Congratulations John Bird Well deserved! !!
Introducing the 2017 Disc Golf Hall of Fame Inductees
For the first time since the inaugural event in 1993, the Disc Golf Hall of Fame (DGHOF) and the Professional Disc Golf Association will conduct the 2017 DGHOF Induction Ceremony during the 2017 National Tour Elite Series finale event, the Ed Headrick Hall of Fame Classic (HOFC). The tour-ending HOFC will be held on October 13-15 at the International Disc Golf Center (IDGC) in Appling, Georgia, with the induction ceremony taking place on Saturday, October 14th at the IDGC at approximately 6:00pm.
The Disc Golf Hall of Fame is an independent organization dedicated to the promotion of disc golf, its premier pioneers, and players. It was founded in 1993 by Lavonne Wolfe #580 of Huntsville, Alabama. Lavonne also created what is now known as the Headrick Memorial Museum, a collection of memorabilia that help describe the history of our sport, now housed at IDGC alongside of the Hall. The DGHOF celebrates contributors whose passion for disc golf transcends personal gain. Being voted into the DGHOF is considered the highest honor in the world of disc golf. Curtailing on the recent announcement from the Disc Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors, we are proud to introduce the newest inductees.
Disc Golf Hall of Fame - Class of 2017
Des Reading #15863
HOMETOWN: Woodward, Iowa
HOME: Wimberley, Texas
- Joined PDGA in 1999; Eagle Club Member
- Professional player since 2001
- 4X PDGA World Champion (FPO: 2002, 2005, 2006, FPM: 2016)
- 5X PDGA United States Women’s Champion (2002, 2003, 2004) (2012, 2013 FPM)
- 3X PDGA Mixed Doubles Champion (2002, 2006, 2007)
- 2X US Masters Women's Champion (2013, 2017)
- 200+ Professional Career Wins
- 30 PDGA National Tour Wins
- 4X PDGA PDGA Player of the Year (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006)
- PDGA Bob West Sportsmanship Award (2014)
- PDGA EDGE Award (2004) for excellence in disc golf education
- ‘Steady’ ED Spirit of the Game (2007)
- Iowa Disc Golf Hall of Fame (2013)
- Captain of Innova’s Women’s Team (2006-present)
- Member of Team USA in the President's Cup
EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES:
- Leads free disc golf skills clinics open to the public (average 25 clinics each year with an average of 50 participants per event)
- Leads school, youth and in-service disc golf training sessions. These events have reached tens of thousands of youths. Outreached to over 3,000 youths internationally (Australia)
- Instructs teachers and other youth leaders in ways to implement disc golf into their educational curriculum. Training includes technique, terminology, history of the sport with physics, mathematics and environmental lessons along with course considerations. Goal is to provide educators with the knowledge and understanding of the disc so that they can comfortably pass it on to their students.
- Community Disc Golf Awareness Days or Galas- these events are free to the public and included take home golf disc, clinics and instructional stations to promote disc golf and the community’s neighborhood course.
- • Attends annual Physical Educational Conferences to promote the lifetime activity of disc golf
- Created a ‘golden ticket’ program to help promote the USWDGC (2002-2008)
- Part of the 2004 World Championships Planning Team
- Core Committee for the 2011 USWDGC
- Co-host of the Disc Golf Cruises duties included check-in, hospitality, course set-up, entertainment and clinics
- TD of Charity Ching events benefitting multiple non-profits (1998-present)
- Co-TD of Texas Collegiate Disc Golf Championships (2012-present)
- Administration of EDGE Skill Shot Challenge at the PDGA AM and Pro World Championships (2004-present)
- EDGE founding member and curriculum developer (2002-present)
HOW AND WHEN SHE BEGAN PLAYING DISC GOLF:
I originally played disc golf in 1992 as a way to enjoy the outdoors, friends and as a break from the rigors of college studies and athletics. I was a Division 1 softball pitcher at the University of Northern Iowa. Armed with one disc and a slew of friends that included Jay Reading, my future husband, I would regularly ride my bike down to play Tourist Park in Cedar Falls, IA. I realized that disc golf was a wonderful lifetime activity that could be enjoyed by all, and that it saved green space in neighborhood communities.
I am passionate about both of these aspects that are naturally highlighted by disc golf and continue to promote and play today because of these characteristics. I joined the PDGA in 1999, while attending a SuperTour event at which a PDGA membership was required. With the knowledge and guidance of Duster Don Hoffman (HOF Class of 2011), I became a vested PDGA member.
