Many disc golfers opted for shorts, T-shirts and cold water instead of long underwear, polar fleece and hot chocolate as springlike temperatures thawed Saturday's Ice Bowl disc golf tournament at Patriots Park.
"Man, this is some strange weather," said Mike Doyle, a disc golfer from North Augusta.
Players braved 70-degree temperatures, a few stray showers and a pleasant breeze, hardly the brutally cold conditions a name like the Ice Bowl brings to mind.
Official Ice Bowls, which began in 1987, are played at disc golf courses across North America and Europe in January and February to benefit local charities, said Jeremy Densmore, a co-director of the Patriots Park Ice Bowl.
Proceeds from the $20 entry fee and required canned-food donation were donated to the Golden Harvest Food Bank, Densmore said.
"(Golden Harvest) was an obvious choice ... especially right after the holidays, they are depleted," he said.
There have been Ice Bowls in the Augusta area for the past five years and at Patriots Park the past two years, Densmore said.
In addition to the entry fees, the 38 players collected more than 500 pounds of food for the food bank, Densmore said.
Disc golf is similar in its philosophy to the game with clubs and balls. Players can use specially designed discs for different skills. Driving discs have sharp edges to cut through the air, and putt and approach discs are fatter and heavier to drop right where the disc golfer wants them. The goal is to land a disc into a yellow metal basket in as few shots as possible.
Only one disc is necessary to play, but most choose to play with at least a driver, a midrange disc for controlled second shots and a putt and approach, said Scott Kipp, a player from Detroit who came to visit the courses in the Augusta area.
Disc golf has grown over the years to include more than 1,600 course in the United States, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.
"You can go out with no skills and play," said Sharon Wellman, the owner of Flye-n-Dyes disc golf shop in Augusta.
"No matter where you go, with this sport you find people happy to play a round with you and show you around the course," Kipp said.
Columbia County is the home of the PDGA and will play host to the world championships in August at Wildwood Park.
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