First Things First!

*What is disc golf?  Disc golf is a game using what most people would call “Frisbees”, played much like traditional  golf.  Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc.  The sport has been around since the 1970's, and shares with “ball golf” the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or in the case of disc golf, fewest number of throws).  A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the “hole”.  The target that is used at the course at Lake Shore Park is known as a “pole hole”, which is an elevated metal basket.  As a player moves down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed.  The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer.  Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed. 

Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway.  There are a few differences, though.  Disc golf at Lake Shore Park is free, there are no riding carts to rent, and the equipment needed is relatively inexpensive.  The game is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status.  Since the creation of the first formal disc golf course in Oak Grove Park, California, in 1975, courses have continued to grow at an average  of 17 percent (approximately 50 courses) between the years of 1980 and 1999.  Since then, the number of courses has doubled.  As of July 2004, there were 1,572 courses in the world on most major continents.  According to one source as of 2012, there are 4,400 courses in the world. Other local courses can be found in Euclid, Medina, Hudson, and Warren, Ohio, and Pymatuning State Park in nearby Pennsylvania. 

How It Happened!

According to Tom Mote, the designer of the Lake Shore Park course, the Medina layout was the first disc golf course in the state of Ohio.  It was designed by "The Father of Disc Golf", Ed Headrick.  Ed was an executive with the Wham-O Corporation back in the 70's, and he patented the original "Frisbee" design.

  Tom describes his relationship with Ed Headrick: "I wanted to install a course in Ashtabula County in the winter of 1996.  I contacted Sharon and Leroy Jenkins, local professional players at the Medina course, and they directed me to the DGA" (Disc Golf Association).  "The DGA was the sanctioning body for disc golf, much like the PGA is for ball golf.  So I contacted them to locate the equipment manufacturers.  When I called, Ed answered the phone.  I told him that I wanted to get a course designed for Ashtabula County, and he told me that he'd train me in disc golf course design if I came to California.  So in February of '97, I went to Watsonville California.  Ed showed me videos of the early Frisbee commercials.  He showed me videos of disc golf when it was called 'object' golf (hitting pegs with the disc).  He showed me videos of him doing halftime shows at the Rose Bowl, with Larry Hagman, and he also showed me videos of him on the Johnny Carson show, demonstrating the frisbee."

"The most important thing that I learned from him about disc golf course design was to make the course so that people of all skill levels can enjoy playing.  A course needs to be 'user friendly'.  Ed gave me the exact distances that the holes need to be to include all skill levels.  We use three different colored tee areas, with red being the shortest distance, white being a middle distance, and blue the farthest distance.  He taught me many different aspects of golf course design, but one of the most important things that taught me was at the De La Veaga disc golf course in Santa Cruz.  After shooting a round at the course, we got back to the parking lot, and there was a whole bunch of garbage in the parking lot.  He told me to 'go clean it up'.  He told me, 'You learn to keep your parks clean, and they will be far more receptive to letting you use their land.'  So we use this philosophy with our club " "Keep the park cleaner than  you found it."

"So after he taught me the basics of golf course design, he had me go out and design a course he had all ready designed, but wasn't installed yet.  So I went out on my own, and made my design.  When he came back, he told me that my design was exactly like his!  At that point in time, he declared me a 'certified disc golf course designer'."

"Before I left California, he directed me down the coast to see some of the most successful courses that were operating.  I went to Morley Field in San Diego and La Mirada in Los Angeles.  So after I saw those courses, I came home, and later that year, my brother (Mike Mote) and I travelled to different disc courses, from Texas, to Wisconsin, to Delaware, to New York, to see all of the top courses, courses where world championships had been held.  If you've seen 'world class', then you can design 'world class'."

"My brother Mike is the one who came up with the idea that Lake Shore Park would be a great site for a disc golf course.  On Father's Day in 1997, we set up a (temporary) nine hole course at the south end of the park to demonstrate it to the park officials.  There is a weekend every year that the disc golf industry has designated as being the 'World's Biggest', and it is meant to promote the game of disc golf, and introduce new players to the game.  So with the help of Debi Tupa and Doris Brown, we set up
at three different locations over the weekend.  Friday we were at Kent State, Ashtabula Campus.  Saturday, we set up the course in Kiwanas Park in Geneva, and Sunday we were at Lake Shore Park.  Over the three days, we had 113 participants.  This was the first time that disc golf was truly introduced to Ashtabula County.  It was successful in that we got people to sign up for leagues.  That same year, we had a league with 24 people participating."

