Discs will take flight at downvalley tournament
EAGLE — Prestigious tournament play is coming to the lower Eagle Valley this weekend, and even though it involves tee times at a local golf facility, players won’t be packing their woods and irons.
The Flying Eagle Disc Society, Eagle County’s disc golf club, will host the inaugural Flying Eagle Open disc golf tournament Saturday and Sunday.
The event’s presenting sponsor is Bonfire Brewing and the tournament will be a sanctioned PDGA event featuring two rounds of play on two separate courses.
Round one on Saturday will play at the newly renovated Hole in the Sky Disc Golf Course at the Eagle County Fairgrounds in Eagle. Round two will take place on a championship-style, temporary layout at the Gypsum Creek Golf Club in Gypsum.
HONORS OF HOSTING
Steve Klehfoth noted Sunday’s round is a rare and special opportunity to play a tournament round of disc golf in a traditional golf course setting.
“This is actually the first professional tournament in Colorado to be hosted at an actual golf course,” he said.
The tournament marks the Flying Eagle Disc Society’s first hosting effort and will feature divisions from novice to pro. Klehfoth said the club was formed four years ago and members have spent the past three years traveling to tournaments and learning the ins and outs of how to host one. Judging by early response, they already have a hit on their hands.
The tournament’s 140 spots are filled. Actually, they have been filled for some time.
“You never know how things are going to go. But when we opened registration back in August, we filled it up in 14 hours,” said Klehfoth.
With the fall colors at their peak and mild, sunny conditions forecast for the weekend, Klehfoth said it the Flying Eagle Open should be a great time for all. That includes spectators.
It is free to watch play throughout the weekend, but Klehfoth asks spectators to check in at the tournament registration table before heading out on the course.
During the tournament, both rounds will be run with assigned tee times for each player and both courses will feature alternate tee positions depending on division. Amateur players will take home a players pack valued at around $85, and there will be payouts to top finishers in all divisions (cash in pro and prizes in amateur), in addition to trophies for top players in each division. To get a glimpse of the top players in action, Klehfoth suggested heading out to Gypsum Creek Golf Club at around 3 p.m. Sunday, when the leading competitors will tee off.
Hole in the Sky Disc Golf Course is a permanent, public course. It will be open for practice rounds from sunrise to sunset until the day of the event. Gypsum Creek will have a limited practice and preview window with the course open on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to sunset. Access for the practice session will be first-come, first-served and will be pay-to-play. Golf carts will be available to rent for the practice session but will not be in use during the competition round.
“What I am most excited about is for 140 players to enjoy all the work our club member have done to rejuvenate the Hole in the Sky course at the Eagle County s,” said Klehfoth.
“We are excited to show off the brand new layout at Hole in the Sky Disc Golf Course at the Eagle County Fairgrounds as well as to provide this rare, first-of-its-kind opportunity to host a sanctioned tournament on a traditional golf course in the state of Colorado, especially one as prestigious as Gypsum Creek,” said Klehfoth. “Please join us for a weekend of disc golf and camaraderie in the autumn beauty of the high Rocky Mountains.”
For more information about the event and the club, visit http://www.flyingdisc.com.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.