Ashe County Park will be filled with disc golfers of all ages and skill levels this Saturday and Sunday for the annual High Country Disc Golf Championship.
This year will mark the seventh trip to Ashe Park for the sanctioned Pro Disc Golf Association (PDGA) event. The tournament is also a qualifier for the 2015 U.S. Amateur Disc Golf Championship.
Disc golfers will open play on Saturday with two rounds before playing the championship round on Sunday.
“We have 90 players from all over the Southeast and we have nine different divisions represented,” said event organizer Todd Patoprsty. Men’s Pro Open, Men’s Pro Masters, Men’s Pro Grandmasters, Men’s Advanced, Women’s Advanced, Men’s Advanced Masters, Men’s Advanced Grandmasters, Men’s Advanced Senior Grandmasters and Men’s Intermediate will all be represented this weekend.
There will be several local players competing including Shane Bare, Everett “Big Arm” Bledsoe, Joey McCracken, Delany Thomas, Chad Henson, Daniel Quin, Brian Norris and Nathan Roten, as well as several of the top players in the world.
“We have four former World Champions, three Hall of Famers and five-time High Country Disc Golf Champion Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling from Charlotte joining us again this year,” Patoprsty said. “Jeremy is currently one of the top rated players in the world and has piled up quite a number of PDGA wins over the years. He’s also the 2013 USDGC Distance Champion.”
The Ashe Park course has gained a lot of respect not only nationally, but from worldwide competitors. According to Patoprsty, the course is ranked in the top 30 out of 4,626 courses in the entire world on Disc Golf Course Review’s website.
“The disc golf course at Ashe County Park has been nothing but positive and a great asset to the community,” said Patoprsty. “It continues to entice people from all over the country to visit Ashe County and the park to play and experience the beauty, challenge and fun.”
This tournament would not be what it is today without volunteer support and help from sponsors. This year’s tournament sponsors are: Ashe County Parks and Recreation, Innova Disc Golf, Disc Golf United and Coyote Kitchen. Sponsors and volunteers work hard a preparing the course as well as providing event support.
Volunteers are still needed for this weekend. They will be asked to spot discs on some of the more challenging holes. If you choose to donate your time to help, you will receive a $10 voucher per round from Innova Disc Golf and lunch for the day.
The public is encouraged to come out and watch the event to support the golfers and sponsors. The top pros and tournament leaders will tee off at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be lots of merchandise for sale at the Mt. Jefferson Shelter above the first hole and the player’s ceremony will take place in the tent set up below the 18th hole.
To volunteer, become a future sponsor or for any other information, call Todd Patoprsty at (336) 649-0888.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87