Writer / Steven Penn
Every winter, the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club braves the elements with a purpose: To help those in need.
For the past few years, the winter months have provided opportunities for the club to raise funds and collect canned goods while playing disc golf tournaments.
“One tournament is part of a series named Western Indiana Frozen Fundraiser Series,” says John Strifler, co-founder of the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club, along with John Lowery. “These events are hosted throughout central and western Indiana, with each host site choosing a charity to support. Last year, we supported two of our fellow disc golfers, who had chosen to serve in international mission fields. One was in Kenya, and the other is now in Belgium.”
This year marks the Fifth Western Indiana Frozen Fundraiser Series event. Strifler says the other fundraiser is in its seventh year and is known as “The Ice Bowl.”
“(The Ice Bowl) is part of an international, multi-site, series of events,” Strifler says. “These are specifically aimed at supporting local food pantries. Over the last few years we have focused our support on the Avon Parkside Church of the Nazarene Food pantry.”
Strifler says their next fundraising event is planned for March and that more information can be found at hcdgc.com. Those who want to participate do not have to be members of the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club.
“These events will have pre-registration available with walk-up signups available,” he says. “Our tournaments are on Saturdays and usually involve two rounds of golf, with a lunch break.”
Strifler and Lowery founded the Hendricks County Disc Golf Club in 2008.
“We started the club intentionally to promote disc golf as an enjoyable activity and to be able to more effectively promote the game and sport,” Strifler says. “Because it is easy to learn, yet a challenge to master, it is a perfect activity for any age.”
Disc golf, he says, is similar to regular golf.
“You throw a disc rather than hit a golf ball, with the goal to have the fewest possible strokes/throws to hole out,” he says. “Many of the same terms are used. You have a starting tee for each disc golf hole, which are often concrete for traction. Rather than a hole in the ground, disc golf uses baskets to catch the disc.”
Another difference is disc golf holes are measured in feet rather than yards.
“In comparison, a 220 yard golf hole would be considered a 3 par, with a good birdie opportunity,” Strifler says. “In disc golf, a 220 feet hole would be a 3 par, and a good birdie chance. Most holes in disc golf are par 3, until a hole is 500 feet long or has a complicated fairway path to the hole — then a par 4 is common.”
There are currently four publicly accessible disc golf courses in Hendricks County. Plainfield course is located between Calvary Baptist Church and the north side of Hummel Park.
“There are two other courses supported by churches as well,” Strifler adds. “West Bridge Church in Danville has a simple 9-hole course and Bethesda Baptist Church in Brownsburg has just recently installed an 18-hole course.”
The fourth course is located in Avon at the Avon Town Hall Park.
For those interested in becoming part of the club, Strifler says they can join by attending any of the events or on the club website: hcdgc.com.