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Disc golf tourney to return in March
Central Park event a boon for tourism
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Forsyth County News
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Matt Pate says local disc golf enthusiasts won't be the only ones to benefit from a national tournament in their backyard next year.

An event like the Professional Disc Golf Association Atlanta Open National Tour brings revenue, he said, giving the county an important boost in hard times.

"You've got hundreds of folks coming into Forsyth County," said Pate, the county's outdoor programs manager. "They buy gas and food and they sleep here ... Maybe while they're in town they look around and see how nice it is here."

The tournament, which last spring drew hundreds of amateur and professional athletes, will return for the fifth consecutive year to Central Park in Forsyth County and East Roswell Park in Roswell. Competition is set for March 28 and 29.

Disc golf requires players to hurl a flying disc at metal baskets. As in golf, scoring as few points or throws as possible is the object. To fare well on the 27-hole course, golfers must excel in distance, accuracy and control.

Pate said it's Central Park's "spectator friendliness" that keeps event organizers coming back to the county. He said this year's tournament "went fantastic."

Tournament director Rand Eberhard said he likes the course because it "offers a wide variety of shots ... the layout is great. The elevation changes, along with the natural and manmade obstacles, provide for a challenge to the player. Central Park's a champion-caliber course."

Pate said the tournament is the "top tier for pros in the disc golf world ... it puts Forsyth County in the spotlight."

The Forsyth County Disc Golf Club spends time each year maintaining the Central Park course, and plans to make some renovations in preparation for the tournament in March.

Professional disc golf players from 17 states are slated to participate, including an athlete Eberhard called "the Tiger Woods of disc golf."

Twelve-time Disc Golf World Champion and five-time Disc Golf U.S. Open Champion Ken Climo of Clearwater, Fla., plans to compete.

The Atlanta tournament is the highest-tier sanctioned event by the PDGA and is a qualifier for the U.S. Open, which will be held in Rock Hill, S.C., and has an $80,000 purse prize.