"In the summer of 1999 the 'Shoot the Breeze Disc Golf Club' was formed, and they presented  the Lake Shore Park Commission with a petition of 350 signatures to allow us to put in permanent facilities for disc golf.  This was the turning point.  They allotted money to put in the anchors for the baskets.  And the Park Commission and their employees have continued to be very receptive and helpful with our efforts."

And THAT is the history of how the disc golf course at Lake Shore Park got started. Since 1999 much work has been done by club members, and many fund raisers have been held. The course now boasts 18 holes - four with dual location baskets - and all told, the course has 47 concrete teepads.

Tom's latest project is his involvement with the disc golf course at Punderson State Park, in Chardon Ohio. You can check out their Facebook page HERE.

  Time line for disc golf in Ashtabula County Through 2005, taken from the former site.

Compiled by Tom Mote

1988 Mike Mote shows brothers Tom Mote and Dan Mote DISC GOLF at Township Park GOTL. Mike had played it while living in Sacramento in 1987.

May 1996 Rod Raub Mike’s Air force buddy calls Mike and says he has a disc golf course directory and there’s a disc golf course in Medina. Mike, Tom and Dan go play.  The hook is set! The entire summer devoted to disc golf Medina (Also went to Hudson, Canton, and Massillon)

Sept. Scrambles at Medina Wednesdays run by Sharon and Leroy Jenkins. Ohio Doubles in Canton/Massillon, Run by Wild Bill.  Tom and Mike take DFL.

Oct. Tom joins P.G.D.A. (Professional Disc Golf Association) play at Roscoe's Revenge Glow event with Mike. Tom gets Minute Maid to sponsor Sign and provide drinks for the event. Tom subscribes to the Disc Golf Journal, gets DGWN and Disc Golf Course Directory.

Nov Mike and Tom decide to get a course locally. During brainstorm Mike comes up with “Shoot the Breeze” name.

Dec Tom calls the D.G.A. Ed Headrick, the "Father of Disc Golf" answers and Tom tells him “I want to get a course designed for Ashtabula County.” Ed invites him to Watsonville, California.

1997 January Tom and Mike play in the Ice Bowl in Milwaukee Wisconsin run by Uncle Joe Weinshel. Barry Shultz and David Greenwell win.

February Tom goes to Steady Ed Headrick’s DGA to train on Disc Golf Course Design and Ed sends him to Morley Field in San Diego to check out a successful disc golf course run by Snapper Pierson

March Tom buys 9 Mach3's to demonstrate disc golf with.

April Tom and Mike haul portable around Lake Shore Park Designing a 9-hole course.

May Debi Tupa, Mike Mote Rod Raub play Trees and Breeze in Delaware at Lum's Pond and Brandywine. Run by Bill Yerd. World’s Biggest is same weekend.

June Fathers Day Tom and Mike demonstrate disc golf at Lakeshore Park 17  play including Kevin Smith who won a Blow Fly. Tom and Mike play in the PFDO Run by J. Gary Dropcho and KB Clark. Tom proposes course at Ashtabula Township Board Meeting. “Not at this time.” was there reply.  Must have insurance to set up at Lake Shore Park.

July Tom sets up at Kiwanis Park in Geneva and runs scrambles Tom Proposes course at Kiwanis meeting, not allowed to set up temp. course.

August Mike and Tom go to Am World’s in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 288 disc golfers attend.

Sept Tom, Debi Tupa, Doris Brown, Bob Wilcox, and Mike Mote play in the Labor Day Luau in Lewiston NY See 3 colored bricks for the first time. Doug Opiela is the tournament director and course designer.

October Tom sets up 9 holes on the south side of Harpersfield Metro park. Runs scrambles.

November propose course at Metro Park Meeting attending Mike Mote, Tom Mote, Debi Tupa.

Park commission “Kids might run into baskets” NO!

1998 March Tom hauls 9 Portables to Allerdale for Greater Medina Open. Temp course tourney run by Leroy and Sharon Jenkins.

April Lori Woodard, Mike Mote and Tom Mote start recruiting for Handicap disc golf league.

May  Debi Tupa, Doris Brown, Julie Mehall, Tom Mote, Dan Mote, Mike Mote host a World’s Biggest at Kent State Ashtabula, Kiwanis Park Geneva, Lake Shore Park Ashtabula, Debi sews disc golf bags, 102 Zoo does a radio give-a-way of World’s biggest packages, We had hourly CTP's and a mini for anybody who played all weekend, 113 people play disc golf Doris Brown wins the Rolf Frie Award for bringing the most people, we finally get enough to start a team league. We got front page exposure with Kevin Smith putting at 5.

