Estero Park will host more airborne Wham-Os than a 1960s episode of “Batman” this Saturday during the first annual Isla Vista Frisbee Golf Tournament.
Senior global studies major Colin Buck, who organized the event with his neighbors, said participants who pay a $5 registration fee will compete for cash and other prizes like gift certificates and Frisbee flying discs. Estero Park is located at the intersection of Camino Corto and Estero Road. The first round of play is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.
“Most of the money is going right back into the prizes,” Buck said. “The sizes and number of cash prizes will depend on how many people we have sign up.”
Several Isla Vista jam bands will perform at the event and organizers will barbecue hamburgers, hotdogs and other food.
“I live across the street from the park and go out there all the time,” Buck said. “I want this to be an event where students and community members can go out and compete and have a good time.”
Buck said he currently has fewer than 10 people registered but is expecting upwards of a hundred people to participate.
“We’re not only going to have prizes for the winners,” Buck said. “We’re going to have a prize for last place, and we also have some senior citizens signed up, so we’ll have an over 60 prize.”
Buck received a $450 grant from the UCSB Associated Students Isla Vista Community Relations Committee to pay expenses related to organizing the tournament.
Estero Park has not hosted a Frisbee tournament since an inaugural competition when the course was installed by the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District about four years ago, Buck said.
Diane Conn, an IVRPD director, said it is against park district policy to allow event organizers to charge admission or registration fees for events at public parks, but Buck obtained special permission by asking the IVRPD’s board of directors, who voted to waive the regulation.
“We’re really happy whenever people come to us and want to organize events,” Conn said. “We thought the fee was reasonable.”
Conn said the Frisbee golf course in Estero Park is popular with local community members, especially in the early evenings and on weekends.
“People like to go out there and get a round in before they hit the books,” Conn said.
The game of Frisbee golf was formalized in 1975 when Ed Headrick, who invented and patented the first modern Frisbee disc in 1964, created a disc-catching device made from 10 chains strung over a basket hanging from a pole.
Headrick designed and installed the first formal Frisbee golf course at Oak Grove Park in Pasadena, California, also in 1975.
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association website, there are nearly 1,000 Frisbee golf courses in the United States and 20,000 members of the Professional Disc Golf Association. In 2002, there were over 390 sanctioned tournaments across the country.