Weekend disc golf tourney a win for Jasper

James Phillips
Posted 5/7/17

While driving through downtown Jasper on Saturday morning, local residents may have noticed many unfamiliar faces, mostly dressed in bright colors and pushing strollers. This group wasn’t the oddest babysitter club ever assembled; it was most …

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Weekend disc golf tourney a win for Jasper

Posted

While driving through downtown Jasper on Saturday morning, local residents may have noticed many unfamiliar faces, mostly dressed in bright colors and pushing strollers. This group wasn’t the oddest babysitter club ever assembled; it was most likely participants in the Downtown Throwdown Disc Golf Tournament.

The third annual event was sponsored by Jasper’s own Grip-n-Rip Disc Golf Club and brought in as many as 300 total visitors to downtown with 180 players participating in the tournament.

The Daily Mountain Eagle is happy to be a sponsor for the Throwdown. Disc golf has grown in popularity tremendously since the city had the foresight to install a disc golf course at North Jasper Park several years ago. A second course, The Eagle Disc Golf Course, is located at the 12th Avenue Park (the dog park).

For anyone not familiar with disc golf, the game is played much like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) website, it was created in the 1970s and its objective is to complete each hole in the fewest throws.

Unlike golf where the ball is supposed to be hit into a hole in the ground, disc golf requires players to throw their disc into a metal basket protruding from the ground.

The game is great for anyone from school age to old age, according to the PDGA website. The game is also fit for specially-abled and disabled participants, giving them the opportunity to take part in a mainstream activity. Disc golf is easy for everyone to play is because it allows players to play at their own pace and to their own capabilities. It’s fairly inexpensive as well — buy a disc ($10-$20) and go play for free. It is a great way to get some fresh air and hang out with friends.

The tournament on Saturday was a lot of hard work for its organizers. The DME’s own Jake Aaron served as tournament director. He has been working hard for months to make sure the Jasper tournament went smoothly for participants and for locals.

As I walked around downtown Jasper for an hour or so Saturday morning, I spoke with approximately 50 of the players in the tournament. I met people from Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee. I also spoke with several people from Birmingham, Huntsville and Mobile. Every person spoke of how much they were enjoying their time in Jasper. Most of the players had competed in the tournament for multiple years.

“This is an incredible course,” said one disc golfer from Haleyville. “I’ve played for three years now, and I am sure to sign up on the first day.”

“The hospitality here is amazing. People have been so friendly,” said a player from Kentucky.

As far as disc golf tournaments go, the Downtown Throwdown is quickly becoming a must-play event. That is thanks to the hard work of local folks. While disc golf may not be everyone’s sport or hobby of choice, the economic impact and the positive image this tournament presents for our city is fantastic. It is unique events like this, and several others this weekend, that sets Jasper apart from other cities of similar size.

James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.