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

Alex Williamson avatar
Alex WilliamsonWriter, Editor
Jul 18 • 7 min read

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 eleventh Presidents Cup will go down on July 19, 2023.

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

Currently, team U.S.A. is 10-0, but Europe will field what's perhaps its strongest team ever in 2023 and is very hungry for its first win.

To learn more about an aspect of disc golf's Presidents Cup, click/or tap below:

Meet the 2023 Presidents Cup Teams

Format of the 2023 Presidents Cup

Live Scores for Disc Golf's Presidents Cup

You can follow the Presidents Cup scores shot by shot on UDisc Live. You can see both how individual matches are going as well as where each team's score total stands.

The 2023 Disc Golf Presidents Cup Teams

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 2022 though some were chosen through other methods described below.

Who Are Captains for Disc Golf's 2023 Presidents Cup & How Were They Chosen?

The captains for the 2023 Presidents Cup are Nate Sexton (U.S.A.) and K.J. Nybo (Europe). Both are veteran pros with long and storied careers.

Photos of two men with beards side by side.
Left: U.S. captain Nate Sexton. Right: Europe captain K.J. Nybo. Photos: Disc Golf Pro Tour

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 later sections describing the event's format) and choosing one male player to join their region's team.

The organizers of the European Open chose the team captains for U.S.A. and Europe. 

This is the second time both Sexton and Nybo have captained their respective teams.

Team U.S.A. for 2023 Presidents Cup in Disc Golf


All players made the team based on their World Ranking at the end of 2022 except those with stars. Those stars mean the following:

* Chosen by captain

** Chosen by fan vote

Team Europe for 2023 Presidents Cup in Disc Golf

This is the current European team:


All players made the team based on their World Ranking at the end of 2022 except those with stars. Those stars mean the following:

* Chosen by captain

** 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 Disc Golf's 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!

Sign up for the Release Point newsletter

Disc golf stories and stats in your inbox