FARMINGTON — A group of area disc golfers will drive and putt Saturday "fore" charity.
Fore! Corners Disc Golf club will hold its fourth annual Ice Bowl disc golf tournament at Lion's Wilderness Park, 5800 College Blvd., in Farmington. All proceeds from registration fees will benefit ECHO food bank. Last year's event — played with specialized flying discs that resemble Frisbees — netted 131 pounds of food and $600, or 2,000 meals, for the nonprofit agency.
John Kendall, 48, a former professional disc golfer organized the event, inspired by the now international annual charity event that raised more than $300,000 from 241 bowls in the United States, Canada, Finland and Norway last year. Disc Golfers in Arvada, Colo., led the pack by raising more than $15,000 for charity last year, a fundraising milestone Kendall would like to achieve locally.
"It's now an international thing," Kendall said. The ice bowl is put on through January and February through the country, and the theme is 'No Wimps - No Whiners,' meaning we play no matter what the weather's like. One year, I was playing in Durango and was knee-deep in snow. Ice bowls play, no matter what. It's all about the food donations."
Today's tournament starts at 10:30 a.m., with registration and a players meeting beginning at 9 a.m. at Lion's Wilderness Park. Players are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate.
"Around here, we are lucky to have great weather, so it's just a fun time and good excuse to get out and throw some discs and benefit ECHO," Kendall said. "The thing about (disc golf) is that anybody can play, whole families play together, young and old. You don't have to be big and strong. I saw a 90-pound woman throw over 500 feet. My son, Ben, is four and he's getting really good."
A native of Maine, Kendall moved to Farmington 10 years ago and discovered the sport by accident.
"I was walking in Lion's Wilderness with my dogs and saw baskets (chain netted baskets perched on poles, the disc-golf equivalent of holes) and said, 'What the heck is this?' I've been playing ever since. The better you get, the more addictive it is."
Kendall also hopes to raise more awareness of the sport and emphasize its affordability. He said it's a great source of exercise for all ages. His club is currently trying to develop a new disc golf course in Aztec.
"We're hoping to see more people playing in this area," he said. "The Ice Bowl is one way. We have a saying — 'You drive for show and putt for dough.' It's all for charity and to get people interested in and oriented to the game."
For more information, call John Kendall at 505-330-6200 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Fore! Corners Disc Golf club, go to www.facebook.com/groups/240798625966.
What: Ice Bowl charity disc golf tournament. Proceeds to benefit ECHO Food Bank, in Farmington
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
Where: Lion's Wilderness Park, 5800 College Blvd., in Farmington
Cost: Registration for advanced players is $20, all other divisions are $10. Kids under 18 are free. Mulligans are $5.
More info: Call John Kendall at 505-330-6200