Valley residents compete in disc golf tournament at Deming Park
TERRE HAUTE — On Sept. 27, a disc golf tournament was staged in Deming Park. The tournament was co-sponsored by the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department and The Element Outdoor Outfitters.
The tournament was noteworthy for several reasons. It is the first of what local disc golfers hope will be many privately sponsored cash payout tournaments.
There were two tournaments. Discraft, one of the leaders in disc sports equipment, also sponsored an Ace Race tournament called Breeze Through the Trees.
The Ace Race tournament is an annual event staged internationally at courses everywhere to promote disc golf and a new disc designed by Discraft. The format for the Ace Race is that each competitor gets one of the new prototype discs and must throw that disc in an effort to get an “ace,” or hole-in-one, at each hole for two rounds. At the end of the two rounds the person with the most holes-in-one wins the prize, which in this instance was a Discraft disc golf bag and 10 discs valued at more than $200.
The other tournament was the annual fall tournament staged by the Parks Department for more than 22 years. The Terre Haute Parks Department was actually one of the first in the Midwest to get in on what has now become one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The first disc golf tournament in Deming Park took place in 1985 and there has been one or more every year since.
In the early 1990s, the Parks Department began running two tournaments a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.
The course at Deming park was originally a short 9-hole course of just over 1,800 feet before it was expanded in the summer of 1992 to more than 2,100 feet. In 1993, co-designers Robert Sparks, Lennie Bottorf and K.C. Moore added nine holes in the form of 4-by-4 wooden posts in order to see if players would be interested in playing on an expanded course before adding permanent holes. The answer was a resounding yes. It was also this year that they formed the Wabash Valley Disc Golf Club and began league play, which was was how money was raised for the first hole of the back nine. Shortly after this, Calista Cocozolli sponsored the second of the back nine. It was then clear to the Parks Department that disc golf was for real and they bought the remaining nine pole holes to complete the course. From that time to today the number of players has been on the rise. In the mid-1990s on an average summer day, the course would see anywhere from 10 to 20 players. Today is not uncommon to see 50 or more on any given summer day.
The course was lengthened again in 1997 and in 2003. In 2004, the club members got sponsors for and installed 18 concrete tees to have the course.
Great weather contributed to having a total of 57 disc golf competitors at the Breeze through the Trees tournament this year.
Winners by division:
Ace Race Champion: K.C. Moore
1st: Rob Sparks
2nd: Jacob Dugan
3rd: Lee Hartwell
1st: Chrystal Chrysler
2nd: Jennifer Triumph
3rd: Tina Schoffler
1st: Earl Spirus
2nd: Joshua Dispennant
3rd: Eugene Tabor
1st: Nasya Dietz
2nd: Larry Dietz
3rd: Decarei Sparks
4th: De-Shay Hutchinson
5th: Devon Hutchinson
6th: MaKayla Bellmar