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August 29, 2012

Masters disc tourney coming to Floyd County

Event to be played at Gary Cavan Park

GEORGETOWN — The Masters will be played in Floyd County this weekend.

No, the Augusta National Golf Club is not relocating. This Masters tourney has nothing to do with swinging clubs and hitting little white balls.

But it does have something to do with golf.

The Professional Disc Golf Association will host the U.S. Masters beginning Friday at Gary Cavan Park in Georgetown and Charlie Vettiner Park in Louisville. More than 200 players are expected to participate, with 100 of those being professional.

The tourney will mark the first time the Masters has been played in Floyd County, although Gary Cavan Park has hosted the Seviren Lang Memorial Tourney on an annual basis. The 18-basket course was named for Lang and completed in 2008.

“This will be the first [PDGA] major in Kentucky and only the second in Indiana. It’s the first time anything has been held like this,” said Adam Embrey, assistant tourney director and an avid disc golf player.

Dave Greenwell from Louisville is the tournament director and event coordinator. He is a member of the PDGA Hall of Fame.

The tourney is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, with professional players hitting the course beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, play starts at 9 a.m. Spectators are welcome to attend. There is no charge and the tourney will be held rain or shine.

Embrey plays in a weekly league at Gary Cavan Park and said the course is top-notch. The Masters tourney will include players 40 and older and there will be both professional and amateur divisions. There is $10,000 in prize money available.

Embrey said there will be players from 26 states, along with one from a Canadian province, participating in the event.

“We have been real pleased with the popularity of this course,” said Roger Jeffers, director of the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Department. “We have leagues out here and we get a lot of players. It’s the only disc course in Floyd County.”

Following Lang’s death, his family decided to ask people to make donations toward a disc golf course in his memory. Jeffers said about $15,000 was spent setting up and building the course.

The same principles are used in disc golf as they are in regular golf. In golf, different clubs are used for different shots. In disc golf, different discs are used for tee throws, mid-range throws and short throws.

“It’s similar to throwing Frisbee,” Embrey said. “But you choose different discs for different shots.”

Throws are counted, just like golf which counts strokes. The object is to throw the disc in a basket. The Gary Cavan course is a par 61, with some holes 1,000 feet long while others are 200 feet. Embrey said professional and experienced players can throw a disc up to 300 feet.

“Some of these guys are amazing,” Jeffers said of the skill level.

“But with this sport you don’t have to be great to play or enjoy it,” Embrey said. “There is quite a range of ages and skill level.”

Embrey said there is a legends division with players 70 and older.

“It’s a good sport to get outside and to have something to do,” said Embrey, who has been playing for nine years. “There is quite a bit of walking to do.”

“Jeffers said anyone from senior citizens to little kids can play.

“This is one of the most beautiful parks we have ... it’s a multiuse park,” he said. “It’s a perfect setting for disc golf. I think it’s good for the whole area. It’s bringing people in from all over.”

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