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Tiger Claw inaugural event draws 94

By Jayson Knight

The Tri-City Flyers hosted the Inaugural Tiger Claw Open Saturday at the City of Tuttle’s Hartin-Hambleton Park, welcoming 94 disc golfers to town.
The Tri-City Flyers are a group of local avid disc golfers, many of which have volunteered their time to supplementing the park with a disc golf course named Tiger Claw.
Tuttle citizens Todd Littleton and Brett Yackeschi originally proposed the idea to the City of Tuttle in September 2022, and the group got to work in December of 2022. In less than a year-and-a-half, the course is known as a destination course for disc golfers in the know.
Littleton said Sunday, “I feel really good about it. We got some really positive feedback and one of the local metro players who plays in the pro division gave some good compliments. He’ll give us some good constructive criticism for future improvements, but made the remark that if he lived closer, he’d play it a lot. We took that as a real positive, and overall, the response that we’ve heard has been glowing.”
With so much of the park’s back acreage cleared of trees, it makes a nice long walk. However, it is not yet a walking trail. Walking the course without knowledge of it could lead one into the path of a flying disc. These discs are not your standard frisbies either.
“There are already local residents who enjoy kind of taking a walk through what we’ve cleared,” Littleton explained, “and a lot of pet owners kind of like taking their dogs on those walks. It’s going to require some good maintenance in some of those areas. We’ll have to probably battle Greenbrier from here on, and it’s pretty invasive, and it’s ever-present. We’ve been able to keep it cut back but that stuff is hard to get rid of, and so I would just recommend folks kind of keep an eye out for it. We affectionately call it the devil. It’s ugly stuff, but otherwise, we think it’s a great walk. I think I had a friend who walked it with her husband while he was double-checking all the baskets and I want to say it may have been something like a three-mile walk and I forget how many levels of stairs the elevation is equated to, but it’s several for sure. It’s a pretty good workout. I think one of the things about making it a walking trail through there is that you still have some of the danger. If you’re not aware that it’s a disc golf course, or you’re not paying attention to how it’s laid out, you could walk into the flight path of the disk and the shape of those molds is not like the Wham-O you grew up with. I’m sure it could be pretty painful. Last year, a pro took an over-the-tree shot and a cameraman was unprepared and I believe it struck him on the head, requiring stitches, so you do need to be careful.”
The planning that went into Tiger Claw is evident, and it isn’t finished. Clearing trees and debris has proven to be the most difficult part of creating the course, and there is still work to be done.
“The first rule of thumb is you only take down trees that are necessary,” Littleton said, “because you can’t put them back, so we had to be very particular early on as far as what would be kind of the wooded area on the east side. We hired a fellow who uses a forestry kit to help create some of the fairways. We marked trees we wanted to keep, since obstacles are really a feature of a disc golf course. That’s been farmland forever, and it’s also in a floodway, and you consider however many ice storms that area might have weathered, we still have some cleaning to do. I mean the day before the tournament we discovered a widow maker. We made a couple of other discoveries during that real windy Friday, so we had to alert players and we’ve tried to make notes so we can go back and try to clear those out, but we just don’t have the equipment for some of that. We’ll have to be strategic and try to plan how we can get those taken care of, and then there’s a lot on the ground. The good thing about that is the city allowed us to use their wood chipper, and wood chips are really helpful on a course, in the woods, and in other places. We’ll be able to move that around and hopefully clean up a lot of the brush piles that we’ve pushed out of fairways, and that’ll just actually enhance both the look and the features.”
Littleton said the Tri-City Flyers would like to thank the City of Tuttle, every volunteer who gave of their time, and a few volunteers specifically for donating equipment and helping solve some logistic puzzles.
“We are grateful to every volunteer minute someone was able to give,” Littleton said. “Some were obviously limited by their schedules and some were able to give more time than others, but they’re all valuable. We would not have been where we were without everybody. I think a special shoutout goes to local resident Daniel Diaz, who owns Duncan Glass, and his son Jeff, for the use of their tractor, really about from the get-go. And then I think a special shoutout ought to go to Grady Farms and Preston Paul for also helping provide equipment man hours and helping to solve some obstacles that we ran into. Then of course, we certainly want to thank all of our hole donor sponsors, somewhere between 19 and 21, all those who actually donated through the Oklahoma Disc Golf Foundation. Each sponsor’s name is on a hole. When we have events, we’ve got other signs that we’ll put out so that people will know who the sponsors are. We can’t say enough about their sense of trust that we could actually pull off what we presented to the city, and we do believe that disc golf courses are never finished, much like ball golf courses. There are always little things you find and you want to improve and tweak, but we have, I think, accomplished putting in what we would call a destination disc golf course.”
For more information about the Tri-City Flyers, including league play and other upcoming events, find them on Facebook.

1 Comment

  1. Carlton Eugene Rogers on April 11, 2024 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for coming out and taking pictures. Tuttle has a world class disc park in the makings.

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