Melea Burke, The Triplicate

Disc golfers from around the North Coast and Southern Oregon enjoyed great weather at the nation's only beachfront course on Saturday in Crescent City.

Fifty men and women turned out for the Wild Rivers Disc Golf Club's first official PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) C-

tier tournament, dubbed "Bangin' at the Beach," to sling some discs and see how they stacked up against the competition.

Calm winds and partly cloudy skies made for near-perfect conditions at Beachfront Park, Crescent City's 24-hole advanced level disc golf course, which also happens to be the only oceanfront course in the country, noted local enthusiast Ron Cole. New Jersey was once home to another, but it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. As evidenced by Saturday's turnout, Beachfront Park is gaining a reputation not only for being a beautiful place to play, but also for offering a challenging game with its ocean winds and long-distance drives.

"It was a busy day at the park; it was good," said Wild Rivers Disc Golf Club president Kevin Mealue of the tournament. "I can't wait to do it again next year and make it even better. I can't believe the support I had through the community and the disc golf community as well."

Mealue credited Kelly Muth of Par Infinity Disc Golf Club in Humboldt with organizing the PDGA-sanctioned tournament and serving as its official director. About 10 of the local Wild Rivers' members also were deeply involved with planning the event, he said.

Several locals ended the day atop the leaderboard, including Cole, whose score of 101 landed him in first in the masters division - for professional-level players - just ahead of second-place Brian Murphy, who recently competed in the PDGA World Championships in Portland, Ore.

"I was very surprised," Cole said of his performance. "I expected (Murphy) to be super on his game."

Luckily for Cole, his game was on, too, even after spending a few weeks teaching summer camps instead of fine-tuning his throws. Cole, an instructor with local nonprofit Gateway Education, also offers free lessons for anyone looking to hone their disc skills or simply learn how to hold one. A disc golfer since 2003, Cole started competing in 2007 and teaching the game in 2011 after earning his pro designation.

With all the travelers passing through Del Norte, especially during the summer, Cole believes disc golf tourism is an untapped resource that could have huge local benefits.

"This (PDGA tournament) was a huge step forward for Crescent City and Del Norte County. The attention is going to be great," he said. "I just want to see Del Norte County become a disc golf mecca. I know disc golf isn't going to be the solution to our needs here, but it could be a small piece of the mosaic ... people coming here to play."

For a free lesson with Cole, give him a call at 954-7666. He'll supply the discs.

Bangin' at the Beach results


1. Reuben Davis, 108

2. Sias Elmore, 112

2. Richard Pelberg, 112

4. Kevin Mealue, 114

Open Women

1, Shannon Shaw, 123

2. Kelly Muth, 128

3. Camille Skweir, 129


1. Ron Cole, 101

2. Brian Murphy, 120

3. Brock Pitzer, 123


1. Kyle Freeman, 106

2. Mike T. Kemp, 107

3. Cody Burch, 114

4. Kyle Severson, 117

4. Enrique Duran, 117

4. Miles Thompson, 117

7. Luke Rea, 119

7. Sam Artas, 119

9. Nathan Weatherill, 122

10. Chris Davis, 130

Advanced Women

1. Terra Thomson, 143

2. Jody Huffman, 159

Advanced Masters

1. Scott Huffman, 118

2. Barry Jones, 122

3. Aaron Black, 124

4. John Murphy, 127

5. Shawn Sullivan, 155

6. Harold Fugate, 168


1. Jeremy Watson, 118

2. Diego Alvarado, 124

3. Ryan Seng, 125

4. Kevin Krueger, 126

4. Jason Gill, 126

6. Jerry Merriam, 129

7. Ryan Grater, 131

7. Pat Bellefuille, 131

9. Jef Hatch, 137

10. Myles Blasey, 139


1. Oliver Anderson, 128

2. Travis Cairns, 131

3. Jeff Hitchcock, 132

4. Luis Moreno, 132

5. Ryan Bahten, 135

6. Tanner Wright, 142

7. Brian Welch, 143

8. Spinner Spencer, 147

9. Juan Romero, 155

10. Josh Serna, 156

11. Moises Montenez, 160

12. Robert Muchie, DNF