June, 5 week team handicap League (modeled after San Diego's Morley Field League run by Snapper Pierson) starts at Lake Shore Park sponsors Shoot the Breeze Disc Golf Club (Tom Mote), Dry Dock (Lori Woodard), Discraft (Jim Kenner) and Millennium (Mike Mote). World’s Biggest shirts with iron on decals were given out.

July Scrambles at Lake Shore. Tom hauls 4 baskets to Hall of Chains run by Steve Hill.

 Tom Re-proposes course at Ashtabula Township Board Meeting.

August Ashtabula Township Board (Bambi Paulchel, Frank Frye, and Ron Bianco) say no to disc golf permanently but can set up temp.

September Tom Buy's 8 more Mach 3's and Mike buys 1, feeling the park is about to buy into disc golf.

October 28 1998 NEO GLO thro 18 holes.  Our first tourney at Lake Shore Park Bill Flynn did the stamp (cartoon guy throwing disc) for the glow discs. Tom Made a color stamp of Lake Shore Park (old 9-hole design #8 now mound by white tee of #4 with Theo putting at a mach 3 and bridge pond and duck house in the background) on 26 white XD's.  We used the Tourist Pavilion.  54 people attended. Dan Kilgore and Mike Stonestreet won. Debi and Tom took the glow sticks and parted.

November Tom Again tries to get Ashtabula Township Board to install a disc golf course at Lake Shore Park.

December Answer" NO"' they say "Go to Cedarquist, so Tom Designs Cedarquist.

1999 Proposes Cedarquist at Ashtabula Township Board Meeting .Answer is NO, but I can set up temp. course again at LSP. January Tom  Goes on winter vacation to Charlotte, Augusta Play in Ice Bowl run by Brian Graham, Columbia, Palm Bay, Orlando, Daytona, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Plays in Florida Triple Crown run by Bob Lewis gets individually named sponsor disc.

June Mike Tom and Lori Run Handicap League.  Sponsors Gina’s Designs, Frenchy’s, DGA, Shoot the Breeze Disc Golf Club, Millennium. Tom Gets 200 discs from the DGA with course Map Stamp. Lots of late and no-shows. Tom who has been loading the baskets in his S-10 and  hauling them to Lake Shore Park  unloading them, setting them up , playing then loading them back hauling them home and unloading go to monthly park board meetings is getting more impatient We, Dee Cole, Billye Lynch, Tom Mote, Mike Mote Rick Woodworth Gina Massi Ryan Pierson Dan Mote starts a petition to get the course permanently installed.

 Sept with many discers, Tom  Mote, Ivan Schwarz, Chris Peters,  Reggy Woodworth,  Bill Woodworth,  Billye Lynch,  Ryan Pierson,  Kevin Smith  in attendance. Tom turns in 350 names at the board meeting. Then the ultimatum, “Either install it or forget it.”

October Tom conducts 18-hole scrambles at Kiwanis. Tim Harrison drowns.

November The Tim Harrison Benefit Chris Peters, Ivan Schwarz Kevin Smith, Dan, Tom and Mike Mote Rick Woodworth and Ryan Pierson Dan Mote help Squire Shoppe Bakery and Lucy Hensley. Tom Mote sponsors. $400 dollars raised. Tom Mote calls for a meeting to officially form STBDGC  (course designer/Promoter) Tom Mote, (President) Mike Mote, (VP) Ivan Schwarz, (secretary)  Chris Peters, (webmaster) Gina Massi, (photographer) Lori Woodard,( youth) Rick Woodworth, (Treas.) Kevin Smith, (youth) Ryan Pierson, and Dan Mote were the official founding members .

December  Lake Shore Park Board Bambi Paulchel, Mike Wayman, and Ron Bianco voted to let us install 18 holes at Lake Shore Park and finance the anchors and tee signs we had to provide liability insurance and sign a 1 year contract. GINA GOT OUR WEB SITE UP.

 2000 February Tom Goes to Puerto Rico to install an 18-hole course on a Banana Plantation “The Bad Banana Ranch." Ed Headrick and wife Farina come to help Billy Elkin get the 1st basket course on the island. While there Tom and Ed appear on TV, Radio, Newspaper, and Magazine.

April Tee Signs and course map were made for LSP by Tom and Dan Mote Ivan Cut and drilled the poles Mike, Tom, Dan, Ivan, and Chris installed the Anchors. Ivan, Chris, Tom and Dan made the TEE bricks. Tom and Dan assembled the Baskets Mike Tom Dan Rick Ryan Ivan and Chris installed the baskets and bricks.

