Drive around the state of Maine in February and you'll notice there's not one person on a golf course. Not one. Therein lies the difference between traditional golfers and disc golfers. Cold weather, snow, ice, rain...none of these are conditions that stop disc golfers. As a matter of fact, if you had driven by the Quaker Hill Disc Golf Course in Fairfield, ME on Saturday, February 2, a mostly sunny but breezy day with temperatures no higher than 20 degrees, you would've seen not one, but 18 disc golfers participating in the 8th Annual Quaker Hill Ice Bowl.
The what? The Ice Bowl? The Ice Bowl is an event held by disc golf courses North America-wide between the months of January and March each year and is designed to be a fund/food raiser for local food pantries. The People Who Care Food Cupboard in Madison, ME was the recipient of this year's $600 donation raised by the 18 golfers in addition to about 40 pounds of non-perishable food items.
The first round of the tournament was played backwards, meaning from basket 18 to the basket of 17, then the basket of 17 to the basket of 16, basket of 16 to basket of 15, etc. This Safari-style golf provides for a very different layout.
The second round of the tournament was the traditional layout, playing baskets 1 through 18 in their proper order.
So, how is it that only 18 golfers can raise $600? The answer is simple. Mulligans. Yes, the sale of unlimited mulligans at a buck a pop. Here's how it worked: if you threw a shot you didn't like, you called out 'Mulligan', and threw again. If you didn't like that shot, you could 'mully' again, and so on until you liked you shot. While a non-traditional way to play, essentially being able to 'buy' your way to win, turns out everybody threw shots they didn't like. Also turns out there were a lot of them. But the end result was a bigger donation to help out families who are struggling to put food on their table, so it was never an issue for any of the golfers to 'mully' their way through the rounds.
Winning the tournament for the second year in a row was Daryl 'DC' Cormier. DC was presented with the Sea Bass Trophy, a trophy that must be returned for next year's Ice Bowl so the 2014 winner can take care of it for the year.
tie Daryl Cormier 52 + 37 = 89 (won playoff)
tie Jeremy Brooks 48 + 41 = 89
Randy Dore 51+45 = 96
Iceman 59 + 46 = 105
Todd Dore 55 + 52 = 107
Andrew Jones 62 + 47 = 109
Jamie Spear 59 + 51 = 110
tie Lou Carey 67 + 49 = 116
tie Joe the Mason 63 + 53 = 116
Lee Alexander 70 + 51 = 121
Ralph Pillsbury 66 + 56 = 122
Steve LeBlanc 72 + 56 = 128
Kevin Bridger 65 + 65 = 130
Sam Collins 70 + 63 = 133
David Marchand (played Safari round only)
Chris Gorman (played Safari round only)
Louie Carey (played 2nd round only)
Josh Lyman (played 2nd round only)
In addition to the disc golf portion, golfers were invited to bring a chili for the between-rounds Chili Cook Off. Each entry was judged on three items: taste, heat, and presentation. Yes, make it hot and spicy for this chili contest. Presentation was how well the chili maker served their chili up to you and how well they talked it up. This year's winner of the four entrants was Jamie Spear, a Quaker Hill local who returns to the Chili King throne after taking last year off. Prior to last year Jamie had won the previous six years. Jamie donated the $100 prize for winning right back to the overall donation for the food pantry.
Course owner Steve LeBlanc and the Quaker Hill crew run many tournaments during the year and all of them are a great time. The course is open seven days a week from 9am until sunset. If nobody is in the clubhouse there is an honor box to pay the $5 course fee (for ALL DAY GOLF!) and scorecards/pencils are also available. Find them on facebook by searching Quaker Hill Disc Golf.
Whether you need snowshoes or sandals to navigate the course you can rest assured it will be open. It's disc golf after all. And disc golfers aren't afraid of a little cold weather, especially when it comes to charity and helping others.