Oldsmar disc golf course hosts first professional tournament

Oldsmar officials, including Mayor Doug Bevis and disc golf club coordinator Trevor Toenjes (l-r, holding scissors) and disc golf players from around the Tampa Bay area gathered for the inaugural ‘Gold Rush’ tournament at Oldsmar’s Disc Golf Course at Sheffield Park on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Nearly a year after the grand opening of Oldsmar’s Disc Golf Course at Sheffield Park, the 8,600-foot course hosted its first professionally sanctioned event over the weekend.

The inaugural ‘Gold Rush’ tournament took place at the park, located at 1923 Cutty Bay Ct., on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, with 40 pros and 90 amateurs registered to compete in the first tournament at course to be sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association.

Prior to the start of Saturday’s pro competition, Oldsmar officials spoke about the significance of hosting the event.

The inaugural ‘Gold Rush’ tournament trophies.

“There’s four or five of the area’s top pros and sponsored players in the event. That’s a big deal to set the scratch scoring average of the course,” Trevor Toenjes, a longtime professional disc golfer who designed and runs Oldsmar’s program, said.

“We also have about a dozen signature holes now, where most courses have one or two. So this could be one of the top courses in the Tampa Bay area when this (tournament) is over.”

Mayor Doug Bevis spoke about playing the sport growing up, back when it was called “Frisbee golf,” and said he was excited about attracting top level players from around the area to town.

Oldsmar’s Disc Golf Course at Sheffield park is located at 1923 Cutty Bay Ct.

“What’s so great about it is pros are coming from all over the Tampa Bay area to play in Oldsmar,” Bevis said.

“We’re trying to be a little bit different with disc golf and Major League Soccer and an Olympic-level BMX track that attracts riders from all over the world,” he added.

“So, this course blends in and fits with what we’re trying to do in the community. I think it’s great.”

Comments from course designers and city officials are one thing, but it’s the opinions of the players that really count when it comes to making or breaking a course.

As the players prepared for the starting horn to sound early Saturday morning, one veteran player shared her thoughts on Oldsmar’s Disc Golf Course.

“I love the course,” Melinda Romine of Largo’s Taylor Park Disc Club, said. “I’ve been playing it before the signs went up. It’s very challenging. I love that it has four tee levels. So it can go either way.”

Romine said despite the difficulty of the Gold, or pro-level tees, she was looking forward to the challenge.

“The Gold is going to be brutal today. Brutal,” she said. “But it’s gonna be cool. I’m excited!”

Professional disc golfer Ben Stemen of Sarasota lets one fly at the start of the inaugural Gold Rush Tournament at Oldsmar’s Disc Golf Course at Sheffield Park on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

While the teams dispersed to their starting holes, Toenjes echoed Romine’s excitement.

Trevor Toenjes.

“It’s hard to believe this day is finally here,” he said. “I’m excited.”

“This is all thanks to a major push by our club and the City of Oldsmar, and it’s a major test for the course to host future events.”

Noting the Gold Rush is the lowest-level pro event, Toenjes said “this will get us out of the gate, and we’ll see where we can go from here.”

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