May "Grand Opener"  Kevin Stewart wins aces #14 and sets low score for blues at 48. Spring Gina’s Designs,  A.M.S.,  Innova,  Lightning Golf Discs,  Jefferson Geriatric and  Millennium get full signs. Plasticolors gets a half sign.

"Spring Fling" Rosanne Maley gets Marketing our Schools, Chamber of Commerce, Leadership, Millennium as sponsors.  Makes Banners.  Laura Lilly makes brochures and member cards. World’s Biggest: Bambi votes for $350 for live radio broadcast

 June Leagues Scrambles.  Mike brings Leadership Ashtabula to disc golf at LSP.

Oct Mike directs Halloween Singles. Brian Casey wins.

Nov. We take down course at Lake Shore and let Bill King use the baskets.

Dec. Mike and Ivan Sign another 1 year contract.

2001 Mike Mote Pres, Ivan Schwarz Vice, BJ Kirk Treasurer, Chris Peters Secretary of STB.

May Mike does a Public Service Announcement on WFUN 97 AM promoting disc golf at Lake Shore Park. Gina works Family Affair at Kent State promoting disc golf.  Gina Hosts a World’s Biggest. Tom runs a team tourney. Tom, Bill Flynn, and Jim Nestor Win with 8 under from the blues.

June Mike directs The Disc golf Diner Shoot the Breeze Open, our first C Tier sanctioned P.G.D.A. (Professional Disc Golf Association) event Rosanne made banners. J. Gary Dropcho from Pittsburg wins. It was part of the Can-Am series. Mike runs Handicap League.

Tom runs spring summer fall scrambles.

August Mike hosts Leadership.

Sept Mike runs fall league.

Oct Mike runs "Throw in the Dark" tourney.

Dec Mike and Ivan sign another 1 year contract with Ashtabula Township Park Commission.

2002 Mike Mote Pres, Ivan Schwarz VP, BJ Kirk Treas., Chris Peters Secretary.

June Mike runs The Discraft Shoot the Breeze Open B tier. Sponsors were PlayAll Sports, Community Care, A.M.S., Gina's Designs, Official Disc Source and Subway.  Bill Flynn does hole #16 artwork with sponsorship circle including individuals for disc stamp.   22 hole design!  Some people upset with 2 of the new holes for being unfair and too rough! With final 9 Eric Vandenberg from Toronto Canada wins.

 Spring through fall scrambles run by Tom.

Oct Tom, Reggy Woodworth, and Dave Martin run Hootenanny at Pine Lane Tom does duck disc stamp. Lightning discs and Lipton, A.M.S.  Wendy’s, Gotta Go Gotta Throw sponsor, %150 payout.  "Farmyard" jams the night away. Heavy D Bill Flynn and Reggy Woodworth win.  Dave gets television and newspaper exposure.  Plain Dealer comes to Lake Shore to see what disc golf is all about, write favorable article with a picture of Tom Teeing #18.

2003  Jan.  Kevin Smith is president, Ivan Schwarz Vice and Treasurer Chris Peters Secretary of STB Dave Martin directs Ice Bowl @ pine Lane.  $1600 raised for Leukemia victim.  63 people play.

April Sims Park disc golf grand opener.

May World’s Biggest by Gina.

June Bill Flynn directs DSTBO B tier. Tom draws concentric circle Chain PDGA logo disc stamp. Discraft, Squire Shoppe, A.M.S.,  Glotzbecker's BP,  Pizza Villa,  Gina’s Designs Sponsor.  Kevin McCoy from Oklahoma wins. We played Young’s Run on Sunday. Cloud design for "Disc Gusting Pale Ale." Players party at Kevin Smith's home.

Tom runs spring through fall Scrambles. Kevin Smith brings out Media Magic to do a segment on disc golf for the Ashtabula Cable News Network.

July Tom runs Light the Lift Bridge. Tom Mote and Mike Woodworth collaborate on Lift Bridge Sponsor Players disc stamp. AMS is major sponsor, Army Navy Store sponsors.  Raises $418. Tom Mote, Reggy and Rick Woodworth win with a 12 under par 42!

Tom runs 8 week handicap league with CTP and round 9. Innova Sponsors. Use Neil's Cloud design for discs

Sept Tom directs Sticky Fingers Doubles. Some dudes from Sims win.

Dec Reggy and Mike Sign a 1 year Contract and they approve 18 tee pads.

2004 Mike Mote is Pres and Reggy Woodworth is VP. of STB.  Ivan becomes Treasurer and Chris Peters is continuing to do an outstanding job as Secretary

 February Tom and Jim Brownfield run an Ice Bowl @ Rigel's Retreat (Jim Brownfield's house). $350 raised Memorials by Behm and Jefferson Medical Associates sponsor.

