Dogleg JT here and boy do I have have a unique disc golf tournament to tell you about! It’s the inaugural “Downtown Throwdown” hosted by Jasper’s local disc golf club, Grip-N-Rip. Most people might not understand how unusual and rare of an opportunity that this tourney will be. This is an event you seriously do not want to miss! Disc Golf…downtown, seriously. Sweet prize packs. Free food. Beer. Live music. Heck of a good time.
It takes place this coming weekend in Downtown Jasper, Alabama and ONLY 11 spots left. What’s that mean? You still have time to sign up after you read this interview with Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf co-founder, Stephen Robertson. But hurry, this tourney is sure to fill up before Saturday’s matchup!
There’s several reasons I wanted to take on this special blog post. First, it’s a very unique, urban disc golf tournament—second of its kind in the United States—that takes place in my hometown of Jasper, Alabama. It’s also being hosted by a great group of guys, whom are close friends from high school, called Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf. Third, it’s being held this coming weekend, Father’s Day weekend. What better way to spend quality time with your father (or son) for this extraordinary disc golf event, haha. Lastly, I was asked to design the logo for the event. And I couldn’t have been more excited and honored!
Alright alright, lets get right into this interview shall we? I’m sitting here with close friend, Stephen Robertson, co-founder of Grip-N-Rip Disc Golf.
[Dogleg] Stephen, tell us a little about Grip-n-Rip Disc Golf.
[Stephen] We are a disc golf club that started in Jasper 3 years ago. It was originally started by Jeremiah Blackmon and me. We have brought some more awesome guys and a girl on the board—Billy Thompson, Jake Aaron, David Driver, and MaLeigh Robertson. Without them, we could not get to what we have gotten accomplished. There is also a lot club members that help as well. We run leagues during the season as well as tournaments. In the last few years, all of the money that has been raised has been going to fund improvements to our current course and now towards the construction of a new course to be located here in Jasper. Also once a year we run a fundraising tournament for a good cause. Each year we select a different. Last year it was for a local elementary school, where we raised and donated $1500 to the school. This year we are hoping to do the same for EASI. But mostly, we are a group of guys and gals that love playing disc golf.
[Dogleg] Now that we have the GnR background, tell us what exactly is the Downtown Throwdown?
[Stephen] The tournament is to be held on June 20th. It will be a temporary course that is put up just for the one day. The course is going to run through the downtown area of Jasper. You will play down streets, in alleys, and across parking lots. The course will start and finish at the Courthouse square. Warehouse 319 is our main sponsor for the event, so set-up for picking up players pack and registration will be in front of their building. Also they are serving breakfast and lunch day-of. Breakfast will run from 7:30am-9am and lunch will be in between rounds.
[Dogleg] The concept is crazy cool! Where did you guys get the idea of an urban dg tourney like this?
[Stephen] There has been an event similar to this before, just not in Jasper. Cary, North Carolina runs a disc golf tournament around a part of their town. It has been happening there since I believe 2012. Seeing videos of their events on YouTube is what inspired us to do it. Also it looked like a ton of fun.
[Dogleg] I can’t argue with that! How were you able to get something of this scale to even take place in downtown on a Saturday?
[Stephen] The club has been doing and will be doing a ton of work leading up to the event. We had to get permission from all Downtown businesses. Also, we have had a ton of help from the city council members. Tana Williams, Jennifer Williams Smith and Joe Mathews have been huge assets as well. Originally the idea for this was brought up in passing with Jennifer, Joe, and Tana and they loved the idea and helped us get approval for the event with the city council. They have also been helping with getting all of the permissions needed. Without their help, we definitely would not have gotten all of the things needed to run it. In the early stage of preparation, Warehouse 319 came on board as a primary sponsor. With their help, we are going to be able to feed all of the players both breakfast and lunch.
[Dogleg] That’s great to hear man. I love seeing community come together and helping one another to pull this off. Ok, so knowing how downtown Jasper is layed out with all the storefronts, what about the safety of windows? Will players be throwing down the street? Like down streets lined with large window fronts?
[Stephen] They will be throwing down some streets but there are only 2 places on the entire course where windows are even remotely close to being in play. We were very careful of the course layout to try to avoid any windows.
[Dogleg] Sounds like you guys have put tons of thought into this–especially with safety. So can you tell us what the course layout will be like?
[Stephen] It will be 20 holes. The entire course plays 4,585 ft. We will be using the new MachX baskets that were purchased for the brand new course being built on Walston Bridge Road.
[Dogleg] What will the format of the tournament be like?
[Stephen] This will be a PDGA-sanctioned tournament. There will be 2 rounds of disc golf. The first round will have a 9:30am tee off. The second round will tee off roughly an hour after the last card is turned in from the first round.
[Dogleg] How many players are you guys expecting?
[Stephen] We have ability to accept 100 players. As of June 15, we have 85 people already registered.
[Dogleg] What all can players expect in the player’s pack?
[Stephen] The player pack consists of: a custom-printed disc storage box from Box4Discs, an event stamped disc and mini, and free breakfast and lunch. There is also a token for 6 free wings that can be redeemed any time at Warehouse 319. For people who were registered by June 10th, they will also be receiving a tournament shirt. We will have some more tournament shirts there for purchase for anyone who didn’t make the early registration.
We are having a players’ party Friday night June 20th in front of Warehouse 319. You can pick up your players pack and your tournament book from 6-8pm that night. That will give people an opportunity to walk the course if they would like. The baskets will not be up until Saturday morning, but the tee pads and locations of baskets will be marked Friday night.
[Dogleg] That sounds awesome! Is it too late to sign up? Where can players go to still get in on this unique opportunity of a tourney?
[Stephen] We will have registration open all the way until the morning of the event or until we fill up, whichever comes first. If it doesn’t fill up, we will have registration open until 9am the morning of the event.
http://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/GnRs_Downtown_Throwdown_2015 is the registration page.
But Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook also has a link for it.
[Dogleg] Any shoutouts to local sponsors you’d like to give a plug to?
[Stephen] Warehouse 319, Cindy Thompson Realtor, Custom Shirts and Signs, Sexton Auto Solutions, David Driver and Marty Scott.
[Dogleg] Lastly, if anyone would like more info, where should they go?
Or you can contact Stephen Robertson or Jeremiah Blackmon on Facebook.
[Dogleg] Well thank you so much for your time, Stephen. I can not wait for this tournament this weekend! I’ve been stoked about it ever since you and Jeremiah contacted me about the design of it earlier this year. To all our readers–and especially the local ones–I hope to see you this Saturday in Downtown Jasper. We shall Throwdown!
Grip-N-Rip’s Downtown Throwdown featured last week on ABC 33/40!
ABC 33/40 – Birmingham News, Weather, Sports
Grip N Rip DGC on Facebook or the