Disc golf will soon have a tangible home in Columbia County. It will also have a museum, a national tour event and a new director.
The sport that trades golf balls for discs and holes for chained baskets has been at home in Appling's Wildwood Park since an 18-hole course was installed in May.
On April 20, the park will become more than just a single course. The Professional Disc Golf Association will dedicate a new facility, the International Disc Golf Center located at Wildwood Park, that will include the Disc Golf Hall of Fame and the Headrick Memorial Frisbee Museum.
A pro shop and meeting, vending and commons area will also be included in the 2,700-square-foot building.
Association Executive Director Brian Graham, in his first month on the job, said the Greater Augusta Sports Council has been instrumental in making the dream of an international headquarters a reality.
To celebrate the grand opening April 20, the park will also host the first Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic immediately after the dedication ceremony.
"This is kind of a momentous occasion for us," Graham said. "This has truly been an international project. We've had clubs from all over the country come to help."
A group of almost a dozen volunteers came from Atlanta on March 31 to participate in a workday to help clear the second 18-hole course at Wildwood Park. A third 18-hole course will be added by the end of the year. Graham said groups from as far away as Ohio have also traveled to the park to help in the effort.
"This is going to be one of the best facilities there is for disc golf. Very few places have two courses. Only two or three in the world have three courses," he said. "It will be a big draw for our sport."
After the dedication ceremony, the three-day Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic will begin on the two completed 18-hole courses. Graham said he expects 200 players from Sweden to participate in the amateur and professional tournaments.
The tournament is a National Tour event, one of only 10 held each year, and Graham said as much as $15,000 will be awarded to top finishers in the professional tournament.
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