Effingham Disc Golf Tournament This Saturday


Published on October 8 2019 3:42 pm
Last Updated on October 8 2019 3:42 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


Some people call it disc golf, some people call it frolf...an adaptation of frisbee golf...but people who play the sport call it an inexpensive way to get some good exercise and make new friends.

Effingham will be the scene this Saturday of the Effingham Open-Battle at the Crossroads. The first tournament of its kind locally in several years, it will take place on the disc golf course at Community Park on Temple Avenue in Effingham. It'll be a challenge for first time players, but even for those who play the course regularly, since three extra holes will be added.

Entrants will play a 21-hole round in the morning, head out for a quick lunch around town, then head back for an afternoon round. The entry fee is $30 for most players, $40 for the more serious competitors. The morning round will begin about 9:15am.

For those new to the sport, disc golf is where you throw a disc from a tee box into a basket. The goal is to get the disc into the basket in as few throws as possible.

Joe Garland of Effingham is the organizer of the tournament, with help from some of the other local disc golfers. Garland encourages those interested in playing to go to the Effingham Disc Golf website or their Facebook page.

Garland is typical of disc golf enthusiasts. The 25-year-old picked up the sport late in high school. He said, "It was something to just get out with some friends and play. From there, I played on and off until last year when I got more into it, playing in my first competitive tournament in Bloomington. I love that everyone can play it, including men, women, children and adults. It's a sport where you can enjoy meeting people and being competitive all while getting the exercise of walking and throwing and getting the opportunity to just enjoy being outside."

The nature of the sport is why Garland is interested in expanding participation in this area. He said, "disc golf is a growing sport and I want the area to be able to enjoy it, as well. I want people to know what it is. For example, a lot of people don't know that there are different types of discs. Just like regular golf, disc golf has drivers, putters and the rest." He added, "The more people that get out and play, the better."

The affordability of disc golf is another attraction. Garland said, "Disc golf is CHEAP; 99% of disc golf courses are free to play. The only thing someone has to buy is a disc that typically costs from $10 to $30. Once you have a disc, you can play all you want."

The comraderie of the sport is also a draw. Garland offered, "Disc golf has a social aspect where you can meet people and build friendships."

Disc golf is also a year-round sport, despite the Effingham winters. When Wonderland in Lights is operating in Community Park, some holes are relocated so as not to interfere with the display. In fact, some of those winter layout holes will be utilized in Saturday's tournament. There's even glow disc golf at night, where lights are attached to the baskets and battery-powered lights are taped to discs to track their flight. 

In addition to the course in Community Park, there is a nine-hole course in Teutopolis, and Lake Land College has a course on campus.

As to his favorite course, Garland said it's Northwoods in Morton, Illinois, which hosted the Professional World Championships this year. He said, "It was cool to see the best in the world play on a course I had played on."