Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

January 22, 2014

HC Disc Golf Club raises funds while having fun

Devan Strebing
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — AVON — While many Hendricks County residents were slipping and sliding along snow covered roads on Saturday, others were tossing discs around the Avon Town Hall Park like it was a lazy, summer day.

The 2014 Western Indiana Frozen Fundraiser Series (WIFFS), in cooperation with the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club, held a fundraising tournament to benefit one of its own disc golfers, Vince Brooks, and his family, who are in their first year of a five-year missionary commitment in Nairobi, Kenya.

In July 2013, Brooks and his family joined the Hope Partnership team in Nairobi to bring hope and ministry to those living in the slums of Mathare Valley.

In Nairobi, the Brookses are working with other missionaries and national leaders toward seeing individual lives transformed physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually in order to bring change to the community. Brooks is using his skills and teaching experience to help with church development and education. His wife, Stephanie, is using her skills and administrative experience to help with organization, communication, and collaboration with partnering churches, particularly in the area of child sponsorship and mission project trips.

“Vince is one of the disc golfers here and because they were local, we said we would do a fundraiser here, and this year they will be receiving the funds we raise,” John Strifler, Hendricks County Disc Golf Club facilitator, said. “We have an entry fee that we give three quarters of it as the charity amount. What’s left over is used for awards we give and prizes and plastic discs.”

Pro and amateur disc golfers were invited to attend the tournament Saturday.

“I came here for the competition while raising money for charity,” Dan Wilkinson, a member of Crossroads Disc Golf Club in Terre Haute, said. “These guys are kind of like family. I do about 15 tournaments a year. Disc golf is pretty cheap, it’s addictive, and the feeling you get after you have your best round makes you keep coming back.”

Strifler helped found the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club in 2008. The club has a number of leagues that play throughout the year from daylight savings time, when they get leagues started, until the end of daylight savings time. They have leagues on Sunday afternoons, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, historically, but next year they will likely have three leagues during the week — probably on Mondays,Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Some are doubles or singles,” Strifler said. “Think of it as regular golf in that there are handicaps. You play a couple of rounds and get a handicap. You may not be real good, but if you’re consistent, you can have a god time and win some prizes.”

The December, January and February contests are all fundraising events that are a part of the six-tournament series that started a year ago (WIFFS).

Two men started it and it is now an officially sanctioned tournament by the professional disc golf association (PDGA).

“You get points in the PDGA grouping which qualifies you for various tournaments such as the world amateur competition,” Strifler explained. “You have to earn so many points to qualify.”

Indiana State Coordinator Steve Boylan is one of the men who started the tournament.

“We’re trying to get this nationwide,” he said. “We’d like to get more people to support it. We want to get the schools involved as well.”

Playing disc golf in the snow is a bit more challenging than playing in better weather, Strifler admits.

“It’s competitive, but you don’t have the footing, you don’t have the feel of the discs,” he said. “In the spring you can throw much farther with your footing and you don’t lose discs.”

Players from around the state showed up at the tournament here, and Strifler said they — like anyone else who is interested — are more than welcome to join the club.

“Depending on what level you want to participate with, it gives you regular contact from us,” he said. “You’ll know about the tournaments and the leagues, and you’ll support the growth of disc golf in the county.”

Hendricks County Disc Golf Club has a couple of planning meetings throughout the year with both spring and fall tournaments.

“Joining the club helps promote the sport in the county and beyond, but it’s about encouraging people to play this,” Strifler said. “You don’t have to be 20 and in good shape. For $20 you can buy a couple of discs, whatever age you are, and come to town hall and play year round. There is no age limit; it’s great exercise, and it can be as competitive as you want it to be. It’s more than a walk in the park; it has elements of competition and great friendly spirit.”

For more information about the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club, visit the website at http://hcdgc.com/.