Dalton-area residents can see some of North America’s best disc golfers compete on Saturday, April 16 at the Whitfield County Parks and Recreation Department’s Edwards Park and Westside Park courses.
The tournament is the final of the Prodigy Star Series, organized by Prodigy Disc, a Dalton-based manufacturer of disc golf discs and other equipment.
“We’ve had an event every month for the past six months,” said Will Schusterick, co-owner of Prodigy Disc, former world No. 1 disc golfer and three-time US Open winner.
“The tournament round will start at 10 a.m.,” he said. “We are more than happy to have someone come and see us. There are separate divisions. Westside will have the amateurs and Edwards will have the professional division.”
Matt Zollitsch, event coordinator for Prodigy Disc, said the series had more than 700 competitors from the United States and Canada.
“The series has attracted sponsors from all over the disc golf world,” he said.
The tournament will conclude at 2 p.m. with a concert at Burr Performing Arts Park in downtown Dalton by The Whole Fam Damily, a Dalton-based band.
“We’ll have live music, disc golf vendors,” Schusterick said. “It will be a fun atmosphere and we invite everyone to come and participate.”
According to Sports Illustrated, disc golf was one of the few sports that flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic, “likely in part due to its ability to be played outdoors and socially distanced. But it was also a continuation of a growth trend that occurred through the 2010s.”
The magazine reported that the Professional Disc Golf Association now has 150,000 members, “70,000 of whom maintain active tournament status – a figure that has doubled since 2016.”
Whitfield County Department of Parks and Recreation’s Westside Park Disc Golf Course was voted one of the top four courses in the United States for 2020 by Connect Magazine readers. He finished behind Maple Hill Disc Golf in Leicester, Massachusetts; Quaker’s Challenge at Gifford Pinchot State Park, Lewisberry, Pennsylvania; and Blue Ribbon Pines, East Bethel, Minnesota.
“We see people from out of town playing these courses daily,” said Brian Chastain, director of the Whitfield County Parks and Recreation Department.
In addition to the Edwards Park and Westside Park courses, which were designed by Schusterick, there is a disc golf course at Heritage Point Park in Dalton and a nine-hole course at Tunnel Hill Golf Club. There are also two training baskets on the lawn beside the railway tracks at the old Morris Street freight depot in Dalton.