaguse Open has been included as a stage in the Euro Tour for four times (in 2021 the Euro Tour was canceled due to COVID-19) already. We have tried to organize the Alutaguse Open, each and every time, as well as we possibly can. We try to think through all the minor details and make the competition special for the players (e.g. the legendary red carpet has been one of our signature details). Having good courses certainly helps along. This year the prize pool will be the biggest it has ever been. As a minimum, we are adding 15 000 euros to the prize fund thanks to Lone Star Disc, who will be the main sponsor this year. Since the event will also take place a week before the season’s most important event (European Disc Golf Championships 2023) that is held in Estonia, we hope that the best players in Europe will be participating (August 10-13). In addition, this stage also provides points for the Disc Golf Pro Tour, so the FPO and MPO will be broadcasted live via discgolfnetwork. This will definitely be exciting from the organizing standpoint as well. Due to the LIVE the MPO and FPO will be playing all three rounds at Mäetaguse (the competition days will be August 10-12). Masters, or Alutaguse Masters, where all the senior divisions are, will play August 11-13 (the first two rounds at Alutaguse and the last round at Mäetaguse)., Alutaguse Open 2023, Alutaguse Open 2023

Let’s talk a little bit about the course. The Alutaguse Open will be held at some of the most professional courses there are in Estonia, both Mäetaguse and Alutaguse. Describe the courses a little bit for those who haven’t had a change to play on them yet. There are players that consider Mäetaguse to be one of the best courses in the world. What makes it so good?

The Alutaguse and Mäetaguse courses are definitely one of the best courses in Estonia as they provide a great mix of forest and open tracks. Alutaguse provides a unique combination of pine forest and hilly landscape and Mäetaguse provides a well-maintained scenic landscape that both create a great experience for the players. Throughout the years we have tried to improve the courses even further and make them even more technical (the changes have not always been successful, but we are very grateful to everyone who shares feedback). I think that a course that has been well-maintained and that provides beautiful landscape is THAT something that players enjoy and like., Alutaguse Open 2023

Registration for the competition is already open. Who can enter this competition and under what conditions?

Yes, the registration is open for the following: MPO, FPO, MP40, FP40, MP50, FP50, MP55 and FP55.
Registration is open via discgolfscene: and There is still time to register.

We also plan to organize PDGA competitions for amateurs. Further information will be out soon., Alutaguse Open 2023

Several famous players have played at the Alutaguse Open. Who have been the bigger players that have participated so far? Do you have any fun stories to share regarding them?

The best year so far has been 2019 when the reigning world champion Gregg Barsby participated with Nate Sexton. In 2018, Paul Ullibarri participated. In 2022 the winner was Thomas Gilbert. Several excellent players from Finland also attended, including Seppo Paju. Unfortunately Seppo hurt himself at the end of the first round; he fought until the end but wasn’t able to participate in the big game. It is certainly worth mentioning Kristin Tattar, who is, if I’m not mistaken, a four-time winner of the Alutaguse Open. I have contributed quite a lot to the development of the Mäetaguse course and when world-class players praise the course, it still makes your eyes a little wet. So, in other words, I am still full of enthusiasm to make the courses and competition even better. This requires fierce participants as it’s difficult to do a good competition without them. Hello and welcome to Alutaguse!, Alutaguse Open 2023

Name your best memory related to the Alutaguse Open.

Oh, there are so many good memories regarding this, but which one is the best? Maybe the hole in one competition that we organized during the first Alutaguse Open. A temporary basket was placed in the middle of the field of the Alutaguse Recreation and Sports Center and the discs had to be thrown from approximately 50 meters to win a prize. Everyone could try 3 times. Allain-Marco, who was 12-13 years old at that time, also tried two times but landed at around 40 meters, so not too near to the basket. His third throw however, was so lucky that he managed to land the disc exactly in the basket. In other words, in disc golf, everything is possible, if you believe in yourself.

I’d like to thank the team and I will see you on the course!, Alutaguse Oprn 2023, Timo Juursalu

Photos: Kadri Palta, Alutaguse Open 2022