Four days of disc golf come to Okoboji

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

All ages and experience levels are invited to a free disc golf clinic 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at the Dickinson County Conservation course in Kenue Park. Derek Sahr, a professional player from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will teach the clinic with Tanner and Tami Lyons, two top amateur players who run Ascension Disc Golf in Sheldon.

Players will learn driving and putting skills as well as disc golf basics such as course etiquette and what discs to use for different throws. More advanced players are invited to attend to work on specific elements of their games with which they need assistance.

Tanner Lyons encourages people to take a clinic when first getting into the sport to learn correct technique from the beginning. Lyons just jumped into the sport without lessons and said it took him two years to develop what someone can learn in two-three hours in a clinic.

"It's imperative at first to learn the basics," Lyons said.

A doubles disc golf tournament will be held 5 p.m. Friday, June 24, at the Okoboji Gold course. Pre-registration is not required, but participants will need to set up their teams in advance as partners will not be assigned that evening.

The doubles disc golf tournament costs $40 per team for professional-level players and $30 per team for mixed and amateur players. The pros and mixed teams will play for cash payouts while the amateurs will compete for merchandise. "Doubles is the best," Lyons said. "It's a great way to get together and have fun."

The doubles tournament also serves as a warm-up for the two-day PDGA Boji Blowout Tournament Saturday-Sunday, June 25-26, for which Lyons serves as tournament director.

Players from across the country and Canada have registered for this B-tier PDGA tournament. Registration is available at https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Boji_Blowout_2016 or from 8-9:30 a.m. June 25 if room is still available. A shotgun start is scheduled at 10 a.m.

The second day of the tournament, players will be assigned tee times based on scores from the first day, and the tournament will end with a final nine for the top four pros.

Boji Blowout players can choose to register in a variety of categories: Pro, advanced, intermediate, recreational and juniors. The registration fee varies from $40-$75 and any non-PDGA member will have to pay an additional $10 fee.

Similar to the doubles tournament, pros will play for cash. Mid-level entrants will play for funny money for merchandise, and the recreational and junior players will compete for trophies and will receive players packs with an equal value to their entrance fees.

The Boji Blowout Tournament, sponsored by Ascension Disc Golf, West O Beer and Dickinson County Conservation, promises to be an exciting and popular and event. Parking will be available at the Dickinson County Nature Center for players and spectators. Vendors and a food truck will also be on site during the event.

Lyons is excited to help boost the Iowa Great Lakes economy with this event and also is hoping events like this will grow the sport in the region.

"It's four days of everything you wouldn't normally get here; nobody does clinics and doubles and a tournament all at the same time," Lyons said. "Why am I looking forward to it? It grows the sport."

The first PDGA tournament at the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course was held in 2015 and was a C-tier event. Lyons hopes this year's B-tier tournament will continue to boost the event.

"Eventually we want to see it grow, if we could add a second course and eventually get it to an A-tier," Lyons said.

For more information on the Boji Blowout Tournament, visit www.dickinsoncountyconservationboard.com or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up with the latest conservation board news on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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