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Victory Park holds Open Disc Golf Tournament

  • SUSAN LAYLAND/Special to the Times News Robert Stettner and Reta and Bill Stein, organizers of the Victory Park Disc Golf Tournament.
    SUSAN LAYLAND/Special to the Times News Robert Stettner and Reta and Bill Stein, organizers of the Victory Park Disc Golf Tournament.
Published May 13. 2011 05:00PM

The 6th Annual Victory Park Open Disc Golf Tournament was held at Victory Park in Slatington on Saturday.

Thirty-four participants gathered to compete and win trophies. The entrants were assigned to one of the four categories: 17 and under; 18 and over; 40 and over; and the Pro Division.

"The Victory Park Disc Golf attracts people from all over the area," said Robert Stettner, who presided over the tournament, with help from Bill and Reta Stein.

Stettner said, the Victory Park course was the brainstorm of John Bolton, Slatington Borough foreman. Upon Bolton's suggestion, the Slatington Recreation Committee applied for, and received, a grant to fund the project. Because of its popularity, future plans include adding nine more tees.

Disc golf, although a popular sport among people who play, is not a very well-known sport to the general public. It's been around since the 1950s, and may go back much farther. Records show people playing a form of disc golf using tin lids. The discs look similar to frisbees but disc golf is a sport and the discs used are much more sophisticated than a frisbee.

Today, participants use plastic discs that are uniquely designed to fly through the air at different speeds. And, similar to golf, some of the discs are called drivers and putters. The skill at which some discs are thrown is amazing. One onlooker witnessed a disc flying straight through the air, then suddenly stopping and dropping to the ground.

Although the game struggled for recognition, once the sport caught on, new courses such as the one at Victory Park in Slatington began to sprout up all over the country. Today there are disc golf courses in more than 50 countries.

Eventually, there were national tournaments and the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), a worldwide force that continues to grow, was formed to guide the rapid growth of the sport. Disc golf continues to take on a professional status, and each year more and more people take the sport seriously.

There are tournaments, prizes awarded, and disc golf pros like Dr. John Duesler, which helps to authenticate the sport

The object of the game is to first have fun, but there are rules. The entire nine-tee disc golf course must be navigated using the least number of throws. First throws are made at the tee line for each hole, and the next throw is made from wherever the disc lands.

The player can change discs, but must make their way to the disc basket where the disc ends up on each tee. The number of throws is counted for that hole. The lowest score wins.

Disc golf is also a nice family sport and the course at Victory Park is free of charge to the public.

Winners of the Disc Golf Tournament and their scores include: 17 & Under: Nick Miller (62), Torn Stehley (68) Josh Fogel (76); 18 & Over: Mike Majkowski (50) Zach Rex (51), Mike Bierman (52); 40 and Over: Mark Heller (50), Denny Barr (53), Dave Schwoyer (56); Pro Division: Chris Hilton (45), Jeff Knittle (50); and the Sammy Frantz Memorial Award was awarded to Walter Ernst, Oldest Golfer.

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