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Beaver State Fling: An Oregon Disc Golf Tradition

Disc Life

Edited on June 8th 2018 at 6am PT to improve historical details.

The Beaver State Fling (BSF) disc golf tournament has changed many times since its inception in 2002.

The BSF was created as part of the Oregon Series by Teresa Trueba Embree and Cris Bellinger.  It was built up from a C-Tier in 2002, to an NT in 4 years by the Oregon Series team that included Teresa, Cris, Todd Andrews, Greg Ruhl, Mike Phillips, Tom Embree & Theo Pozzy along with the crew dedicated to developing the course at Milo McIver lead by Patrick Buckley and Aaron Ziggler.

The original core team had its sights on creating a world class event and built the event up to the format that is still used today.  The Fling was the first NT event to host a vendor village as part of tournament central and create a fun inclusive environment for players, spectators and sponsors. The BSF was hitting its stride, the 5th largest event in the world by attendance, when the original core team handed off the event to the capable hands of the Jeffs and their team in 2009. 

Millions of Oregon's trees suffered as fires blazed through hundreds of thousands of acres during summer 2017. Milo McIver, which is east of most of those fires, located in Estacada, didn't see any damage to its 952 acres of old growth forest land.

After escaping the wild fires, the trees at Milo McIver continue to tell the stories of the great disc golfers of this era.

Jeff Hagerty, the Beaver State Fling tournament director, has seen many of the sport's top names take home the win in the tournament that has become an Oregon tradition. In fact, 2018 marks his final year as tournament director for this prestigious event.

I interviewed Jeff Hagerty to give some insight of how the tournament has grown over the years into one of the best National Tour stops.

"Our objective is to run the premiere disc golf tournament in the Pacific Northwest," Hagerty tells Discmania.

Hagerty says he many memories stick out from previous tournaments, "First, it has been the numerous improvements, like powder coating the baskets, we have made to the course over the years, but I would imagine the most press we've received was from Philo Brathwaite's albatross. 

Amateur divisions pay into a "lottery" drawing and hope to make it into the two day amateur A-tier event. Hagerty believes the BSF was the first event to do both ratings-based registration and a lottery for amateurs.

"For the pros, as event organizers, we want the very best field of competitors we can get to play in our event.  However, the BSF is so popular it was filling to capacity in a matter of minutes, and as a result we found many highly qualified players sitting on the sidelines because they weren't fast enough to register online," Hagerty says. "We felt the click-race was the wrong way to handle registration for a National Tour event, so I made my request to do ratings based registration. The first year I asked my request was denied, and the event filled in a few minutes. It was approved the following year."

Hagerty says they wanted to go the rating based registration for the amateur ranks as well, but was denied, "The PDGA's stance was that all amateurs should be treated equally and all should have a chance to play.  While I completely disagree, I relented and came up with the lottery idea. I've been rolling with it ever since."

Beaver State Fling volunteers with members of the PDGA at a past Beaver State Fling.

The Beaver State Fling has filled every division each year for the past four years. Jeff Hagerty and Jeff Mitle has implemented the goal of making the BSF the best event in Oregon each year. The greatest throwers in the world continue to pour into Oregon, hungry for a chance to tame the trees and long fairways.

This year's BSF gets underway this Friday, June 8.

Photos: Scott Bresee

- Rick Saffeels

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