Disc golfers from all across the eastern half of the country will be at Ashe Park this weekend for the annual High Country Throwdown.
“The Disc Golf Course at Ashe Park was established in 2006, and has been nothing but successful in so many ways,” said Tournament Director, Todd Patoprsty. “The course was designed not only to be very friendly to beginners, but to challenge the top players in the sport as well.”
The tournament is a three-day event that features a putting challenge, distance competition, and a three-round disc golf battle to determine a champion. The tournament is a sanctioned Pro Disc Golf Association tournament that has continued to grow each and every year here in the High Country.
“This is our fifth annual PDGA tournament out at Ashe Park. Every year we’ve filled to the capacity of 90 participants, five people on every hole,” added Patoprsty.
There will be a wide variety of skill levels and states represented at the tournament.
“The divisions are Pro, Pro Masters, Advanced Men, Advanced Women, Advanced Masters, Advanced Grandmasters, Advanced Senior Grandmasters and the Intermediate division,” said Patoprsty. “Participants will be coming from all over North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia.”
In this year’s field, there will be a pair of Amateur World Champions, Jeremy Koling and Matt Keatts, both from Charlotte, as well as one hall of famer, Alan Beaver from Columbia, SC.
Some of the local Ashe County competitors in the event include Scott Kastl, Ben Whitehead, Ricky Roten, Dustin Euches, David Bauguess, Delany Thomas, Een Shepherd and Chris Hamby.
At this tournament, the professionals will be competing for cash prizes, while the amateurs will be battling for trophies and bragging rights. All amateur players will also receive a player’s package which includes a 46-inch golf umbrella, a pair of Chums for their sunglasses, Innova sticker and pencil, as well as lunch on each of the two tournament days.
The weekend begins on Friday with early check-in from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. After that, random draw doubles will take place as a warm-up for the tournament beginning the following day.
Tournament check-in begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, and will last through 9:15. A players’ meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. with first round action to follow. After a lunch break, the second round of play will begin, as well as a putting challenge.
Sunday marks the third and final round of competition, starting at 10 a.m. After a lunch break, any playoffs will be completed if necessary and the King Masher distance competition will take place. The awards ceremony will follow once all events have been completed.
While the course will be closed to the general public this weekend, Patoprsty encourages everyone to get out and try the sport if they have not before. Discs can be rented at the Ashe County Parks and Recreation office, and as always, the course is free to play during the year. Scorecards can be picked up at the kiosk near the first hole.
The tournament staff would like to thank the many sponsors that make this event possible, including Innova Disc Golf, Ashe Co. Parks and Rec. Department, the Coyote Kitchen in Boone, Dr. Pepper Bottling Co., Chums, and Disc Golf United.