Who in their right mind would play disc golf in February, come rain, sun, or snow? That would be the members of Athens Disc Golf, organizers of the Flying Eye Open tournament held here in Athens every October. This is the first year that ADG will be hosting an Ice Bowl, which are events held around the country at the start of each year to raise money for local charities.
The ADG-sponsored Ice Bowl will benefit Athens Area Habitat for Humanity.
“The cool thing about the Ice Bowls, besides getting to play disc golf in winter, is that PDGA members can play in a sanctioned tournament and new players can enter without having to pay a non-member fee since it’s a charity event,” said ADG’s Jamey Tinch. “So we’re hoping to see a good mix of old timers and newbies, and to raise some money for housing while we’re at it.”
A scene from the disc golf course at Sandy Creek park
The first Ice Bowl was organized 1987 in Columbia, Missouri. By 1996 the winter tournaments had spread around the nation and morphed into charity events raising funds to fight hunger. After the 9/11 attacks, the mission of the Ice Bowls expanded to include other charitable causes aimed at directly helping people in need.
The 2020 Flying Ice Bowl scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, is a PDGA-sanctioned tournament benefitting Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, which provides affordable housing and no-cost home repairs to lower-income residents of Athens and surrounding areas. It is also the inaugural event for the recently expanded disc golf course at Sandy Creek Park.
“The park has added 5 new holes this year and the Flying Ice Bowl will be the first event with the new configuration,” Tinch said. “We’ll be playing in the morning, then having a lunch for the contestants and awards in the afternoon. The park will be open as usual for anyone who wants to watch. It’s a fun way for folks who’ve never seen disc golf to get introduced to the sport.”
The event will be held rain, snow, or shine.
“Just about the only reasons to stop an Ice Bowl are tornadoes, lightning, and earthquakes,” Tinch said. “Other than that, it’s full steam ahead.”
For more information, tournament schedule and registration details visit www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments.