Disc Golf Tournament Profiles: 2023 Las Vegas Challenge

Jacob Arvidson avatar
Jacob ArvidsonContributor
Feb 27 • 6 min read

The 2023 Las Vegas Challenge, a Disc Golf Pro Tour Elite Event, took place from Thursday, February 23 to Sunday, February 26.

A sand trap putt at the Las Vegas Challenge disc golf tournament
Sand trap putts and palm trees are modern Las Vegas Challenge trademarks. Credit: Alyssa Van Lanen

Click or tap a section below to learn more about the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge:

Notably, though the courses the pros play are different from its typically available layouts, tournament host Wildhorse Golf Club offers some of the world's best disc golf at a traditional golf course.

How to Watch the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament: Live

You needed a paid subscription to the Disc Golf Network to watch the entire 2023 Las Vegas Challenge live. Unlike in previous years, final rounds of DGPT tournaments will not be streamed live for free on YouTube in 2023.

However, the first round of the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge was broadcast live for free on the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube Channel.

How to Watch the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament: Free, Condensed, Post-Produced

  • JomezPro has free, condensed coverage of both MPO and FPO lead cards for the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge on its YouTube channel.
  • Gatekeeper Media has free, condensed coverage of MPO chase cards for the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge on its YouTube channel.
  • Ace Run Pro has free, condensed coverage of FPO chase cards for the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge on its YouTube channel.

Tee Times & Live Scores for the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament

You can find tee times and shot-by-shot scores for every round of the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge on UDisc Live for MPO and FPO.

2023 Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament Win Probabilities

Prior to the start of the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge, these are the players UDisc Live's pro disc golf Win Probability model gave at least a 2% chance to win in MPO and FPO:

Win Probability Before Event Player: MPO Actual 2023 Finish
  Win Probability Before Event Player: FPO Actual 2023 Finish
19% Paul McBeth 6th 19% Catrina Allen 1st
19% Eagle McMahon 13th 16% Ohn Scoggins 8th
11% Calvin Heimburg 1st 12% Missy Gannon 2nd
11% Gannon Buhr T30th 11% Henna Blomroos T4th
7% Matthew Orum T8th 11% Eveliina Salonen 33rd
5% Kyle Klein T4th 9% Valerie Mandujano 11th
5% Isaac Robinson T82nd 7% Holyn Handley 3rd
3% Simon Lizotte T47th 3% Kat Mertsch T34th
2% Joel Freeman T27th 3% Hailey King 6th
2% Anthony Barela T8th 2% Ella Hansen T4th
2% James Conrad T20th 2% Sarah Hokom T17th
2% Corey Ellis T8th 2% Macie Velediaz T15th

On mobile, swipe left/right to see all columns.

These percentages were created prior to the start of the event and changed dramatically as it played out. To see how, check out Win Probability on UDisc Live.

Note that Win Probability doesn't always match up with Disc Golf World Ranking because Win Probability takes into account how players have historically performed on holes of specific distances and difficulty and compares that information just to holes they'll face at a single event. That means the numbers above related to how players' historical performances suggested they'd do just at the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge whereas World Ranking is a broader assessment of past performance.

Who Won the 2023 Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament?

Calvin Heimburg (MPO) and Catrina Allen (FPO) won with scores of 30-under par and 20-under par, respectively.

Past Las Vegas Challenge Winners*

  • 2023: Calvin Heimburg (MPO), Catrina Allen (FPO)
  • 2022: Drew Gibson (MPO), Catrina Allen (FPO)
  • 2021: Eagle McMahon (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)
  • 2020: Nate Sexton (MPO), Catrina Allen (FPO)
  • 2019: Calvin Heimburg (MPO), Paige Shue (FPO)
  • 2018: Eagle McMahon (MPO), Paige Pierce (FPO)

*All winners at the LVC at events using UDisc Live

Las Vegas Challenge Disc Golf Tournament History

The annual competition in Vegas has evolved quite a bit in its 22-year history, including undergoing a name change. As many longtime disc golf fans will know, the Las Vegas Challenge (LVC) was called the Gentlemen's Club Challenge as recently as 2017.

"The 'gentlemen' were the original group of players who came out to Sunset Park in the early 1990s to play and compete," said assistant tournament director Scott Merritt. "They became known as the Gentlemen's Club and would take on all comers. The name change came about as a way to more positively promote the event and to bring in new sponsors."

Nikko Locastro putting at the Las Vegas Challenge disc golf tournament
Pro Nikko Locastro putting in Vegas at the 2017 (left) and 2019 (right) tournaments. Left photo credit: PDGA. Right photo credit: Alyssa Van Lanen

Merritt's mention of Sunset Park is related to another important part of the tournament's history. Since 2016, the tournament has been played on three courses set up at Wildhorse Golf Club. However, the tournament's home from 2000-2015 was Vegas' Sunset Park.

The venue switch occurred after the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club (LVDGC) held their 2015 Halloween Classic at a location owned by the same organization that owns Wildhorse. The club's top-notch event organization and the evident high enthusiasm for disc golf in the area were so impressive that Wildhorse's owners suggested doing a disc golf event at their traditional golf course. 

A comparison of past and present Las Vegas Challenge disc golf courses
The LVC venue made a big leap in 2016, going from the public course at Sunset Park (left) to Wildhorse Golf Course (right). Left photo credit: UDisc username texas2putts. Right photo credit: Ryan Kokrda

Though Sunset is a solid course and a piece of disc golf history that first opened in 1977, the club jumped at the chance to move their city's premiere event from a public park to a place that, for one week a year, could be made into a private disc golf heaven. Then, after just one year of hosting the tournament at Wildhorse, tournament director and former LVDGC board member Jeff Jacquart decided to create a business just to run the event.

"A key reason for the change was to remove the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club from any financial obligations tied to the event, especially with the TD no longer being on the club board," Merritt explained. "Jeff 'retired' from being a board member so 100% of his disc golf time could focus on the GCC/LVC."

With more courses and a dedicated organizer, a tournament that first took place in 2000 with just 44 participants has made its way onto the premiere pro disc golf tour in the world. It's also become recognized as the first big event of the disc golf season. An unexpectedly good showing in Vegas can set expectations high for a formerly under-the-radar player for the rest of the year, and a disappointing performance from an established competitor can raise concerns that cast a shadow on the rest of their season.

Contrary to the saying, what happens in Vegas often leaves it on the tip of everyone's tongues.

More Disc Golf Stories

UDisc Live will have shot-by-shot scores and stats for every major professional disc golf tour in the U.S. and Europe in 2023. Check out our full schedule to see when and where the world's best disc golfers will be competing throughout the year.

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