Disc golf players encounter challenging, yet beautiful course in inaugural tourney

By Craig Cummins

January 18, 2014 - 8:28 pm
Almost 100 players competed Saturday in the Inaugural Maricopa Meadows Open. Photo Craig Cummins

Frustration consumed players Saturday on the Maricopa Meadows disc golf course during an inaugural tournament hosted by the Maricopa Meadows Disc Golf Club.

The two-round, 20-hole course was challenging for both amateurs and professionals. With added wind and already tough boundaries, the course proved to be difficult for the most seasoned veterans.

“I made it pretty hard,” said tournament director and course designer Dave Feldberg, a former Professional Disc Golf Association world champion. Residents in Maricopa Meadows have been able to play the sport since January 2012, when the course first opened.

The rules of disc golf are similar to regular golf. Competitors “tee-off,” throwing a Frisbee-like disc down a field with the goal of landing it in a chain link basket hundreds of feet away in the fewest throws.

Almost 100 players competed in Saturday’s tournament. Organizers gave out more than $10,000 worth of cash and prizes at the tournament, including a $400 hole-in-one bonus.

Richard Wysocki, currently ranked third in the PDGA, was one of the many players who felt the wrath of the course.

“It’s tough out there,” Wysocki said. “The out-of-bounds and overall course layout is hard.”

Wysocki, an Ohio native, spends his winters in Arizona. Taking advantage of the desert weather, he can train until the professional tour starts in February.

The PDGA tour hosts a dozen events across the country that draw crowds of spectators. Tournaments are also held in Europe.

Players and spectators seemed to admire the scenery of the Maricopa Meadows course.

With amazingly well maintained grass, beautifully paved concrete trails and a giant lake that claimed plenty of discs, the course was not only challenging but also one of the most beautiful players had encountered.

“It’s great; it is the prettiest course I’ve seen,” said Greg Strayer, a spectator who has followed his friend Scotty Henderson to many courses. “I think the lake has a lot to do with it.”

Future tournaments at the course seemed desired among competitors.

Wysocki said it was his first time playing in Maricopa.

“Everyone here is engaging in the tournament and if they make it an every-year event, they can turn it into a real event in the tour that could bring a lot of revenue and attention to Maricopa,” he said.

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