The first round of local summer league disc golf is in the books.
Play began on Saturday at the new Winkler Disc Course next to Elevate Sports. Newcomers were invited to try out the new course and received a free disc courtesy of Woods Disc Golf.
Despite the hot weather, attendance reflected the growing interest of the sport in the community and is expected to increase as the league continues.
Danny Wood of Woods Disc Golf organized the event and looks to draw more attention to the thriving sport.
“It was great seeing some newcomers out at league,” Wood exclaimed. “Anyone who is curious about the sport or would like to try it out should feel free to join us.”
Divisions for the league were built on Saturday according to experience, ability level and overall scores.
The event featured a closest-to-the-pin challenge on a pair of holes with the winners scoring a new disc. Dalton Brantley won the beginners challenge with the closest shot to the basket on the 207-foot par 3 sixth hole. Chad Watkins had the closest shot at the intermediate level on the ninth hole which is a 217-foot par 3.
The course includes five par 4’s and 13 par 3’s.
Stroke play in the intermediate division was won by Curtis Enyeart who threw the best round of the day with a four-under 55. Patrick Reeves shot a 57 and Aaron Knepp tallied a 58.
The recreational division finished 18 holes with Kyle Christie and Gabriel Knepp shooting a round of 62 each. Christie won the throw-off by skipping a shot off the pavement that landed closest to the pin. Wood finished with a round of 65.
Trey Brereton shot a 73 to take the lead in the beginners division. Brantley and Heath Knight both scored a 76.
The new Winkler Disc Course is an 18-hole par 59 that plays a total of 5,959 feet. The course features a challenging layout that was designed by Chad Watkins of Elevate Sports.
“I was glad to see everyone come out in the brutal heat to play the first league play,” Watkins commented about the event. “The course was in good shape and the players were in fine form. Everyone seemed to be playing really well with some decent finishers.”
Bag tags will be distributed according to ranking in the league and will change respectively after each event.
Every round of league play will give players the opportunity to improve their skills as well as move up the divisional ladder. Prizes and vouchers will be up for grabs at each event and will vary according to local donations and player contributions.
A questionnaire was passed around at the first event to determine league times and offer players the opportunity to give suggestions on how to improve the sport and what could help disc golf grow in our area. It was determined that league play will continue every Friday at 6 p.m. and will alternate between the course on the South Campus of North Arkansas College and the Winkler Course. The upcoming league event will be at Northark and will feature a doubles competition. Monthly dues are $5 and proceeds go toward course improvements along with league expenses. Dates and times may vary depending on the weather or tournaments that may interfere with league play.
“Thanks to Danny Wood for getting the golfers to rally,” Watkins continued. “I’m excited for the upcoming tournament on July 13, at the Winkler Course. The benefit tournament is a two player scramble to raise money for tee pads, signs and a kiosk. Hopefully everyone can make it out.”
The course is open to the public with the first tee located in front of Elevate Sports in the Winkler Complex off of Cottonwood Road. The course at North Arkansas College begins near the tennis courts and runs along the Pioneer Wilderness Trail.
At any point during the week, players can be seen on either course practicing or throwing friendly challenges. The sport of disc golf offers plenty of opportunities for players of all ages to get out and enjoy the game. Groups get together to play rounds at both courses at many different times during the week and oftentimes encourage adding a new player to the group.