manabu kajiyama

The current highest-rated player in the world, Prodigy Disc Core Team player Manabu Kajiyama, added a familiar piece of hardware to his trophy cabinet this past weekend in Japan.

At the 35th National Championships in Minamisoma City, Fukushima, the 1050-rated Kajiyama fired off a third round above his rating that helped propel him to a four-stroke victory for his 16th national championship. He has won all but two Japan Nationals (2010, 2011) since his first win in 2006, 18 years ago.

Last month, Kajiyama also took home the 30th Tokyo Open, an event he has won seven times dating back to 2007, including the last six consecutive events. The event took a hiatus after the 29th Tokyo Open in 2018 before returning in April.

On top of consistently being one of the best disc golfers in the world, Kajiyama is also an exemplary ambassador for the sport. He is known for having one of the most efficient throwing forms and techniques in disc golf and regularly shares that knowledge at clinics and lessons in Japan. He has also recently expanded his disc golf instruction online to Disc Golf College.

Kajiyama is registered for the 2023 PDGA Professional World Championship and AFDO a week prior after last playing in North America in 2019, when he earned 30th place at Pro Worlds and 17th at Santa Cruz Masters Cup. He is one of only a handful of players to ever reach the 1050 PDGA player rating benchmark.

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Japan and Lightweight Discs

Japan has long limited disc weights at public disc golf courses to 159 grams, but has loosened those restrictions in recent years. When past iterations of the Japan Open were PDGA Majors, pros were limited to throwing lighter discs in the event. 

The Japan Open returns this month as a non-sanctioned, festival-focused event coinciding with the Mikuni Festival, a Japanese tradition spanning around 300 years. Kajiyama will be attending and playing in the Japan Open in beautiful Sakai, Japan.

Prodigy Disc recently restocked a wide range of lightweight discs, from distance drivers to midranges. A lightweight disc golf disc is engineered for the same shot performance of their heavier counterparts, with added glide for effortless and easy distance. Prodigy Disc AIR plastic is also just as durable as other premium plastic counterparts.

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