Davis leads Youth Division in Luke’s Birthday Bash

FROSTBURG — “Trees are mean,” concluded John Youngblood.

The 13-year-old Frostburg resident and Mount Savage Middle School student was one of eight competitors in the Luke’s Birthday Bash, a private event facilitated by the Allegany County Disc Golf Club on Sunday afternoon at the Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course in Frostburg.

Liam Hutter reacts after making the putt on No. 6.

The event was the choice of Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, of Frostburg, who was celebrating his 10th birthday. He has been playing disc golf for nearly two years and enjoys playing with friends on the course. It is the second consecutive year the youngster has chosen to have disc golf as a part of his birthday celebration.

To be sure, though, Youngblood had a point. The trees giveth, and the trees taketh away. Mostly, they take. Youngblood fifth among five players in the Youth Division, tallying a 22 over par 59 on the nine-hole layout. The beginner-friendly course, on which every basket is a par 3, includes numerous trees that penalize shots that go slightly awry. Youngblood, holding a disc for only the fourth day of his life — and the first time on a disc golf course — went awry more frequently than he cared to do.

He bogeyed No. 1, and threw for a double bogey on both No. 2 and No. 9. In between, he struggled — sometimes mightily — with the trees that line the fairways from tee pad to basket. He needed seven strokes to get through No. 3, and then 11 strokes to pass No. 4. Remarkably, then, Youngblood needed only seven strokes on No. 5 which, at 223 feet, is statistically the most difficult hole on the course.

Noah Davis, meanwhile, might have started to figure things out. The 9-year-old Frostburg boy finished third among eight competitors and first among his Youth Division counterparts, finishing with a one over par 28. He had a birdie putt opportunity on No. 9 that would have secured his first even par round at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course, which opened six weeks ago, but it fell just short.

Though he missed that shot, Davis, who began playing disc golf in August 2022, threw the only birdie among Youth Division competitors. He managed the feat on No. 2, and threw for par six other times.

Josiah Spradlin, 13, of Frostburg, placed second in the Youth Division with a 29. He threw for par on seven occasions but bogeyed Nos. 4 and 5. Spradlin-Vogelsang earned a podium finish with a 33, while Liam Hutter, 12, of Frostburg, placed fourth with a 44. Like Youngblood, it was Hutter’s first time on a disc golf course. Both had participated in three days of disc golf lessons during gym class last month at Mount Savage Middle School. Those lessons were facilitated by the Allegany County Disc Golf Club.

Kevin Spradlin, 44, of Frostburg, narrowly won the Adult Division with a two under par 25. He finished with four birdies but bogeyed Nos. 1 and 6. Noah Spradlin, 23, of Frostburg, carded three birdies en route to a 26. Newcomer Ray “Hoss” Hollingsworth, 40, of Frostburg, finished with a five over par 32. It was Hollingsworth’s first time holding a plastic disc. He managed a birdie on No. 2, and threw for par three other times (Nos. 5, 6 and 8).

The event capitalized on a recent uptick in interest in the sport of disc golf in Allegany County, and the Allegany County Disc Golf Club has been a part of that effort. The club participates in community outreach events and hosts private events like Luke’s Birthday Bash as a club fundraiser. Private events also can be arranged by the club for team-building business or civic groups, and the budget can be configured to meet the needs of the event organizer.

All players were encouraged to participate in the ongoing Summer Youth League on Tuesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course. The next league date is June 27. Adults are encouraged to play along and are scored separately. There is no cost for players of any age, and the club has discs on hand to be borrowed for the league round.

Liam Hutter reacts after making the putt on No. 6.

John Youngblood with a difficult putt from the weeds on No. 6.

 

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