Before I jump into the world of disc golf, I wanted to pay my respects to one of the founders of disc golf, “Steady Ed” Headrick. Which I am doing now.

Disc golf was invented in the early 1900’s. Before they invented the disc golf basket, they used poles, trees, and trash cans as targets. The basket came to life when “Steady Ed” Headrick became tired of arguing over how close a disc had to be to a pole to count. That’s where the chains began to be added to the pole. I want to point out that there are many variations of Frisbee and disc golf. Steady Ed was the first one to change the disc to have the rim, length, and weight differential to get that accurate measurement for the basket.

Disc golf is a sport, where the objective is to just put the disc in the basket with the lowest amount of throws. Example: If you see Par 3, that means if you need three throws to get your disc in a basket, it won’t add to your score. If you throw 4, it adds 1 to your score. If you got it in two, your score will be -1. The object of the game is to get the lowest score possible. It sounds easy, but it is not. You have trees, water, poles, mandatory throws, other obstacles in the way. Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports today, and even has several deaf clubs. For example, the DCDDGA (DC Deaf Disc Golf Association.) Ricky Cornish III is the current president, along with Blake Herbold as Vice-president. They host a big deaf tournament once a year.

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The Deaf Disc Golf National Championship has returned to the Augusta area after more than a decade, bringing with it talent from around the country and abroad.

The event, sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association, will be held at the International Disc Golf Center in Appling and features 90 players representing 27 states and two countries. To qualify, participants must be legally deaf or hard of hearing, Assistant Tournament Director Jason Allind said.

In the men’s open division, Daniel Sweet will attempt to repeat as national champion in a field that includes four-time champion David Tomlinson and Justin Ashton, who has won the division three times.

Women’s champion Brandie Aguado has also returned to defend her title.

The first round of competition will begin at noon today, with professionals and amateurs playing the W. R. Jackson and the Steady Ed courses, respectively.

Two rounds will be played Friday and a single round will take place on Saturday. The top four competitors in the men’s open division after four rounds will play nine extra holes to determine a national champion. The event is free to attend.

In a statement earlier this week, PDGA Executive Director Brian Graham said the event epitomizes the adaptability of the sport.

“Disc golf has always been an all-inclusive sport, and we are excited for our competitors to experience the championship level of disc golf provided at this national level event,” he said.

The first deaf national champions were crowned in Austin, Texas, in 2001 at a tournament that featured just two divisions for singles competition. Three years later, it was held in Augusta on what is now known as The Player’s Course at Lake Olmstead, growing to include five divisions.

The tournament is never held in the same state in consecutive years.

Allind, who is also the IDGC manager, said organizers have spared no expense in making the event feel just like any other championship-caliber tournament.

“We’ve pulled out all the stops,” he said. “We treat this just as we do any of our other large events this year.”