If there ever was a time to dare, it was the summer of 2001. Two guys set out to make a difference. Having been removed from their house due to termites and living out of their cars or the beds of their fellow friends to complete the last 4 weeks of their semester at college, it was time to roam the land and embark on something worth doing. Something was tugging on our heart but little did we know what was in store during the journey in the summer of 2001.
We owed it to ourselves to dig deep and aspire to make a mark. The things worth disc golfing were not easy back then. We were equipped with a rand mcnally atlas and a textbook pdga directory of 200 pages. Seeking out the courses during our trip was a challenge. There were times when we wanted to quit. Instead, we pushed ourselves and learned by trying.
It was in Colorado that we played 30+ courses in June that we discovered Texas was hosting a proclaimed “national deaf disc golf tournament.” For those of you who are new the game, Texas Deaf Disc Golfers, specifically Austin, are in their own world of big challenges.
Kevin Harrer and Kent Schafer set out to make a detour to Austin, Texas and find out what this world of Deaf disc golf Championship is all about.
Armed with Kevin’s ford ranger, a camping tent, jugs of water and determination. We marked out courses enroute to Texas to conquer.
At one course, we arrived in the dead of the night. Unable to find any baskets with our head flashlights, we set camp to sleep a couple hours on the course. Much to our chagrin, Kevin woke up to an officer holding a gun. (deaf people are harder to wake up). Turns out our tent was blocking a fairway and we were 50 feet from a basket. Man! We couldnt find a basket and there we were literally a putt away. Lucky us, the officer knew sign language and we were able to talk our way out of the experience and back onto the course.
After a couple more courses, campsites, and detours. We arrived to Austin. 3 courses, deaf club, and competition awaited!
During this competition, Stevie Campbell instilled an idea in Kevin’s mind. With determination and the right tools, we can do anything. It was there during the competition, camaderie and discussing between Kent and Kevin, that the 2nd “national” deaf disc golf event was going to happen.
Our 30+ course experience earlier in Colorado set the tone and identified the best mountain experience for our visitors. Frisco or bust.
As a youngster, it was a thrill for me to watch Kevin make the pitch at the Austin Deaf Club and thus begin the trail for National Deaf Disc Golf.