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Sandy man wins beginner’s flight of disc golf

Tuesday, October 29, 2013511 views

He wasn’t too nervous at first as he prepared for his first disc golf competition. But Braedon Bevan admitted to doubting his abilities when he saw the course and the number of other competitors. Even so, the 21-year-old Sandy man finished the Hollow Head Disc Golf tournament, held Sept. 28 at Sandy Hollow Golf Course in Hurricane with the best round of the beginners at the event.

Bevan shot a four over par 58 to lead all beginners and placed eighth overall of 60 competitors, ranging from beginners to intermediate and advanced flights.

“It was a great experience for my first time out playing in a tournament,” he said.

Disc golf is played a lot like regular golf. But instead of using different clubs and a small ball, players use different shaped and weighted flying discs, similar to the common brand Frisbee. One type of disc is used for the “drive,” while another is the approach and another the putter.

“Drivers usually fly 300 to 400 feet,” Bevan said. “Midrange discs are used for the approach and go about 200 to 300 feet, and putters are used for less than 150 feet.”

And there are different shapes to the discs used, depending on the terrain and obstacles presented.

“You have different drivers, with different lips on them for curving your throw one direction or another, so you can bend it around trees and such,” Bevan said. “There are also discs that are made to fly straight. Of course, the putter is designed to throw absolutely straight.”

And instead of aiming for a small hole in the ground with a flag sticking out of it, disc golfers aim for a basket, a unit about four feet tall featuring chains that hang down above the basket.

“The goal is to hit the chains which will stop your disc and make it fall into the basket below,” Bevan said. “Your score isn’t tallied until the disc is completely in the basket, not just resting on it.”

On average each hole on a course is a par 3.

Bevan picked up the sport while serving a mission in Seattle, Wash. While there, he noticed a store that sold the discs for the game. He was drawn to check the store out from his playing different Frisbee-style games while growing up. He was on the Ultimate team at Alta High School, which plays a football style disc game.

“I like throwing discs, and the store just sort of called to me,” he said. “There are a lot of people that play in Washington, so I began playing it on my preparation days.”

Bevan continued playing in the Salt Lake area after his mission. There are several courses designed for disc golf around the valley.

“Almost all the courses have been placed by city recreation departments, so they are free to play on,” he said. “It makes it fun for anyone to try. You just walk onto the course and start playing.”

He also said beginners quickly learn the strategies of the sport through the camaraderie exhibited by other seasoned players.

“Disc golf is amazing,” he said. “You never meet nicer people than when you are playing. They will help you improve your game and play alongside you, even if you never had met them before.”

When Bevan heard about the Hollow Head tournament, he decided it was something he needed to try. The course was set up temporarily on the golf course for the first nine holes, then headed into the red rock desert area of Washington County for the final nine.

Although it was his first tournament, Bevan actually was tied with the overall advanced winner through the first nine holes.

“I was even par through the first nine,” he said. “But then the course got crazy. There were portable baskets that were set up between narrow rock canyons in the desert. It was hard to not hit the rocks and things.”

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