Well, the 2013 Sticky Fingers Disc Golf Event has come and gone, and what a day it was! I woke up around 7 am, and immediately took a look at the weather radar - NOT GOOD - there was a band of showers running from SW to NE - and moving ever so slowly to the east. Ashtabula was smack in the middle of it, as I could hear it running through the downspout outside.
I decided on the spot to try to move the start time, as it looked like the storms MIGHT move to the east a little later in the day. So I got on FaceBook & Disc Golf Scene & posted notice that we would be moving the starting time for the Birdie Bash back to 1 pm (from 11 am) - and that the scramble would follow immediately after.
I also sent out text messages & emails to as many golfers as I could, & asked them to pass the word.
Since the original registration was to take place at 10 am, I thought I'd head to Lake Shore Park to see if there were any brave souls coming out at that time, that hadn't gotten the message. Sure enough, Ron McCollum & Greg Garret, two Warren guys, and Chris Fowler & Tom Schmidt (who had made the trip from Columbus) were there at the course. I gave them the news, and they didn't seem to mind - they were there to play disc golf!
Barry Switzer was another who showed up early - and he helped me put up the club's new canopy - it worked out well - and then we started pulling out the merchandise for display.
At this time, I'd like to thank Nate Rockwell at Briquettes Smokehouse in the Ashtabula Harbor for sponsoring this event. Their generosity made this event a HUGE success, not only for the golfers, but also for our Charity, Beatitude House of Ashtabula. We got a couple hundred discs printed up with the Briquettes logo, and they will be selling them in their restaurant on Bridge Street.
The rain hadn't let up, but it was very gradually creeping east... and moving north at the same time, but we still didn't know for sure how mother nature would treat us...
As we got closer to 1 pm, more and more golfers showed up, anxious to get under way. One of the great things about this event is that it is held during the Rib Burn-Off, and literally, right across the street in the park are a dozen or so rib & food vendors, and, because this is always a charity event, they are always glad to provide gift certificates for food & other goodies for our players.
Before we got started, Sarah Masek, the director of Beatitude House in Ashtabula gave a short presentation of what Beatutude House does for women & children in Ashtabula. Their purpose is to serve women & children that are bound in homelessness, and provide education and nurturing to help them get back on their feet. Thank You Sarah for coming out!
When everyone was registered, with the rain still coming down, everyone headed out. There were four groups of six, each starting on a different hole. The object of this "Birdie Bash" was pretty simple. You get two shots (taken from the red tees). If you get an ace (hole in one), you get five points. If you get a birdie (two shots), you get two points. And if you "hit metal" - with either of the shots, you get one point.
The weather made it really difficult to score well, but in the end, the winner was Chris Fowler (one of the guys from Columbus), who scored 19 points. And Chris was the only participant to hit an ACE - he did it on hole three, a 145 foot uphill shot. That shot gave him the victory, as second place Tony Keller of Warren, scored 17 points. Ron McCollum of Warren came in third, scoring 16 points.
After the "disc dollar" presentations to the winners (which were paid out through 12 places), the rain was starting to let up, and final registrations for the scramble events were going on.
By this time, the Rib Burn-Off was well under way, with Cleveland band "Chauncy Shives" rocking the pavilion just across the street. The aroma of barbeque was piquing our hunger, but there was another round of disc golf to be played!
This event was a scramble, with three divisions: Red (Recreational), White (Intermediate), and Blue (Advanced). Red & White were paid out in disc dollars, while Blue was paid out in cash.
Winners of the Red division were Michael Ray & Matt Silva, who shot a 48, edging out Bob Klingler & Mel Bendig. Third place went to Mark Stankiewicz & James Schultz.
In the White division, the win went to Larry Bright & Michael Carletta, who shot a blistering 45, outdistancing "Mulligan" Mike Mote (54) and Tyler Starcher & Brandon Morrisey (55).
And in the Blue division, The winning team was Tony Keller & Josh Threet (of Warren), who shot a 51. They edged out Gret Garrett & Ron McCollum, who also shot a 51, but were edged out in a tie-breaker. Third place went to Chris Fowler & Tom Schmidt, who shot a 52. The Blue division was definitely the most competitive, with all six teams being only two strokes apart.
So after all of the disc golfing was done, after all the prizes awarded, after all of the food was eaten, it ended up being a perfect day, after all.
Again, I would like to thank our sponsor, Briquettes Smokehouse, in the Ashtabula Harbor - check them out, it's a really great place with great food & craft beers. I'd also like to thank Jim Ales of North Coast Voice Magazine for his donations, and also Clint Jackson for his donation as well. And a HUGE thanks to all of the disc golfers who came out in the cold rain to have fun, but to raise money for Beatitude House of Ashtabula. All told, the Shoot the Breeze Disc Golf Club will be presenting a check to Beatitude House in the amount of $668.00.