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Portage Lakes Disc Golf Association looking for new players

3/29/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Steve Godar, president of the Portage Lakes Disc Golf Association, takes a hard throw at the first hole at the grand opening of the 18-hole disc golf course this past August.
Photo: Lew Stamp
NEW FRANKLIN — A year after opening an 18-hole disc golf course in the Portage Lakes State Park on Manchester Road, the Portage Lakes Disc Golf Association (PLDGA) is looking to create more public awareness. The association is offering both one-time tournaments and local disc golf leagues for those who would like to give the sport a try.

According to Steve Godar, president of the PLDGA, disc golf is played like regular golf, except a player uses a disc to throw at a target, or a basket.

“We have pars on every hole,” he said. “Once a person gets his or her disc in the basket, they have holed out. Every throw is one stroke. The game is expanding rapidly worldwide.”

Godar said “lots and lots of people” have used the course since this past summer.

“There are many more disc golfers in the area than you would imagine,” he said. “Once people begin to play, they become easily addicted. Many people come from out of the area and out of the state. I am seeing some new people all the time as people are becoming more aware of the course. It is an easy game to play, very addictive and challenging — very competitive also.”

Godar said the league is planning a couple of disc golf tournaments this year.

“We are having a ‘Chain Shot’ tournament on July 21 in conjunction with the Pirates Weekend festivities,” he said. “This is a no pressure event. It is called ‘Chain Shot’ for two reasons: a person is throwing his or her disc at a basket that has chains in it to stop the momentum of the disc and fall in the basket; and ‘Chain Shot’ is a pirate term used when pirates shoot two cannonballs with a chain between them to do more damage to their target.”

The cost to participate is $5, and more information can be found at www.discgolfscene.com/clubs/Portage_Lakes_Disc_Golf_Association.

“We are also planning an official Professional Disc Golf Association Tournament, which is a pretty big deal, probably in August or September,” Godar said. “This tournament will be sponsored in part by Quonset Hut in Canton. These tournaments can draw some very talented disc golfers from around the country. We are very excited about this event.”

In addition to the tournaments, Godar noted, the PLDGA is starting weekly disc golf leagues this season on Tuesday nights for players of all ages and abilities.

“Each season is $10,” he said. “You must BYOD —bring your own disc. Discs can range from $10 to $20 each.”

Currently, Godar said, the PLDGA is accepting memberships for the organization. Dues are $20 for adults and $10 for those 18 and younger.

“We are entering our fourth year of existence,” he said. “Now that we have all 18 holes in, plus one practice basket, we are now trying to focus more on making the public aware of us, encouraging others to play the game and adding to our membership roll. There is still much refinement to be done on our course, but it is very playable. We get good reviews.”

The group’s “next big task,” Godar said, is to get concrete tee pads installed on all 18 holes.

“This is quite an undertaking, as they are approximately 4 foot by 12 foot and will cost over $100 each,” he said. “We are always on the outlook for fundraising opportunities and local support.”

The course already has received one upgrade thanks to a local Scout.

“We just had a local Boy Scout, Dakota Smith from Troop No. 118, build us a bridge for his Eagle [Scout] project,” Godar said. “We are delighted with the results and are very proud of this young man. The Portage Lakes Advisory Council helped fund Dakota’s endeavor.”

For more information about the course or the leagues, contact Godar at steve@pldga.com or 330-644-0544, or go to www.pldga.com.

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