May 20, 2022
A sport for people “from all walks of life” |  Sports

The disc golf community is a community unlike any other sport. Because the sport is affordable — Eugene courses are free to play and a disc costs around $12 — it’s constantly welcoming new players. The dose of success in hitting the target and being out there makes it all the more appealing to play.

“What I like about it is that I meet so many people involved in the sport,” said Ralph Huntoon, Treasurer of Eugene Disc Golf Club. “I have contact with doctors, lawyers, dentists, craftsmen, cooks, cooks – almost everyone does this sport.”

EDGC promotes these relational aspects of the sport through charity and community work, and by hosting disc golf events and tournaments. It prides itself on giving back to the community. In addition, the club has created a social circle around disc golf, making it easy to meet club members as they attend various events hosted by EDGC.

For people looking to get into disc golf, EDGC offers a circle for beginners to improve. Being out in the beautiful parts of Eugene also makes the sport easier to learn. Andy Hock, a member of Large, emphasized that being out in nature is a reward in itself and that the low stakes make disc golf more relaxing compared to other sports.

“When I’m trying to sell it to people, I always tell them there’s not a lot of things you can do when you’re really bad and still have a good time, and disc golf is absolutely one of those things,” he said he.

However, the constant improvement of the sport keeps players coming back as they try to regain that sense of accomplishment on the pitch.

Club secretary Eugene Hackler said one of the best things to see on the course is “people seeing that they’re improving.”

For Club President Michael Haines, EDGC isn’t just about the sport of disc golf, it’s about the community and relationships behind it. Haines quickly transitioned as the newly appointed club president and continues to look for ways to improve EDGC and expand the sport.

Overall, Haines said he sees the disc golf community as one that makes a difference by supporting businesses and connecting people from diverse backgrounds.

The Board is proud of the community work that EDGC regularly does through charity tournaments.

On February 12, 2022, EDGC is hosting the Ice Bowl Challenge with all proceeds being donated to Food for Lane County. The board also supports Uplay Disc Golf and Alliance Disc Golf, two other non-profit organizations in the area.

In addition to supporting non-profit organizations and hosting charity events, disc golf course maintenance is another volunteer job that goes unnoticed by the public.

“We set up working groups,” said ex-president and member-general Rebecca Duffy. “We keep our parks clean where our disc golf courses are. We collect rubbish. We are eliminating invasive species so our native species can thrive.”

In addition to the community work the club is involved in, disc golf events hosted by the club are popular with players.

A favorite among members is the Bag Tag League. The club sells numbered tags, each individually numbered, as part of club membership.

Each year EDGC hosts a Bag Tag Kickoff and Season Ender. Between these events, club members can compete alone as the goal is to finish with the lowest tag number.

“It creates a lot of community and a lot of fun,” said Huntoon. “The more events and fun things you have that people can attend to test their skills and develop their skills, the more people want to be a part of it.”

At the end of the season there is a cash prize for the winner with the lowest tag number. This year it was $1,200. The bag tag tournament is one of the biggest contributors to growing membership, Huntoon said.

Events like this bring club members together as a collective group.

By giving back to diverse groups and hosting fun competitive events throughout the year, EDGC has popularized the social circle and environment of disc golf in Eugene. Haines said he’s working to create more social events that aren’t necessarily geared toward disc golf.

“The kind of community the club builds for people brings together people from all walks of life who might never have had the opportunity to meet,” Haines said. “That’s one thing I really appreciate about disc golf.”

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