Sixty-nine disc golfers gathered at the Brakewell Steel course in Warwick Town Park on July 17-18 to compete in the Hudson Valley’s premiere A-tier disc golf professional tournament.
This year’s tournament was delivered through a partnership between Skylands Disc Golf, a local disc golf club, and St. Peter Lutheran Church in Warwick.
Andrew Fish emerged victorious in the men’s division with a score of -27, while Margaret Sassaman took home the title for the women at +30.
“This is one of my favorite tournaments every year and it is so great to see everyone out enjoying the course,” said Steve Brinster, course designer and 2013 US PDGA champion. “It is an opportunity for the local pros to battle it out with some of the touring professionals.”
‘Build community, enjoy nature and exercise’
Modeled after regular golf, the sport of disc golf uses discs, similar to traditional frisbees, to navigate “holes” with the goal of reaching the basket in as few throws as possible. The sport has experienced rapid growth in recent years, especially when many normal activities were shut down last year.
“Disc golf is such a great way to build community, enjoy nature and exercise,” said Chris Grant, pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church. “I began playing shortly before the shutdown and have been hooked ever since. Sponsoring the tournament is a no-brainer for us – as it allows us to support the local community and get the word out about our church.”
Volunteers prepare the course
In order to attract touring professionals to Warwick, the planning process started well in advance. “We needed to raise money for the prize purse, work to get the event sanctioned, and spend many hours preparing the course to be tournament ready,” said Craig Cutler, a local pro who oversaw registration. “As a volunteer organization, that meant lots of guys showing up on Saturdays with weed whackers, shovels and chain saws to get the course in top shape. I am proud of the effort that everyone put in to make it happen.”
As the sport continues to grow, a host of other tournaments are being planned and courses being installed.
“My hope,” Brinster added, “is that our local community will be able to handle a national pro tour event so that all of the top disc golfers in the world can enjoy what has been built here in the Hudson Valley.”
To get connected to the local community, search for the “Skylands Disc Golf Club” on Facebook.
To learn more about St Peter Lutheran Church, visit stpeterwarwick.org.