By Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
If you’ve ever been curious about disc golf, come on out to the Pirates Cove Disc Golf Course on Pensacola State College’s Milton campus on Sept. 28 and let it fly.
That’s when the Emerald Coast Disc Golf Club will host the Trilogy Challenge on the course. (The College’s Milton campus also has another course, Gator Links, which is a tougher course and not necessarily suited for beginners.)
But beginners are welcome to play in the Trilogy Challenge, even encouraged to play, by tournament organizer Ryan Vann, a Pensacola State College business graduate who now works as a loan manager at Pen Air Federal Credit Union.
“We’re keeping it friendly on the beginner side (Pirates Cove) for this event,’’ said Vann, who is vice-president/treasurer for the Emerald Coast Disc Golf Club, which performs upkeep on the two campus courses and promotes the growing sport in Northwest Florida. “It’s open to everyone. We’ve got a lot of variety in our members, from 6 years old to 80 year olds.”
Disc golf rules are similar to regular golf. You count your shots from tee shot to putting into the chained basket or “hole.”
There are numerous types of discs from distance drivers to putters, each with various flight characteristics classified with numeral values in relation to “speed,’’ “glide,’’ “turn” and “fade.” The sport is governed by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), which has more than 120,000 registered members.
Various disc golf games trace back to the early 1900s. (Don’t call it “Frisbee golf,’’ players say. And Frisbees aren’t allowed, only PDGA-sanctioned discs.) The modern game emerged in the early 1980s, with various rules being implemented to instill consistent play.
The Pirates Cove course is nine-holes, mostly wooded, with a few wide-open shots for the long drivers. The course was established in 2005. Each of the nine holes is a par three. There are multiple tee pads for various experience levels.
Disc Golf Course Review notes the course is “Relatively short, but some tough shots. Dual tees with several open holes, but mostly wooded. Well marked and maintained.” The course length ranges from 2,210 feet to 2,552 feet ─ depending on the tee.
If you’re still not sure whether you want to play in the tournament, toss this around: Registration for the Trilogy Challenge is $40, but you get three regulation discs to keep, as well as a T-shirt and other goodies. Each player package is valued at $60 to $70, Vann said. An average disc costs anywhere from $13 to $17, though you can find discs on each side of that price range.
The discs included in the players’ packages are the Lucid Vandal driver from Dynamic Discs, Tournament Gatekeeper from Westside Discs and a Retro Keystone putter from Latitude 64°. All three are manufactured by Trilogy.
Here’s the catch: Players can only use those three discs in the Trilogy Challenge, which is designed to “grow the game.”
“They’ve created these challenges to allow local clubs to have these type of events and raise money to help grow the sport,’’ said Vann, who started playing about nine years ago. “It’s one of those sports that transcends time and age.”
WANT TO PLAY?
The Trilogy Challenge disc golf tourney is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Pirates Cove Disc Golf Course on Pensacola State’s Milton campus.
Registration is $40, and each player receives a player’s package with three regulation discs, a T-shirt and other goodies. The packages are valued at $60 to $70.
To register and for other details, visit https://www.ecdgc.org/. Register by Saturday, Sept. 14, to ensure a T-shirt in your size.