By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
Sunday saw beautiful clear skies and warm summer-like weather as students and Belton citizens participated in the 2nd Annual Spring Fling Disc Golf Tournament held at UMHB’s Outdoor Recreational Area. This event is a partnership between the City of Belton Parks and Recreation Department and UMHB Campus Recreation. The tournament featured 18 holes, each with varying lengths, unique obstacles, landscape, water, and elevations.
“The event was a great success with over 60 people registering to take part in this one day – one of a kind – disc golf tournament,” said Matt Bates, the Director of Recreational Events for the City of Belton. “The partnership between the UMHB Rec and the City has been a real success and both the students and citizens benefit from the work that we collaborate on.”
Bates continued to say that the UMHB Campus Recreation Director, Sue Weaver, “is passionate and dedicated to the work she does and being able to partner with such a great staff and department has been a real asset for the City as we look to expand our recreational opportunities.”
Woody Durbin, a former city of Belton Parks Board Member and avid Disc Golfer “was instrumental in the course design and promoting the event,” said Bates. “Woody contributed a lot of his time and effort to ensuring that the event was a real success and that the sport of Disc Golf continues its growth here in Belton.”
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf, except players use flying discs or a Frisbee® instead of a ball and clubs. The sport was formalized in the 1970’s and shares the same object as “ball golf,” to complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or throws, in the case of disc golf). The disc is thrown from a tee area towards the target, which is most commonly called a Pole Hole®, or elevated metal basket.
“The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer,” says the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA). “Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway.”
“Disc golf provides upper and lower body conditioning, aerobic exercise, and promotes a combination of physical and mental abilities that allow very little risk of physical injury,” PGDA explains. “Concentration skills increase by mastering shots and negotiating obstacles. Players of limited fitness levels can start slowly and gradually increase their level of play as fitness improves. Scheduling is also flexible; a round takes one to two hours, and may be played alone, eliminating the difficulty of scheduling tee times. Perhaps the greatest attribute of the sport is the expense – or rather, the lack of it. A professional quality disc costs less than $15, and it only takes one for basic play.”
Sunday’s tournament had two divisions: the Advanced Division and the Recreation Division. The 2nd Annual Spring Fling Disc Golf Tournament winners are as follows:
Advanced Division: 1st Place, Travis Reaves with a score of 47. 2nd Place, Matt Stilin with a score of 48, and 3rd Place, Stephen Ray Sustaita with a score of 49.
Recreational Division: 1st Place, Glen Lubeck with a score of 49, 2nd Place, Casey Moore with a score of 50, and 3rd Place, Kyle Heisch with a score of 51.
The top scoring UMHB student in the tournament was Trey Gunter with a score of 50.
“On behalf of the City of Belton,” Bates adds, “we’d like to thank UMHB for continuing this partnership and we look forward to many more tournaments and joint ventures in the future.”