Big Disc Energy at the Ice Chains Open
Inaugural tournament testament to disc golf's growing popularity
SATURDAY, FEB. 19
So…what do you say we disc around for a while? [wink]
Northwest Pennsylvania has become a much friendlier place for a fling in recent years, as the number of disc golf courses has roughly doubled. One of the newest courses is at Fairview Township's Pleasant Ridge Park, the site of this weekend's first annual Ice Chains Open. Sponsored by the Lake Erie Disc Golf Club in association with the Erie Sports Commission, the tournament will feature beginner, intermediate, and advanced divisions, with players trying to float specialized throwing discs into chain baskets in the fewest attempts possible.
As in standard golf, a full round is 18 holes; and like golf clubs, discs are categorized as drivers, mid-range, or putters – with subtle variations in weight, thickness, and aerodynamics for specific approach scenarios and situations. With a significantly lower barrier to entry than standard golf (a decent set of discs can be had for less than $100 and most courses are free to play), disc golf has garnered much popularity among younger adults in particular.
Mastery of the sport, however, still requires a serious investment of time, as the best players will have an innate feel for each disc in their repertoire and the mechanics to maximize each throw. That means the sport is contested year-round, sometimes even in the depths of winter. Ice Chains Open participants can expect cold but not frigid conditions for Saturday's tee time, with a chance of snow showers in the morning. Players are encouraged to dress in layers and wear waterproof or water-resistant footwear, as significant snowmelt is expected midweek before the tournament.
Registration is $25 per player and includes lunch courtesy of Smith's Provisions. Those who bring five non-perishable food items with them will receive two mulligans for the day, one for each round. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers in each division. Online registration closes on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., but last-second registrants will be accepted in-person on the day of the event.
As long as you've gotten a grip on your plans by 8 a.m. Saturday morning, you should be cleared to take flight.
8 a.m. (check-in), 9 a.m. (competition starts) // Pleasant Ridge Disc Golf Park, 8271 Barker Rd., Fairview, PA 16415 // For more information, and to register, visit fairviewtownship.