As of January 1, 2011, I'll no longer be the 1st President of Pinconning Disc Golf Club, but instead be retired from duty. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the new friends made, all of the volunteers, Ward Prindle and the entire community for being so supportive of what was a great idea, disc golf in Pinconning. I have hopes for the future of the sport continuing and have made some contact that may bring a new course to the area, as well as introduce the idea of a Disc Golf Team at the High School and Middle School level. The path has been laid, now the new President Erik Szyperski has the ball in hand and is well on his way to continue what amounted to somewhere near 3000 of labor and love. Good Luck. An article that I wrote for the Pinconning Journal tells nearly all of my thoughts, please give it a read. thanks again and have the safest of holidays and future as we move into 2011.
"DISC GOLF - The Past, Present and Future"
The Past - In 2007 an Idea comes to the Szyperski family that requires 1200 hours of hard cut hand labor to outline a 9 hole disc golf course.
The Past - In 2008 Ward Prindle agrees to allow an 18 hole disc golf course be built on the Blizzard Hills Marina property
The Past - With an article in the Bay City Times on Tuesday, May 27th 2008 an announcement is made that "players won't have to leave Bay County anymore" when looking to play disc golf. The following Saturday officially opened the first 9 holes of the 18 hole course with a 1:00 ribbon cutting ceremony at Blizzard Hills Bar/Marina.
The Past - Over the next 2 years an additional 5000 man hours of hand labor cleared the jungle to make a World Class 18 Hole Disc Golf Course at Blizzard Hills.
The Past - May 1st, 2010 Ward Prindle retires from business and closes the Blizzard Hills Bar.
The Past - June 2010 Bay County announces an "interest" in acquiring the Blizzard Hills property to expand the Pinconning Park to allow for additional campsites after declining $100,000.00 in potential camping revenues in 2009/2010.
The Present - September 11th was the date for the Pinconning Disc Golf Club to host the first ever Professional Disc Golf Association sanctioned event at Blizzard Hills DGC. And although the weather could have been a little more like this past weekend, rain cold and wind didn't hamper the fun and excellent play by amateurs and professionals from Bay, Midland, Saginaw, Genesee, Lapeer, Midland and Arenac counties. DJ Hunt of Lapeer won in the Open Division, Amateur Masters was won by Tom Swathort of Kawkawlin , Intermediate Women by Lexie Alexander, Recreational by Lance Anderson of Auburn, Novice by Tom Neumeyer and last but not least was Devon Myers taking the top prize in Junior III Boys division and winning a long putt contest amongst all players on hole #16. The recap of the day wouldn't be complete by omitting that as Tournament Director I opted into the pool of skilled players only to post the worst score of the day and on my last drive, loose my favorite disc in the river. The tournament was graciously sponsored by a record number of 15 businesses and individuals with donations of gift certificates and prizes that certainly meant everyone in attendance walked away not only the memory of playing the 1st sanctioned event at a course that was at it's BEST EVER, but also walked away with plenty of winnings as well.
The Present - Monday, September 27th was the last evening for the official gathering of Monday Night Leagues at Blizzard Hills, with Saturday October 2nd the day for the year end league party that included chili and chili dogs, a camp fire and two rounds of wonderful, fall disc golf.
The Present - Clark Slater of Linwood continues to meet on Thursday evenings at 5:00pm for an informal league gathering of local and state wide players.
The Present - Players from around the country continue to show up at Blizzard Hills to experience what rumors and multiple promotional listings claim as fact, Blizzard Hills DGC is a World Class Course that has such a peaceful and beautiful nature, you would think you're 100 miles from anything.
The Past, Present and Future - October 2010, Ward Prindle announces his intentions of retiring and dissolving his commitment in allowing the disc golf course to remain on the Blizzard Hills property.
The Future - Bay County has intentions of applying for a grant with an April 1, 2011 deadline to purchase Blizzard Hills for the purpose of expanding the Pinconning Camp Ground and according to Mike Duranczyk, "April 1 grant deadline for applications with Sept - Oct 2011 release of successful applicants. It could take another 12 to 15 months to complete sale."
The Future - "Please bear in mind, even after the County takes over the property it could be another 12 months before County work crews are on site. In order for this expansion to work financially for the County it must generate funds to support the overhead. We know that we turned away over $100,000 in revenue at the campground in 2009 and 2010 due to lack of campsites. This will be our main focus for use of the property. We will consider other attractions for our campers as we move along with the expansion." Mike Duranczyk
The Future - November 1st, 2010 Blizzard Hills Disc golf Course will be temporarily and indefinitely be closed. The baskets will be removed and the property will be posted with "COURSE CLOSED" signs.
The Future - Disc Golf has become and will continue to be an interest to many and a way of life for some Pinconning residents. The course at Blizzard Hills has initiated an idea that will be around for years to come.
The Future - Pinconning area disc golfers will travel to Freeland, Midland, St. Charles, Sanford, Au Gres, Tawas, Frankenmuth, Holly and beyond to play one of the public disc golf courses offered at parks within all of these towns.
The Future - Visitors from around the state and country will stop traveling to Pinconning Michigan's Blizzard Hills or certainly will be real disappointed if they do arrive to play.
The Future - The Pinconning Disc Golf Club will store the baskets, signage and course fixtures until Blizzard Hills reopens or an alternative is offered.
The Future - As the 1st President of The Pinconning Disc Golf Club, I will remain a committed volunteer trying my best to enhance Pinconning with the option of the disc golf activity.
The Future - As the past President of the PDGC I will continue contact with the Pinconning Park, Blizzard Hills and any volunteers until a time we may again see the fairways as they are now.
The Future - As a committed member of the disc golf community worldwide, I offer my experience and expertise while I approach all possibilities for a quick resolution to the void that will be created with the removal of the baskets from the Blizzard Hills. I offer a free design for an 18, 24 or 48 hole course on any available property near Pinconning, with focus on one a particular 80 acre parcel that is near perfect for two 24 hole courses.
The Future - As a committed member of the disc golf community worldwide I ask that anyone with an interest in seeing disc golf remain in Pinconning contact anyone that can help, volunteer to the PDGC, take a drive and look for possible course locations and talk it up on all occasions.
The Future - In Closing, I feel compelled to share the results of last weekend's conclusion to the United States Disc Golf Championships held in Rock Hill, South Carolina. This is the 12th year for the event and again, many records were broken. The most significant being a record set in 2009 of the winner being the youngest ever. Yes, last year winner Nikko Locastro of St Louis Missouri became the youngest ever to win this event, probably the foremost disc golf event in the world. And then this year, 18 year old Will Shusterick of Knoxville, Tennessee took the 1st place prize of $12,000.00 with a 2 stroke win over his traveling and teammate Nikko, again breaking the record for youngest champion ever. The playing field for this event is made up from players of all ages that qualify from play in a few specific tournaments held yearly around the country . This years field of 185 players included several women and one sixteen year old player. All that come can expect to see and play against the best in the world including 12 time World Champion Ken Climo, US and World Champion David Feldberg, Avery Jenkins and more. I am also compelled to ask anyone that has internet access to follow these links to see and understand the beauty, excitement and future disc golf, a future that is being driven by young talented players.