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Disc golf pros coming to Llano to raise money for Badu Park course

Badu Park in Llano is the site of a future John Houck-designed disc golf course. Photo from houckdesign.com

LLANO — The dream of having a disc golf course in the city of Llano has gone from conversations to a fundraising tournament on March 12.

Called the Circular Skies Over Llano, the professional disc golf tournament will be at the Llano River Golf Course, 2835 RR 152 West. The event is being conducted by HouckDesign, which is owned by world-renowned disc golfer John Houck, and is being sponsored by Llano Alliance for Drug Intervention (LADI).

In the late 1980s, Houck founded the original Circular Skies tour, which was the largest regional disc golf tour at the time.

Llano is the first city to host the return of the Circular Skies Tour, according to reports.

Organizers will set up 18 disc golf baskets across the front-nine holes. The public is invited to watch the tournament beginning at 9 a.m. Attendees can also participate in putting contests for chances to win disc golf baskets.

The putting contests for ages 8 to adult are at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. The six winners from each playoff will compete in the finals with the winner receiving an adult disc golf basket and a full-color collector’s autographed event disc.

Putting contests for ages 3-7 are at 9:45 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. The six winners of each flight will play in a final putting contest for a mini basket.

“We would love to have young people,” said LADI member Bob Cunningham.

Pros pay $57 to compete in the open division and $52 to play in the master, open women and grandmaster divisions. At least $600 in cash prizes will be awarded.

Amateurs pay $47 to play in the advanced, advanced masters, advanced grandmasters and advanced women’s divisions, while those competing in the intermediate or intermediate women’s divisions pay $42.

Cooper’s BBQ will be selling barbecue plates for $20 a person. A lunch ticket enters the buyer into a drawing.

Cunningham said conversations about a disc golf course began 3½ years ago. Golfers began raising money by operating concessions at the John Kuykendall Event Center and taking donations to begin the first phase of creating the course.

That included hiring Houck, who is known for his course work and his disc golf skills. Houck created the disc golf course at West Side Park in Marble Falls.

Potential spots for the Llano course were examined with Badu Park being chosen because of its location and size.

Llano City Council members approved the measure Dec. 7. Houck returned to Llano on Jan 21 and spent three days walking the park, taking notes and then designing the course.

“He is sought after for disc golf courses,” Cunningham said.

Now it’s time to raise the remaining money to purchase baskets, discs, tee signs that show each hole and other features for the nine-hole course. The projected cost is $9,000.

So why did LADI get involved in disc golf? Cunningham said it’s because the sport meets one of the objectives for the organization.

“The LADI’s main goals are to help people stay away from drugs or get people off drugs,” he said.

So the thought is that if people are outdoors taking part in a physical activity, they feel better about themselves. And this sport doesn’t require more than three discs to play, so a golfer can play by himself. And size, quickness or other measurables aren’t necessary to compete.

“It’s something the general public can enjoy,” Cunningham said. “It’s an activity that gets kids away from their computers. We’re hoping we can see kids out playing.”

Go to houckdesign.com and click on the tournaments tab to register or for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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