Thanks to everyone who came out to opening day of the Golden Gate Park disc golf course this past Saturday! It was extremely moving to see so many people out to enjoy the grand opening of this crazy little dream that took more than 10 years to make reality.
It cannot be said often enough: Thank You Ross Hammond, Jeffery Bowling, and Les & Anne for pushing this through the last 15 months! If you ever play a round of golf out there, you owe these people a big thank you - however you choose to offer it up.
It was a wonderful day, and it was great to see so many people come out for the grand opening. There were Founding SFDGC members present, who moved away or drifted off from the club, who finally got to see what the club has grown into, and what an amazing accomplishment we - YOU - managed to make happen. There were new friends, new members, and some very important people present as well.
Meagan Levitan of the Parks Commission said a few words, and David Lee of the Commission brought his whole family out to play as well. Marvin Yee was there, and the club presented Meagan and Marvin with Builders' Discs to thank them for their efforts.
The club also presented "Golden Shovel Awards" to the magnificent seven club members who put in the most time on the course:
Les Swift 311 Hours
Anne Farrell 290 Hours
Pat Walsh 168 Hours
Pete D'Agostino 158 Hours
Max Ruddick 140 Hours
Tyler Schultz 118 Hours
Jeffery Bowling 110 Hours
The club also presented Les and Anne with a gift certificate for a weekend getaway at the Monarch Cove Inn bed and breakfast in Aptos, as a way of saying thanks for all of the hard work that they have done. The perfect little honeymoon, following their wedding ceremony on hole #8 Sunday morning!
Also present was Tim Selinske of Innova, who flew up just for opening day! Innova has been a great supporter of ours from the very beginning, and it was fantastic that Tim could be there to be part of it. It was Innova's support early on that enabled us to build a membership model that truly drove membership - and it was the size of our membership base all along that got & kept the Parks Department's attention.
Speaking of Innova: we started the day with over 900 custom opening day discs, three different designs from Jonah Schmidt and Mark Gettys, and ended the day with less than 100 discs! If you haven't gotten any opening day discs yet, get yourself out to the next weekly, or you'll have to buy them off of your friends!
The raffle was a huge success, with many wall-hanger discs donated from private collections including Leonard Muise, Ross Hammond, Mike Ruzicka (who couldn't be there, but mailed them in from Sun River, Oregon!), and myself. Innova, Whammo, the Disc Golf Association, Safari Disc Sports, Memphis Minnie's, The Grateful Dent, and Kilowatt Bar all also made kind and generous donations. The raffle culminated in Neal Hoellwarth winning the DGA Mach III Basket with a custom "Builders' Disc" number plate.
It was completely fitting that Mr. Neal won the basket, given how much has helped disc golf in general, and especially this club over the years. Back in 1996/1997 when we were first forming this club it was Mr. Neal who was most supportive. He gave me contact information, great ideas, and most of all: SUPPORT.
It was a wonderful day, and there were times I got completely choked up and had a hard time not just bursting into tears of joy. After eleven years of work, and ten years since we founded the club, San Francisco has an incredible disc golf course in its move beloved and well known park.
I hope that you will continue to bring your friends, family and co-workers out to enjoy disc golf in the park, and look forward to seeing you out there soon.
Amazed, grateful, inspired, and on my way out to sneak in a lunch 18,