Giving back can inspire others to do the same

By Jenny Cook — Rattling Chains Staff

There are many inspirations for this article. Perhaps my recent trip out west is most fresh in my mind. After spending time with locals and the tournament directors for the Beaver State Fling, I  quickly discovered the eminent presence of community between everyone.

They were open-minded and embraced the evolution of the sport we all love to play. And the tournament layout for the tournament proved it. If I could build a house next to any disc golf course in the world — and taking into consideration I’ve only played a handful of courses outside the United States and fewer than 200 in the U.S. — I’d build it within biking distance of Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon.

The scenery at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon is amazing. (photo by Jenny Cook)

The scenery at Milo McIver State Park in Estacada, Oregon is amazing. (photo by Jenny Cook)

The scenery was amazing and the people were great, which created an unforgettable atmosphere.

I have seen something like this in my home state. In fact, I am reminded of it every year as a local club spends months preparing for its annual Ice Bowl in January. I love that bringing two canned goods to the tournament is mandatory. The money raised is given to a local shelter for women and children. There’s also always a hot lunch prepared for players and a nice warm fire where players can get close and thaw out.

Every year, we crawl out of our warm beds in the early morning to reunite with friends who we don’t see as often on the course in the winter as we do in warmer weather. It’s a sanctioned tournament and we’re all there to have good rounds, but if you don’t, you still drive home with a smile knowing that playing in this annual tournament benefited the less fortunate.

The added bonus is spending the day catching up with friends and playing some disc golf — even if it’s really could outside.

Disc golf serves as an outlet to get away from it all in a carefree way. I had the opportunity this past summer to help with a disc golf clinic for a local homeless shelter. The afternoon I spent with the children and adults was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

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