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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Disc golf event a unique political action committee fundraiser

I have to admit that I really have never thrown a disc that's used to play the sport disc golf.

But I gave it a shot as part of an outing Tuesday afternoon at Sims Park in Euclid that was a fourth annual fundraiser for the friends of Lake ADAMHS, a political action committee in Lake County that raises money to help promote awareness of behavioral health issues.

The PAC also helps raise money for countywide ballot issues that help provide local funding for behavioral health services.

The sport is pretty challenging if you’ve never played before as it can be tricky to learn how to throw the disc that is similar, but heavier and more aerodynamic than a Frisbee. Don't call it Frisbee golf, it's disc golf.

Another difference is the holes are much shorter as the holes are typically measured in feet rather than yards.
I was part of a three-man scramble team, meaning that whoever had the closest throw to the pin we would take our next shot from that point.

One of my partners was Painesville Police Chief Troy Hager, who is a member of the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board. My other partner was Jim Garrett, another member of the ADAMHS board.

We decided Jim would go first each time, followed by me, then Troy.

Jim experimented with several different styles of throwing including overhand and the traditional backhand throw. For the first few of the 18 holes, Jim carried us.

He was throwing straighter and more accurate than Troy and I were, even though no of us had ever thrown a disc before.

Eventually, Troy and I started to get the hang of it. I tried the overhand throw, but found it wasn’t right for me, so I went to the backhand style with mixed results.

Troy also tried a variety of throwing styles including the backhanded Berkley power grip, where someone holds the disc with four fingers and their thumb on the top. On the back nine, Troy was beginning to shine with his throws.

Larry Rizzo, a disc golf enthusiast who lives in Painesville, had shown us a little bit about how to throw the discs before we started and it started to pay off for Troy.

We seemed to take turns on each hole as one person would have the best drive, one the best mid-range shot and then someone would make the putt to finish the hole by throwing the disk into a basket.

Each of us commented about how nice the course was and how fun and unique this sport is. Disc golf really is similar to regular golf except there is different equipment, but you still employ the same strategies like you would in regular golf.

We finished with a score of 64 on the Par 54, 18-hole course. No birdies, but no double bogeys either. We scored eight pars and 10 bogies, not too bad, I thought. We weren't the best team, but not the worst either. All in all, we were pleased with our game.

So if you’d like to try a fun, challenging sport where you can get a little exercise without spending much money perhaps give disc golf a try. It certainly was the most unique political fundraiser I've attended.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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