Dynamic Discs hires Doug Bjerkaas as dedicated Event Coordinator

In 2014 Dynamic Discs employed only seven people. Fast forward just two years to today and the Emporia, Kansas based team is now 40 people strong with over half of that working full-time. While disc golf events have been a part of Dynamic Discs for years, the time to devote a dedicated Events Coordinator position has come. Today, Doug Bjerkaas joins the Dynamic Discs team to take their popular events to the next level.

Bjerkaas has organized countless disc golf events including the very popular Rocky Mountain Women’s Disc Golf Championships and will take his knowledge to Emporia to not only run the Disc Golf Experience at AT&T Stadium, Glass Blown Open, and more, but he’ll also focus on establishing a formula for events to be ran more efficiently for everyone involved.

We talked with Bjerkaas about what he’ll bring to the Dynamic Discs team.


February 1 marks a new chapter in your professional life as you begin work at Dynamic Discs as their Event Coordinator. How excited are you to get started with Dynamic Discs?

“I am super excited about playing an active role on the Dynamic Discs team. My excitement is two-fold. First, having seen the incredible positive impact that Dynamic Discs has had on the sport of disc golf over the last ten years, nine of which I have seen firsthand, I can’t help but be fired up to play a more active role in what is already a steaming locomotive of an organization. Second, I have a passion for outstanding disc golf events. Dynamic Discs prides itself on being excellent. I cannot wait to get started on continuing and building the tradition of delivering excellent tournaments.”

Let’s talk about your background a little bit. If I’ve done my research correctly, you have a background in education, mainly in Colorado, correct?

“Correct. I have spent most of my professional life in education. For several years I worked in higher education administration.”

How long have you been playing disc golf?

“It is hard to believe that I am now in my 20th year of playing disc golf.”

It is certainly rare to see someone jump from the education field to work full-time in disc golf. Go back a few years, did you ever think you’d be making this jump?

“I had always thought that at some point I would like to work directly within the disc golf industry. The opportunity that Jeremy has given me at Dynamic Discs is a great way to ‘stick my toe in the water’ as I will continue to work for my current employer, Pearson Education, while coordinating events for Dynamic. Having the luxury of working from anywhere for Pearson, taking on the position at Dynamic was an easy decision. Depending on how things go over the next few months and years, it is likely the position could transform into something more permanent.”

In your new role, you’ll be leading the efforts for the Glass Blown Open, 2016 Pro Worlds, the Disc Golf Experience at AT&T Stadium, and more… Running just one of those events can be daunting. Talk a little bit about what excites you the most about getting your hands on these events.

“Getting my hands on the Dynamic Discs events is just one more way to help grow the sport of disc golf. Disc golf is a great vehicle for growing relationships. Whether it is casual rounds with your family or friends or a competitive round at a National Tour event, our sport allows participants the time to connect with other human beings in a meaningful way. There is a great deal of time between each shot in a round of disc golf. This time can be spent interacting with others. While the joy of seeing a disc leave your hand, follow the flight path as intended, and result in a great score is fantastic, so are the relationships that are built with the folks you walk the course with. Everyone that does something to grow the sport is helping grow this critical piece of being part of humanity. With the ever-growing virtual world we exist in, some real face time connected with others is critical. Running tournaments is just one of many ways to promote the great sport I love!”

Running disc golf events is nothing new to you. In the past, you’ve ran these events as more of a part time/volunteer effort. With this being your sole focus, are there ideas you’ve had for a while that you hope to make a reality?

“In my prior tournament directing experiences, one of the areas that I was not able to focus on as much as I would have liked was that of growing the spectator field. I have a vision for more and more spectators to come to events. There is nothing more exciting than being a part of a gallery following live disc golf action. A growing live spectator base will be critical in taking our sport to the next level. Setting spectator standards and protocol is important. Most organized sporting events are not free to spectators. Spectators are willing to pay to see their favorite sports live. In order to spend their hard-earned dollars on these events, they have to believe they are getting something of value for their ticket price. I am curious to see what this will look like going forward for disc golf. We have some plans in the works to make spectating at the Glass Blown Open and at the 2016 Pro Worlds an attractive option for fans of disc golf. Focusing on spectators and fans of disc golf is definitely an area I will be able to spend more time on in my role with Dynamic Discs.”

This move to Emporia, Kansas also means you’ll be closer to fellow Dynamic Discs team member and disc golfing daughter, Paige. Has disc golf always been a part of your relationship?

“Disc golf is an important part of the relationship my wife (Noemi) and I have with all of our kids. It is really cool that all three of our kids enjoy playing disc golf. It was very cool when my son-in-law (married to our oldest daughter) started playing disc golf. As I mentioned earlier, it isn’t always the birdies and bogies that make the sport what it is, rather that time spent with the folks you care for that really makes it what it is! As far as Paige goes, Noemi and I enjoy the time we do get to spend with her, whether it is on a disc golf course or not! We did want to make sure that Paige would not feel like we were ‘crowding her’ by moving to her college town. She assured us numerous times that she was cool with us joining her in Emporia! Taking advantage of in-state tuition will be nice too…”

What will be your biggest challenge in this new position?

“Dynamic Discs has such a great track record for running great events. The biggest challenge will be to find ways to improve upon what is already a very solid product!”

Of all the items on your to-do list to start out the year, what will be your first thing you focus on?

“I am a huge advocate of creating scalable and repeatable systems. Jeremy and I have spoken about not just running great individual events, but creating formulas and systems that will allow future events to be run more effectively. From an event standpoint, the 2016 Monkey Island Open on March 20th is the first “event” on my list. From a 10,000 foot view, assessing the status of where we are in the planning stages for the National Tour Glass Blown Open and the 2016 Pro Worlds is important. Looking even further ahead than this year is also important. A deadline to submit bids for 2017 PDGA majors just passed and you can bet that Dynamic Discs did not let another potential opportunity to gather disc golfers in Emporia slip by!”

Is there anything else you want to include?

“I met Jeremy Rusco in Hays, Kansas in the fall of 2007. My son Hunter and I had rode out to Hays from Denver, Colorado with one of Jeremy’s first sponsored players, Dash Harrison, to play the Frontier Open. Dash introduced us to Jeremy who was at the event playing. Jeremy had a shower rod in the back of his vehicle loaded up with some dry fits and hoodies with the Dynamic Discs logos on them. I thought they looked cool. So did my son. We bought a few items from Jeremy, got some stickers for our disc golf stools, and headed back to Denver. Who would have ever thought that first meeting would grow into what it has for Jeremy, Dynamic Discs, and my family? It is funny how things work out. I am grateful for the opportunities and relationships that disc golf has provided.”


Thanks to Bjerkaas for the conversation! We can’t wait to see what the Dynamic Discs team is able to do with Bjerkaas on board. We have a feeling we’ll see some premier events reach new heights with Bjerkaas at the helm.

 

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