April 18 Concrete tee pads and 2 alternate pins 3 & 13 installed. Ivan Schwarz, Chris Peters, Kurt Schwarz, Mike Mote, Tom Mote, Reggy Woodworth, and Dano Olsen and the park maintenance crew get the job done.  DGA, AMS,  Billy King, Jeff Rzepka, Memorials by Behm,  Steve Pavik, Nemeth's Lounge,  Mike and Gina Mote,  Ashtabula Township Park Board,  Tom Mote, STBDGC,  Reggy, Rick, and Mike Woodworth,  Sidley, Jefferson Medical Associates,  Jeff Rzepka,  Concord Disc Golf,  Mike Podmore all sponsor bricks.

May Gina World’s biggest.

June Mike directs DSTBO B tier. Tom Mote adds to Neil Harrison's Cloud design for disc stamp. Discraft, Squire Shoppe Bakery, Capos Pizza, Trilogy, JD Byryder, A.M.S.,  Gina's Designs, Memorials by Behm, Jefferson Medical Assoc. sponsor. Ivan and Chris make new Scoreboard.  Tony Gerling from Columbus wins, sets low score from sign round to short pins at 11 under.  Media Magic video's the Final 9 for the Ashtabula Cable Network.  Can Coolers were sponsored by Gina Mote. Reggy Woodworth runs 8 week handicap league .Shoot the Breeze doubles disc dollars.

Tom runs spring through fall scrambles

September Mike runs Sticky Fingers Doubles. Tom Mote and Jeff Rzepka win. Innova sponsored. Use Cloud design for discs.

October Tom installs long pin placements on 5 & 17.

November Leave pins in all year.

December Club votes to have all course design changes approved by club. Sign a 1 year contract with the park.

2005 Mike Mote is Pres, Reggy Woodworth Vice, Ivan Schwarz Treas., and Chris Peters Secretary of STB.

 January Tom run winter scrambles at LSP.

February Tom directs the 1st Ice Bowl at LSP Tom. Ivan wins.  $75 raised for Meals on WHEELS.

MAY WORLD’S BIGGEST by Gina. Tom, Matt Hecker, and Ivan Install long pins on 5 and 17.

June Mike runs DSTBO Discraft.  DGA,  Neil Harrison Fantasy Art (cloud inhaling disc stamp),  Screen Dream by Paul Groszkiewicz,  Wireless Solutions by Shelly,  Gina's Designs, Lightning Golf Discs,  Gotta Go Gotta Throw,  K-Mart, Squire Shoppe Bakery, Tom Mote sponsor. Ben Botte wins in sudden death.  Huge ring of fire with lots of prizes given away. Tie Dye t-shirts and super color discs were made for the tourney.

Larry Jennings becomes PR director for STB.  Reggy Woodworth starts Handicap League. Innova sponsors.  Use Cloud Design

July 20 More Tee Pads scheduled to go in. Sponsors: Sidley with 1/2 of the concrete. DGA,  AMS,  Lyondell,  Jeff Rzepka,  Memorials by Behm,  Verzella Family, Bill Flynn,  Tom Mote,  Lee Cash,  Knez Homes, Larry Jennings,  Concord Disc Golf, Paul Groszkiewicz, Wireless Solutions by Shelly, C&R Auto Sales, Your Special Place.

Current and past members of STB: Tom Mote, Mike Mote, Dan Mote, Theo Mote, Chandra Mote, Gina Mote, Scarlett Raub, Ivan Schwarz, Kevin Smith, Lori Woodard, BJ Kirk, Chris Peters, Stacy Kirk, Rosanne Maley, Ken Deken, Doug Deken, Mike Woodworth, Reggy Woodworth, Rick Woodworth, Ryan Pierson, Vince Aldorosi, Sal Aldorosi, Ralo, Kelly, Larry Jennings, Mike Podmore, Steve Pavik, Tammy Higham, and Bramlett Johnson, Laura Lilly, Pepper King, Marty Niemi, Dave Bevan, Jim Brownfield, Larry Rizzo, Matt Hecker, the Kish family(3) Bill Flynn, Dano Olsen, Lee Cash, Rick ,Jake Lind, Dave Martin, Pat Yost, Mark Kane, Paul Groszkiewicz, Danny Martin, 2 other kids from Pine Lane, AJ Homansky, Jason Puffenbarger, Mark Verzella , Brian Baird, Ben Sutterlin, Dan Sutterlin, Boz Lomasney, Eric Bell, Don Hobbs, Mark Verzella, Brain Baird and PK Deaner.