Jan 292010

Disc golfers support God’s Pantry

By Troy Lyle

Having fun and getting in a little extra practice wasn’t the only objective of the 36 disc golfers who participated in the inaugural River Hill Ice Bowl on January 16. Many hoped to do some good for the community as well.

“The event raised $600 and more than 200 lbs. of canned goods to support the work of God’s Pantry locally,” said Lewis Willian, longtime Bluegrass Disc Golf Association (BDGA) member and tournament participant. “It’s a national tradition of all winter disc golf tournaments to raise support for the needy through a charity event. As a matter of fact, we (BDGA) are not allowed to call it an ‘Ice Bowl’ if we do not.”

Willian said the non-sanctioned, or not-for-points, tournament was also the perfect chance to expose some local disc golfers to the new nine hole course at River Hill, all while allowing the BDGA more leeway in terms of how the tournament was executed.

“Having a non-sanctioned event like this one allows us to give all the proceeds to charity,” he said. “It’s all part of disc golf giving back.”

And being non-sanctioned allowed the event’s organizers to throw some extra fun the golfers way as well. Each participant was given the chance to improve their final score by purchasing up to 9 mulligans, at 3 mulligans for $5 or for five cans of food. Those mulligans could be used in either of the two rounds of play, with each round consisting of 18 holes, one in the A.M. and one in the P.M..

Disc golfers competed in either the Open (Pro), Advanced, Intermediate, Recreational or Women’s divisions. Golfers were paired up in nine groups of four, based on skill level, with most pairings organized by division.

Winners within each division included:

Open, Jon Winfrey, -18

Advanced, Dillon Nickell, -17

Intermediate, Collin Nickel, -11

Recreational, Casey Hudgins, -8

Women’s, Kirsten Coggen, 32

Willian said a similar setup will be used in this upcoming weekend’s WCCPR (Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation) Frozen Iron Ice Bowl located at Ironworks Hills in Winchester. Only the Frozen Iron tournament will be sanctioned, meaning no mulligans and particular rules.

“Sanctioned events must be approved by the Professional Disc Golfers of America (PDGA), have divisions based on skill level and require certain standards concerning fees, payouts and prizes,” he said. “This will be our 3rd PDGA sanctioned event in Winchester—beginning with the WCCPR Amateur at Ironworks Hills in September (45 players) and the WCCPR Turkey Toss in November (64 players).”

There are already more than 50 golfers pre-registered, out of a total of 90 spots, for this weekend’s Frozen Iron Ice Bowl, he said. Golfers who enter this weekend’s tournament will also have a chance to win a $120 raffle prize consisting of a variety of eight Innova Discs stamped with the Ironworks Hills 2010 tournament logo and a brand new Innova starter bag.

Everyone will receive a raffle ticket for playing in the tournament, Willian added. But in addition to this single entry ticket, golfers and spectators can earn extra tickets by bringing a can of food (1 additional ticket), purchasing a BDGA disc the day of the event (3 tickets), buying lunch (1 ticket) or simply making a $1 donation (1 ticket).

Golfers can also enter the Ace Pool at a cost of $3. Proceeds will be split up evenly among ace pool winners. If there are no aces, there will be a throw off after the final round with the closest disc winning one half the pool, he said.

Regardless of who wins what prizes, the main thing is for everyone to come out, have some fun and do some good for the community, Willian said.

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