I would later meet Glen Whitlock and be introduced to other disciplines of Frisbee sports. After winning my first World Championship in 2002, Legends World Champion Ted Williams came up to me with a kiss and these words, “You will make a fine a world champion and it is a world champion you will always be from this day forward.” I strive to uphold that statement and use my world championships as a platform to promote disc golf, help communities recreate, teach the lifetime benefits of disc golf and encourage educators to implement disc golf into their curriculum.
May we all fly so free.
Brian Graham #5861
HOMETOWN: Augusta, GA
- Brian Hoeniger
- Harold Duvall
- Lavone Wolfe
- John David
- Patti Kunkle
- Tom Monroe
STATEMENT OF PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS:
To efficiently and effectively promote our game and to work with others to help move our sport into the mainstream.
DISC GOLF ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
- Founder of the Augusta Disc Golf Association (1991)
- Founder of the Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic NT Event (2003)
- Founder of the PDGA International Disc Golf Center (2007)
- Instituted addition of disc golf as a sport in the Georgia State Games Championships
- PDGA Region 8 Coordinator (1999-2003)
- PDGA International Disc Golf Center committee chairman (2003-2007)
- PDGA National Tour committee member (2003)
- PDGA Operations Marshal / Rules Official
- PDGA liaison to the USDGC
- PDGA liaison to Deaf Disc Golf Association (initiated first PDGA sanctioning of DDGA Nationals)
- Hired as PDGA Executive Director in April 2007
- TD – Augusta Disc Golf Classic (PDGA SuperTour)
- TD – Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic (PDGA National Tour)
- TD - 1996 PDGA Amateur Disc Golf World Championships (PDGA Major)
- TD – 2006 PDGA Pro Disc Golf World Championships (PDGA Major)
- TD – 2010 Tim Selinske U.S. Masters Championship (PDGA Major)
- TD – United States Disc Golf Championship (PDGA Major)
- PDGA #5861 (joined in 1990)
- Board Member - Greater Augusta Sports Council
- Board Member - Pendleton King Park Commission
- Advisory Committee – United States Sports Congress
- Member – National Association of Sports Commissions
- Member – National Council of Youth Sports
- Lake Olmstead Park - (Augusta, GA)
- Riverview Park - (North Augusta, SC)
- Pendleton King Park improvements - (Augusta, GA)
- Patriots Park - (Columbia County, GA)
- Odell Weeks Park & Perry Park - (Aiken, SC)
- Depot Disc Golf Course (Sandersville, GA)
- PDGA International Disc Golf Center (Appling, GA)
HOW AND WHEN HE BEGAN PLAYING DISC GOLF:
Introduced to disc golf in 1989 at Pendleton King Park by friends who were all-around competitors.
John Bird #387
HOMETOWN: Marysville, CA
DISC SPORT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
- Widely seen as the most notable promoter and organizer of disc sports in Colorado and beyond
- Created the United Flyers of Sonoma. Coming out of that first core of players were Don Vaughn, Mark Dixon, John Wright, Gail Rose, Michelle Pezzolli, Buddy Steele, Mike Esterbrook and Cybil Perkins to name a few.
- Co-Tournament Director of the Nor-Cal IFA tournament in 1976
- Has designed or consulted in the development of over a dozen disc golf courses in Colorado
- Mile-High Disc Golf Club
HOW AND WHEN HE BEGAN PLAYING DISC GOLF (SPORTS):
"I distinctly remember the day I first had the pleasure and experience of throwing my first pluto platter. I was walking through the neighborhood in west Marysville, CA. when we came across two brothers in the neighborhood throwing a plastic disc back and forth to one another. It looked like a lot of fun and just by chance an errant throw landed by my feet and like anyone would do, I picked it up and flew it back to them. There was an immediate rush of excitement that I hadn’t experienced while throwing a ball.
That was in 1960 and it wasn’t until about 3 years later that I would purchase my next Frisbee to get that feeling of excitement and pleasure from something so simple. From that time on I always carried a flying disc of some sort or had one somewhere close by. Through high school, I would throw a disc around, trying new throws and catches with anybody who would fly around with me.
As time went on, I continued to play with a disc more and more often and the passion got stronger as I spent more time playing and creating new skills. Starting Jr. College in 1969, I found myself throwing on the open lawns between classes with anyone willing to play catch. In 1970 I entered one distance throwing competition on campus that I won with a thumb throw probable distance of around 210 feet."