Disc golfers tee off in annual charity tourney

There were finesse players and power players, drivers and putters but not one golf ball to be had Sunday at Palisade’s Riverbend Park, site of the Ice Bowl disc golf tournament. 

Sixty-five disc golfers battled in seven to win bragging rights and the satisfaction of being a local disc golf legend. This year’s Ice Bowl was the sixth annual tournament, said Josh Fritz, president of the Grand Valley Disc Golf Club, with players paying an entry fee that is donated to a local charity.

This year’s beneficiary of the proceeds is Catholic Outreach, Fritz said.

“We picked Catholic Outreach because they have seen a very large increase in the people needing their services,” Fritz said.

Each player paid $30 to participate, and winners in each division — including men’s and women’s divisions at varying skills levels and a children’s division — took home a trophy and tournament memorabilia.

Fritz said the Ice Bowl is a worldwide event, and clubs raise money and donations for their charities in January and February.

Last year, Fritz said, the Grand Valley Disc Golf Club finished sixth out of all participating clubs in fundraising. Funds last year went to the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies.

“It’s always nice to see the smaller communities out-fundraise the larger communities,” he said.

As in traditional golf, disc golf is just as much a game of strategy as it is of skill, and the Ice Bowl golfers took the tournament seriously, with several carting around stacks of different types of discs in special disc golf caddies.

Putter discs are smaller than driver discs, which have the sharpest edges, to cut through the air and achieve good distance.

Fritz said he is a “finesse player” who tends to play for accuracy and precision rather than a “power player,” who throws for maximum distance.

The Riverbend Park disc golf course is more challenging than other courses, Fritz said, because it weaves through trees and sits along the Colorado River, both of which put a premium on accuracy.

“If you mess up, your disc is floating down the river,” Fritz said.


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