AP NEWS

Pro-am disc golf tourney set for SARA Park on Saturday

January 17, 2019

Spectators are welcome to gather at SARA Park Saturday morning to watch top-notch disc golf players compete in an 18-hole tournament. The action begins at 7:15 a.m.

The sanctioned pro-am event is attracting players from several Western states. Perhaps the most well-known competitor is Paul Ulibarri. A veteran on the Professional Disc Golf Association tour, the right-hander is one of the top players in the world, said Jason Petersen, one of the organizers of Saturday’s tourney.

“He’s in the top 10, for sure,” Petersen estimated. “Ulibarri is one of the leaders in our sport.”

This is the second year for the Lake Havasu City Open for which 96 players have signed up to compete. Last year’s event drew 83 players, Petersen said. Several local players will compete; many are members of the Lake Havasu City Disc Golf Club.

Matt Wafford, president of the Havasu club, said the SARA Park course is not a “permanent” course, meaning baskets are not permanently installed. For Saturday’s event, Petersen will bring 18 elevated metal baskets for players to use.

“We’re trying to raise money for permanent baskets,” Wafford said, noting that the units cost $350 to $400 each.

As previously mentioned, the Lake Havasu City Open welcomes spectators. Wafford said holes 1 and 18 are best for viewing, but crowds are welcome to follow the players as they move from hole to hole.

“Players like it when they have a gallery,” he said.

Course etiquette is much like traditional golf. Viewers are expected to step back from the action and remain quiet and still while throws are happening. Clapping for good throws is appreciated when appropriate.

Petersen is looking forward to returning to Havasu. The northern Idaho resident has family ties in the city. But his larger purpose is promoting disc golf.

“The sport is growing so much. More and more people are growing into the sport. We’re always working to raise awareness of it,” he said.

Wafford shares Petersen’s enthusiasm for disc golf. He said the Havasu club fluctuates between 30 and 50 members at any given time. Dues are $20 annually.

“We welcome all ages and experience levels,” he said.

The club meets year-round Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. at the Grand Island Disc Golf Course. For details, visit the group’s Facebook page.