David Gascon organizing tournaments in Clark County for a game that welcomes all
David Gascon wanted to get some exercise, get outside. He found disc golf about a year ago.
And disc golf really got a hold of him.
He was hooked on the game instantly, and now his passion is helping the game grow in Clark County.
He found tournaments in other areas of the Northwest. He traveled to Salem and Eugene for events.
“I wanted to play somewhat competitively, and there weren’t any tournaments in the area,” Gascon said.
Now, there are tournaments in the area. Gascon himself put together an event at the Glenwood Disc Golf Course. Then he held another at Leverich Park, home of a more challenging course.
These were sanctioned events by the Professional Disc Golf Association.
But no fear. One does not have to be a professional to compete.
“I’m pretty new. I’m still pretty bad, too,” Gascon said with a laugh.
“The community here is pretty strong, but no one is really competing,” Gascon said. “I’m hoping to change that.”
Next up is a tournament Saturday at Glenwood, right behind Glenwood Community Church, with proceeds going to the Share Backback Program. Cost is $25 per person. Each player will receive a custom-stamped disc, a mini marker, and a button. It is a two-round, flex tee event, meaning players will play the nine-hole course twice and tee off any time between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged. Go to https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Share_Fundraiser_at_Glenwood_2X9_2021 for more information.
There are a handful of disc golf courses in Southwest Washington, with plans for new courses in Hockinson and Washougal in the works.
Clark County Today tagged along during a recent round with Gascon and three friends as they discussed their love for the game.
Jason Roland of Wahsougal has been playing for about five months and is already impressed with the family atmosphere of the sport’s community.
Louis Braafladt of Vancouver has been playing for 10 months. His history with the game Ultimate has led to a smooth transition to disc golf.
Then there is “the old guy with a cart,” as his friends describe him, Bruce Greer, who has been playing the game for decades.
And yes, he does have a pull-cart, carrying his 22 different discs.
“I love to get outside,” Greer said. “I like the effect of the disc with the wind. I’m always learning.”
Each disc has a specific purpose, just like a different club in ball golf. That’s right, disc golfers call traditional golf “ball golf.”
In disc golf, the holes are baskets. Chains are positioned above the baskets. The goal is to hit the chains, which stop the disc in flight, allowing the disc to fall into the basket.
“It’s a stress reliever for me,” Roland said of his experience with the game. “I come out here, and it clears my mind. It’s a lot of fun.”
On this day’s round, Braafladt was a whiz with the long shots.
“Just something the way a disc looks when it is flying through the air. It’s super eye-appealing. Always has been for me,” Braafladt said.
While relatively new to the game, he, too, is hooked.
“It’s a really nice way to recharge and see some nature,” he said.
With new courses in the plans, there will be more opportunities in Southwest Washington to just go out and play. And with David Gascon’s lead, more and more tournaments are expected to be held in the region, as well.