By Jesse Williams / Zip06.com • 1/19/2021 4:33 PM EST
It may still be winter and there may still be a pandemic, but Guilford’s ever-popular disc golf course is hoping to bring friendlier competition and outdoor excitement with a five-week virtual tournament running from now to late February.
Residents who pay $ 10 to sign up for the event can pit their best scores against the rest of the community, with five weekly chances to play their best 18 holes, beginning Monday January 25th and one Overall winner who will be crowned at the end of the tournament.
Parks & Recreation Director Rick Maynard has emphasized that disc golf is one of the safest outdoor activities during the pandemic, with players naturally spread out over two miles and moving in groups of four or less. This format allows people to play whenever they want and it ensures it isn’t crowded, although Maynard said the format is really about allowing people to learn the sport in their spare time and to enjoy.
“People play there every day anyway, and [for the tournament] You can just play whenever you want, ”he said.
Entrants can simply call the Community Center and share their results, and the overall winner will receive an award, an unspecified “swag bag,” Maynard said, which contains items and clothing related to disc golf.
The city will also publish weekly leaderboards, which will allow residents to see how their skills compare to those of their neighbors and the wider disc golf community.
Last fall, the course hosted a tournament, which is an annual fundraiser for Meals on Wheels that raises around $ 3,000. The money from this winter event will fund the improvement of the square himself, Maynard said, as he and the city look for ways to expand and improve the square, which has steadily grown in popularity since it opened in summer 2019.
Lengthening the holes and possibly adding new baskets are on the list of improvements, Maynard said. It is currently preferred to raise money through events like these rather than going back and soliciting local businesses for sponsorship, he added, as current economic troubles still weigh heavily on business owners.
Disc golf, which works similarly to golf in that players try to land a Frisbee-like disc in a basket with as few throws as possible, has grown in popularity across the state in recent years, with Norwich and East Haddam both building golf courses . Maynard said Guilford’s Place in Bittner Park now has its own informal league that is not affiliated with the city.
Maynard said the city doesn’t have great ambitions to attract large numbers of people to the virtual tournament, but knowing that people are taking advantage of the course’s unique recreational offerings is a good opportunity to get even more people involved.
“People go out and play anyway, and it’s free, so why not add $ 10 to it?” Maynard asked.