As of January 1, 2011, I'll no longer be the 1st President ofPinconning Disc Golf Club, but instead be retired from duty. I wanted totake this opportunity to thank all of the new friends made, all of thevolunteers, Ward Prindle and the entire community for being sosupportive of what was a great idea, disc golf in Pinconning. I havehopes for the future of the sport continuing and have made some contactthat may bring a new course to the area, as well as introduce the ideaof a Disc Golf Team at the High School and Middle School level. The pathhas been laid, now the new President Erik Szyperski has the ball inhand and is well on his way to continue what amounted to somewhere near3000 of labor and love. Good Luck. An article that I wrote for thePinconning Journal tells nearly all of my thoughts, please give it aread. thanks again and have the safest of holidays and future as we moveinto 2011.
"DISC GOLF - The Past, Present and Future"
The Past - In 2007 an Idea comes to the Szyperski family thatrequires 1200 hours of hard cut hand labor to outline a 9 hole disc golfcourse.
The Past - In 2008 Ward Prindle agrees to allow an 18 hole disc golf course be built on the Blizzard Hills Marina property
The Past - With an article in the Bay City Times on Tuesday, May27th 2008 an announcement is made that "players won't have to leave BayCounty anymore" when looking to play disc golf. The following Saturdayofficially opened the first 9 holes of the 18 hole course with a 1:00ribbon cutting ceremony at Blizzard Hills Bar/Marina.
The Past - Over the next 2 years an additional 5000 man hours ofhand labor cleared the jungle to make a World Class 18 Hole Disc GolfCourse at Blizzard Hills.
The Past - May 1st, 2010 Ward Prindle retires from business and closes the Blizzard Hills Bar.
The Past - June 2010 Bay County announces an "interest" in acquiringthe Blizzard Hills property to expand the Pinconning Park to allow foradditional campsites after declining $100,000.00 in potential campingrevenues in 2009/2010.
The Present - September 11th was the date for the Pinconning DiscGolf Club to host the first ever Professional Disc Golf Associationsanctioned event at Blizzard Hills DGC. And although the weather couldhave been a little more like this past weekend, rain cold and winddidn't hamper the fun and excellent play by amateurs and professionalsfrom Bay, Midland, Saginaw, Genesee, Lapeer, Midland and Arenaccounties. DJ Hunt of Lapeer won in the Open Division, Amateur Masterswas won by Tom Swathort of Kawkawlin , Intermediate Women by LexieAlexander, Recreational by Lance Anderson of Auburn, Novice by TomNeumeyer and last but not least was Devon Myers taking the top prize inJunior III Boys division and winning a long putt contest amongst allplayers on hole #16. The recap of the day wouldn't be complete byomitting that as Tournament Director I opted into the pool of skilledplayers only to post the worst score of the day and on my last drive,loose my favorite disc in the river. The tournament was graciouslysponsored by a record number of 15 businesses and individuals withdonations of gift certificates and prizes that certainly meant everyonein attendance walked away not only the memory of playing the 1stsanctioned event at a course that was at it's BEST EVER, but alsowalked away with plenty of winnings as well.
The Present - Monday, September 27th was the last evening for theofficial gathering of Monday Night Leagues at Blizzard Hills, withSaturday October 2nd the day for the year end league party that includedchili and chili dogs, a camp fire and two rounds of wonderful, falldisc golf.
The Present - Clark Slater of Linwood continues to meet on Thursdayevenings at 5:00pm for an informal league gathering of local and statewide players.
The Present - Players from around the country continue to show up atBlizzard Hills to experience what rumors and multiple promotionallistings claim as fact, Blizzard Hills DGC is a World Class Course thathas such a peaceful and beautiful nature, you would think you're 100miles from anything.
The Past, Present and Future - October 2010, Ward Prindle announceshis intentions of retiring and dissolving his commitment in allowing thedisc golf course to remain on the Blizzard Hills property.
