By Tess Haadsma
The squirrels may be angry, but that won’t stop disc golfers from traveling to Albion this weekend to compete in the sixth annual Angry Squirrel Disc Golf Tournament.
The 18-hole tournament, which takes place this Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, at Victory Park, received its name thanks to the large number of squirrels that can often be found frolicking about the park.
Squirrels aside, Albion’s course at Victory Park is popular with avid disc golfers, according to Ian Monkman, Pleasant Ridge junior.
“The course is a gem for such a small town,” Monkman said. “I underestimated the course until I first played it and ever since, I love going on nice sunny days after class.”
Kyle Formanczyk, Macomb sophomore, agrees with Monkman and enjoys the challenge the Victory Park course presents.
“Well, I play a lot of [disc] golf so I know what a difficult course would look like and, personally, this course can be difficult for many players,” Formanczyk said. “Flowing water interferes with the holes 10-14. More trees and low hanging willows block the chains. There are traps, obstacles and unrecognized advantages to throw towards while on the concrete. Overall, it can be very challenging if you are not throwing a good round.”
Professional disc golfer Larry LaBond, who is in charge of organizing the tournament, thinks the course’s popularity is due in part to the pretty and unique surroundings, but he also admits that the challenging water holes make the course more interesting than others in the area.
“Some of [the water hazard holes] aren’t very typical of what you see in the state,” LaBond said. “It’s kind of rare to have so many holes that really force you to have to really feel with the water.”
Despite the perceived difficulty of these unique water hazard holes, LaBond encourages players of all skill levels to take part in the tournament, even if they have limited experience.
“The beginner division is great if they haven’t played before,” LaBond said. “It isn’t as cut throat or competitive, but it’s a little more laid back and everybody’s still learning. It’s the best place to kind of gauge yourself to see how you do against other people.”
For those who are not quite sure they want to enter the tournament themselves, LaBond says that simply spectating can be just as entertaining, especially at the Victory Park course.
“It’s fun watching players, both good and bad, especially when they play these water holes because they are a risk-reward kind of thing,” LaBond said.
Photo courtesy of discgolfscene.com