On the weekend of October 17 and 18th, disc golf enthusiasts are invited to participate in the Greenbrier Valley Open’s Inaugural Tournament. This competition will be played on 3 different courses in Greenbrier County and everyone will have the luxury of adequate social distancing while playing some challenging terrains. The courses include the State Fairgrounds course, Greenbrier State Forest course, and a private course at Nellie’s in Renick.
Over the last few years, disc golf has gained in popularity and courses continue to pop up all over the world with an estimated 8-12 million people having played the sport at least once.
Charles Dalton and Brooke Johnson are this year’s tournament directors. Charles tells us he has been an active disc golfer in the local community for the last 5 years. He enjoys traveling to play large tournaments and has attended some of the biggest competitions in the United States. He says, “I have always done my part to reach out to new players and children alike to spread the love of my sport. My main goal for this tournament is to give back to the players attending and grow the tournament into an annual event that brings players from across the nation.” Brook has been playing the sport for 5 years and recently moved from Charleston with her partner Charles. Together, they organize a weekly doubles match at the Greenbrier State Forest. Charles says, “Brook brings the brains, I bring the brawn. We met both playing our first tournament ever at the Greenbrier State Forest’s ‘GSF Classic’ sadly that tournament was canceled in May due to covid-19. We really wanted a local tournament this year, so once WV lawmakers approved outdoor activities in the guidelines we jumped at the chance.”
There are currently about 69 players signed up and this number is expected to double. The majority of competitors are from West Virginia. “We have great ties to the Princeton, Charleston, Fayetteville, Huntington, and Morgantown disc golfers and we plan to see many of them for this event. We also have had many registrants from our neighboring states signed up. The maximum player field is 220, and we plan to take sign ups all the way through October 16th.”
All participants will be scheduled a tee time to begin their rounds of play (one round each day) no more than 4 players will be assigned per card and only one caddie per player. Tee times will be 10-15min apart which will allow competitors to only ideally have contact with 9 people during their round. This tournament is singles play and sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association. The PDGA has covid-19 bylaws that all participants will adhere to.
Players can sign up online to one of 16 different divisions. Price ranges from $35 for junior division to $70 for professionals. All amateur players will receive a players pack which includes but not limited to a long sleeve cotton tee shirt, one tournament stamped disc and a custom stamped MVP mini disc, with the more sponsor support we receive we plan to get the players more stuff.
During rounds, there will be several water stations set up to ensure the players are adequately hydrated. These stations will have attendants to serve the bottles with gloved hands to follow WV guidelines. Players will only be playing one round per day, so they are encouraged to patronize their local restaurants and bars. Charles tells us there are several restaurants interested in partnering with discounts for participants.
For participants who are seeking overnight accommodations, the Greenbrier Youth Camp in Anthony, WV is available for camping. Players are invited to take in the beautiful scenery and participate in many weekend-long games on the property including a nighttime glow disc golf charity round to benefit the camp.
This tournament is solely funded from sponsors and tournament directors. Sponsors to date are Premier Bank, Star City Disc Golf, Greenbrier Inspection Services, Dalton’s Discs, and Van Ryder Games. Every penny raised benefits the players of this tournament and growth of this sport. Charles, Brooke, and their supporters are currently hitting the streets searching out additional sponsors and donations. In return for sponsorships, they are providing media and advertisement in many formats (signage on tee pads, announcements and signage at all gatherings and player pack pick-ups, and listings on the official tournament pages online). Their goal is to raise $4000 for the tournament, and they expect to be close to achieving this.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or learning more about this sport, contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org. The tournament web page where you find more info or sign up is: discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Greenbrier_Valley_Open_2020