This week, Columbus Flyers Disc Golf Club hosted their 28th Annual Columbus Ice Bowl at the scenic Brent Hambrick Memorial Disc Golf course. If you are a Central Ohio disc golfer, this is the tournament that lets you know that disc golf is right around the corner. With a tournament that has the name “Ice” in its title, you can be sure that it will bring out the die-hard disc golfers among us. A tournament in January can make no promises about the weather and has no pretense about the playing conditions. And yet, this tournament with only 72 spots available was completely filled a week before the event, and was opened up to 78 final spots.
The Ice Bowl has a history nearly as long as disc golf itself. The legend goes that this charity event was started back in 1987 by Rick Rothstein (PDGA #2453), with his original thought to get people of Columbia, MO out before the Super Bowl. Because the weather in Missouri is so brutal, news reporters would flock to cover this amazing event where Rick (publisher of Disc Golf World News) promised that no matter how bad the weather got, they were going to play. This was the birth of the phrase “No wimps, no excuses!” with “no whiner” added later by the Indianapolis Disc Golf Club. Still today under the registration guidelines, an Ice Bowl cannot be cancelled for weather under any circumstances.
The extreme weather tends to get all the press but, the true reason for holding an Ice Bowl is to combat hunger. Since its inception, the highest amount of funds raised in a single season was in 2016 with an astounding $357,000. In total, the Ice Bowl has raised over 4 million dollars to feed the hungry. Since 2000, the Columbus Flyers have raised $12,647 and 1,991 pounds of canned food for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Last year alone, the Columbus Flyers raised $1,125 for the less fortunate among us.
This year’s Ice Bowl setting was the Brent Hambrick Memorial Disc Golf course in Westerville, Ohio. The long-standing charity truly lived up to its name as the temperature hovered around 33 degrees most of the day while enjoying a mixture of rain, ice, and snow through the entirety of the event. Ice Bowls in general seem to be an exercise in chaos and the 28th edition was no exception. Because of a severe weather warning, Parks and Recreation were forced to lock all gates that normally would have allowed participants to drive much closer to the course. Also, with the inclement weather, the tournament was downsized to only one round. But the tournament director and volunteers stuck to the Ice Bowl creed and refused to cancel even against some formidable obstacles.
First time Ice Bowl Tournament Director and Vice President, Ashton Doyle PDGA #58755 was the epitome of grace under fire. She took what the weather or set-backs threw at her and persevered. Notable volunteers Bob Potter, and Dean Barbo, club treasurer, stepped up to ensure everything ran smoothly. Even newly appointed President of the Columbus Flyers Disc Golf Club, Cory Clark PDGA #33371 pitched-in by shuttling event participants to and from the makeshift Ice Bowl headquarters.
During the event, the youth were represented well with four battling it out in the Junior division while two others tested themselves in Recreation.
One young player that was up to the test was Titus Davie PDGA #115713. With absolutely no tournament history on the books, Titus shot a four under par with the help of 7 birdies on the day. Taking into consideration the harsh conditions and his lack of tournament experience, Titus Davie is definitely a name to watch in the years to come.
When it came to tournament play, the name that stood out above the rest was Jason (Jump^Man) Clemons PDGA #72401. Jason got the nickname for his often used jump putt. With slick tee pads, icy fairways, and extremely windy conditions, Jason carded an astounding 10 birdies and shot a 995 rated round. Competing in Intermediate, Jason finished 4 strokes better than his closest competitor, Aaron Banks. In fact, Jason Clemons had the “Hot Round” of the day overall and even edged out an Advance division winner Aaron Theodore by 2 stokes when all the snow settled.
Aaron Theodore PDGA #95177- Advance
Jason Clemons PDGA #72401- Intermediate
Denise Bayless PDGA #94937- Intermediate
Titus Davie PDGA #115713- Recreation
Mike Roman PDGA #111813- Novice
Anna Marconi - Novice Women
1st place - Asa Knapp PDGA #110726
2nd place - Elijah Brady
3rd place - Oscar Ball PDGA #116673
4th place - Jesse Roth PDGA #100617
Tournaments are a fun way to connect with friends, family, and the community. But this year’s Ice Bowl went a little further toward helping those of us in need. The Ice Bowl not only showcases the competitors fighting through cold playing conditions, but it also represents the long, cold winter that hungry families must face. Disc golfers in Ohio and across the world are stepping up to fight hunger one tournament at a time. For more information how you can help, please contact Mid-Ohio Food Bank.