Guest submission by Gary Rees:
April 22 and 23 marks disc golf weekend in Lamoni when the Graceland University Colonel George Barrett Disc Golf Course and the J & B Rolling Hills Disc Golf Course host the annual singles and doubles disc golf tournaments. On Saturday, April 22nd, the J&B Doubles Tournament will be held at Bob Kelly’s Rolling Hills disc golf course. Rolling Hills laid out on 30 acres located at the I-35 interchange. It has hosted the tournament since 2001 when it was completed. On Sunday, April 23rd, Graceland will host the Graceland Open on campus at the university’s Colonel George Barrett Disc Golf Course. Registration onsite begins at 8:30 a.m. with tee off at 9:30 a.m.
The Graceland course began with a grant and additional funds from the University in 1999 and was designed by disc golf professional and former multi-year Pro Disc Golf Association Professional (PDGA) World Champion Juliana Korver. “Lamoni was part of the early development of the sport in Iowa,” Brad Carr, Graceland University’s Director of Student Activities, said. Carr along with Bob Kelly were the driving forces behind disc golf development in the community. “We enjoyed it ourselves. Because it is an easy sport to pick up and a relatively inexpensive sport, we thought it would be a natural for Graceland students and our community.”
The two-day event is part of The Iowa Tour and is one of 20 tournaments held around Iowa from March until a final playoff in October. A portion of every entry is collected and donated to the Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) program that helps get disc golf into Iowa schools. “The goal to get people interested in disc golf and competing in tournaments – especially students and young players,” Kurt Conrad, Coordinator of The Iowa Tour, said.
“Every serious disc golfer in Iowa knows of the great courses here,” Conrad said. “There are two championship level courses in this small town. We promote these events as a Weekend in Lamoni by having two events in the same weekend.” Ninety percent of the players travel over an hour to play. It draws players from the Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Kansas City, and – mostly – from Des Moines. The first event of the season in the Quad Cites attracted 100 contestants.
“Disc golf weekend is a great time for spectators, too,” Carr said. “Come on out and watch some really talented players fling those discs around the courses. We hope you’ll catch the disc golf fever like Bob and I did. Even if you don’t, it’s a lot of fun to watch!”
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