Disc golfers of all ages and skill sets will participate in the 20th North Dakota State Disc Golf Tournament this weekend in Jamestown, battling on the course for prizes ranging from disc golf merchandise to cash.
Tournament Director Ryan Pfau said some of the best disc golfers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada are registered for the event, while people with little to no experience in disc golf tournaments are able to participate at the recreational and intermediate levels of tournament play.
As of Sept. 10, Pfau said there are 97 people registered.
“The draw for these tournaments is that disc golf is something anyone can do," Pfau said. "There's a wide variety of players, all with different backgrounds.
"The tournament is a good way to highlight the courses here in Jamestown," Pfau said.
Pfau said the recreational, intermediate and junior tournaments will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, with players golfing two rounds of 18 holes at Klaus Park. As for the open and advanced divisions, golfers will throw one round of 18 holes a day for three days at the Island Disc Golf Course at the Jamestown Reservoir, starting Friday, Sept. 13, and ending on Sunday, Sept. 15.
The open and advanced divisions are often players with memberships to the Professional Disc Golf Association, and after each tournament, the players are given a rating that determines if their rank goes up or down. Pfau said the winner of this year's tournament will walk away with a full-sized disc golf basket.
Karl Bergh, Stutsman County park superintendent, said he's been preparing the course for tournament action, which has unexpectedly involved cleaning up after a major thunderstorm in the Jamestown area on Sept. 2.
"“We’ve cleaned up a lot of debris from the storm since last week," Bergh said. "A lot of things fell on the disc golf course. There were a lot of trees to remove as well as keeping up with the usual mowing."
Despite the obstacles, Bergh said the course is "ready to go."
“The parks department has been working hard to maintain the course as well as some of the local players here in Jamestown," Pfau said. "Having the opportunity to host this at the Island (disc golf course) is one of the biggest draws to having the tournament here.
"Island (disc golf course) is one of the best courses in the region," Pfau said. The tournament director rated the course as fairly difficult, with a combination of elevation changes and wooded areas to ensure all skill levels are tested throughout play.
Jamestown hosted the state tournament for open and advanced divisions in 2007, but Pfau said lack of maintenance and upkeep to the course damaged its reputation. Bergh also said the course went neglected for some years, but now that maintenance has improved, it's no coincidence the tournament is back in town.
"There is a certain element to the course. People like the challenge," Bergh said. “It’s coming back a bit because of more consistent care (to the course).”
"Island (disc golf course) is a signature course for the area," Pfau said. "People come to Jamestown just to play it."
Pfau said the tournament is made possible through sponsors, who provide funding, equipment, trophies, prizes and food for the participants throughout the weekend.
The award ceremony for the tournament is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, or no later than 30 minutes after all scores have been tallied.