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Disc golf tournament scores relaxation, camaraderie

Disc golfers line up their shots at one of the baskets during the Winter Fling tournament at the Beaver Lake disc golf course Jan. 24. (Photo by Tori Evans)

Disc golfers line up their shots at one of the baskets during the Winter Fling tournament at the Beaver Lake disc golf course Jan. 24. (Photo by Tori Evans)

Published: January 28, 2016

FORT RUCKER, ALA. (Jan. 28, 2016) -- Nearly 30 competitors braved the cold, winter morning to participate in the Fort Rucker Winter Fling Disc Golf tournament Jan. 24 for some friendly competition and camaraderie.

Twenty seven people from surrounding communities, as well as those from across the Southeast, participated in the two-round tournament – 36 holes. Participants competed in different categories, as well, including advanced, amateur and junior, with trophies awarded to winners in each category.

The winners in each category were: Robert Adams, advanced male winner, who shot a total of 104; David Bragg, amateur blue division winner, who shot a total of 115; Jason Abel, amateur green division winner, who shot a total of 125; Elizabeth Wesson, advanced female winner, who shot a total of 135; Terry Mercer, advanced over 46 winner, with a total of 114; and Cory Casalina, junior division winner, with a total of 121.

Jeremy Dagger, civilian participant, said the game for him is a way to relax and spend time with friends, while participating in a friendly competition for bragging rights.

“I just think it’s a good way for friends to get together and have a good time without stressing out about the competition,” he said. “With a lot of other sports, the energy can be really high and people can get worked up, but with disc golf, it’s just really laid back and everyone’s just trying to have a good time.”

Dagger said the sport is also a good way to meet new people, since competitions give him the opportunity to travel to new places.

“Disc golf has its own little unique community and you really get to connect with a lot of people,” he said. “You link up on the message boards or on websites and find out where the next tournament is going to be. You really get to develop relationships with these people – it can be a real bonding experience.”

Fellow disc golfer Randy Hiers has been playing disc golf for about 30 years and said the sport is all about the fellowship.

“It’s all about meeting people and you get to meet new people all the time,” he said. “If I see someone on the course I’m going to come over and shake their hand and introduce myself. It’s just great and that’s what it’s about.”

The course, located at Beaver Lake, is an 18-hole, 55-par course that follows the Beaver Lake trail, for the most part. It offers varying levels of difficulty with basic holes with no hazards or trees, to more advanced holes with water traps and obstacles.

The rules of disc golf are much like the game of ball golf in that the goal is to use as few strokes as possible to throw a disc from a designated spot into a basket.

Disc golf has been around for a while, but was formalized in the 1970s, and began to gain most of its popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s among the college crowd and, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association, which has more than 50,000 members, there are more 4,000 courses around the world.

Another one of the draws of disc golf is that it is a non-contact sport that is open to all ages, and playing an entire round of disc golf, 18 holes, takes anywhere from 45-90 minutes, depending on the amount of players, and costs little to no money.

People can visit the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility to check out a disc and give it a try. There is a $10 deposit required per disc. The course is open to the public. Disc check-out is open to authorized patrons only.

For more information, call 255-2296.

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