Discs Will Fly At First-Ever Disc Golf Tournament


"Flof," officially known as Disc Golf, sometimes called Frisbee golf is coming to Payson.

The Rim Country Open Disc Golf Tournament is Saturday, Jan. 5.

The tournament is open to pros, amateurs and novices.

"Disc golf is a sport that everyone can associate with, as nearly all of us played with Frisbees as children.he sport itself, much like traditional golf, is played on a course with tees, and holes, or baskets as they're referred to, as well as, all of the obvious "pitfalls" that make both sports challenging i.e. water hazards, and physical barriers," player Alan Turner said.

He and a few friends plan to travel to Payson from the Valley to play in the tournament.

"It's a fun, recreational game because you don't have to be a great athlete to play it," Rim Country resident Jerry Novak said. He has been playing the game for more than a decade.

"I'm sure the game will quickly catch on in Payson," he said.

Novak anticipates a "good crowd" of disc golf playersill be in Payson for the first ever tournament. Those players will bring the equipment needed and set up the temporary course at Rumsey Park.

Rumsey is a better location than Green Valley Park because there is less foot traffic at the midtown park, which means less interference with the players.

Coexistence with a park is par for a disc golf course. Ideal play areas combine open and wooded terrains, as well as a variety of flatlands and hills.

"The object of the game is to play a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc," Novak said.

Novak has been told by town officials, the new course should be in at Rumsey within two years, but he is hoping it gets done in less time than that.

"There arear too many reasons why I love this sport. Anyone can play, enjoy the great outdoors,et some exercise ande equally frustratedr elated at the same time," Turner said.

Disc golf was formalized in the 1970s, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association's Web site at www.pdga.com.

It has grown by leaps and bounds ever since.

Unlike regular golf, most disc golf courses are located in public parks and are free to play, although some courses require a small fee.

The sport requires inexpensive discs, instead of costly clubs and balls. The modern disc golf player targets his throw at a metal basket with chains hanging over it.

"There's nothing more satisfying than the sound of the chains ringing from 100 feet away," Turner said.

The tournament will consist of two rounds of competition and three divisions: Open (pros), Amateur and Novice (beginners). Registration and check-in is at 8:30 a.m. Competition will start at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 5 at Rumsey Park.

Trophies will be awarded to top finishers immediately following Round Two.

The fee to participate is $25 which will include a "player's package."

"The player's package includes the disc players will use to compete, valued at $20 with a picture of the Mogollon Rim and the Town of Payson logo on it. They also get a mini disc," town recreation specialist, Mary McMullen said.

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