The Future - Bay County has intentions of applying for a grant withan April 1, 2011 deadline to purchase Blizzard Hills for the purpose ofexpanding the Pinconning Camp Ground and according to Mike Duranczyk,"April 1 grant deadline for applications with Sept - Oct 2011 release ofsuccessful applicants. It could take another 12 to 15 months tocomplete sale."
The Future - "Please bear in mind, even after the County takes overthe property it could be another 12 months before County work crews areon site. In order for this expansion to work financially for the Countyit must generate funds to support the overhead. We know that we turnedaway over $100,000 in revenue at the campground in 2009 and 2010 due tolack of campsites. This will be our main focus for use of the property.We will consider other attractions for our campers as we move along withthe expansion." Mike Duranczyk
The Future - November 1st, 2010 Blizzard Hills Disc golf Course willbe temporarily and indefinitely be closed. The baskets will be removedand the property will be posted with "COURSE CLOSED" signs.
The Future - Disc Golf has become and will continue to be aninterest to many and a way of life for some Pinconning residents. Thecourse at Blizzard Hills has initiated an idea that will be around foryears to come.
The Future - Pinconning area disc golfers will travel to Freeland,Midland, St. Charles, Sanford, Au Gres, Tawas, Frankenmuth, Holly andbeyond to play one of the public disc golf courses offered at parkswithin all of these towns.
The Future - Visitors from around the state and country will stoptraveling to Pinconning Michigan's Blizzard Hills or certainly will bereal disappointed if they do arrive to play.
The Future - The Pinconning Disc Golf Club will store the baskets,signage and course fixtures until Blizzard Hills reopens or analternative is offered.
The Future - As the 1st President of The Pinconning Disc Golf Club, Iwill remain a committed volunteer trying my best to enhance Pinconningwith the option of the disc golf activity.
The Future - As the past President of the PDGC I will continuecontact with the Pinconning Park, Blizzard Hills and any volunteersuntil a time we may again see the fairways as they are now.
The Future - As a committed member of the disc golf communityworldwide, I offer my experience and expertise while I approach allpossibilities for a quick resolution to the void that will be createdwith the removal of the baskets from the Blizzard Hills. I offer a freedesign for an 18, 24 or 48 hole course on any available property nearPinconning, with focus on one a particular 80 acre parcel that is nearperfect for two 24 hole courses.
The Future - As a committed member of the disc golf communityworldwide I ask that anyone with an interest in seeing disc golf remainin Pinconning contact anyone that can help, volunteer to the PDGC, take adrive and look for possible course locations and talk it up on alloccasions.
The Future - In Closing, I feel compelled to share the results oflast weekend's conclusion to the United States Disc Golf Championshipsheld in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This is the 12th year for the eventand again, many records were broken. The most significant being a recordset in 2009 of the winner being the youngest ever. Yes, last yearwinner Nikko Locastro of St Louis Missouri became the youngest ever towin this event, probably the foremost disc golf event in the world. Andthen this year, 18 year old Will Shusterick of Knoxville, Tennessee tookthe 1st place prize of $12,000.00 with a 2 stroke win over histraveling and teammate Nikko, again breaking the record for youngestchampion ever. The playing field for this event is made up from playersof all ages that qualify from play in a few specific tournaments heldyearly around the country . This years field of 185 players includedseveral women and one sixteen year old player. All that come can expectto see and play against the best in the world including 12 time WorldChampion Ken Climo, US and World Champion David Feldberg, Avery Jenkinsand more. I am also compelled to ask anyone that has internet access tofollow these links to see and understand the beauty, excitement andfuture disc golf, a future that is being driven by young talentedplayers.http://www.pdga.com/schusterick-seals-ithttp://www.pdga.com/videos/2010-usdgc-final-day-coveragehttp://www.pdga.com/videos/pdga-promotional-videohttp://why.org/blogs/itsourcity/2009/07/13/john-complexion-dueslers-2nd-job-is-in-public-relations/