Taking Off in Tagaytay
Just over a year ago, a group of dedicated players in the Philippines set out to install the country's first permanent disc golf course with the goal of spreading the sport of disc golf into the community.
To date, the course — in a beautiful setting — has helped host clinics, outreach programs and competitions with the assistance of a PDGA Marco Polo grant.
Mission accomplished as disc golf is taking off in Tagaytay.
Here is the final PDGA Marco Polo grant report from Philippines Country Coordinator, Maria Luisa Bartolome #124255:
It has been a year now since the installation of the 18 hole course in the Philippines which has been funded in significant part through the PDGAs Marco Polo Program Grant under the “Road to Damascus Disc Golf Course” project. We are very grateful and blessed for the support that the PDGA has given to us. The local Fig Tree Companies on whose land the course was installed, Jon Mough #24476 who developed the proposal, and the PDGA have been instrumental in making this dream a reality. The course is located in the popular tourist district of Amadeo, Tagaytay City, Cavite Province, about 80 kms south of the national capital, Manila.
Since the course design and installation, disc golf has really started to take off in the Philippines. The PDGA Country Coordinator Luisa Bartolome together with her Team Friends Disc Golf started “the grow and share the love for disc golf sport in the Philippines project’ which is an outreach program of the Fig Tree Foundation teaching life skills to youths. The Road to Damascus Course is making a huge difference and is now enjoyed by everyone which inspires us to continue what we been doing. Aside from many Disc Golf Clinics held here, we have already hosted two tournaments, the PDGA sanctioned “PHILIPPINE OPEN 2022” and the unsanctioned “ROAD TO DAMASCUS OPEN 2022.” We are also going to conduct the first Battle of the Teens Tournament on October 8, 2022 when teenagers from different parts of the Philippines will battle for the title.
Another key related development has been the formation of the Disc Golf Association of the Philippines which is now recognized by PDGA as its affiliated national association partner.
The course is impacting a lot of lives, especially youths, and disc golf is now becoming more and more popular due to the course. Thank you PDGA for trusting in our abilities to build and sustain this project.
The area also benefited from Uplay, which teamed up with the PDGA this year in a grant-based partnership.
Here are a few testimonials from players based in the Philippines:
"Hello. Luisa Bartholome has seeded and grown a following and structure for disc golf in the Philippines with foresight and efficacy. She spreads the sport to all types of children and adults. From the first time I played disc golf with Luisa, I knew she was up to something big. Her determination, passion, and hardwork are the biggest advantages that disc golf has in the Philippines. She is already the godmother of disc golf in the Philippines. And the sport is growing out from under her efforts. Luisa both taps into existing organizations, such the ultimate Frisbee organization and the disc golf team in Davao, and new converts to the sport, like the construction crew for the course and the local NGOs. Every weekend I visit I get to experience the incredible growth of the sport. Sometimes I get asked to coach a group of teens playing their first 9 holes. Other times I am playing with new international players or joining a group of friends trying out the course for the first time. We have been to her hometown doing kids tournaments. She had me compete in my first tournament against teams and individuals flown in from all over the Philippines. And she trained me for my first time to assist in judging a tournament. Now she is guiding me as I help a friend bring disc golf to her hometown. The sport is growing and growing because of Luisa. She is also really good at disc golf. She always beats me. Luisa is an excellent Country Coordinator for Disc Golf Philippines. Thanks, Sven"
"I am an Australian expatriate and keen disc golfer living in Manila. I was recently very pleased to discover that the Philippines has a PDGA appointed disc golf coordinator. I played at the Road to Damascus for the first time on June 11. On that occasion after playing a round with me, Ms Luisa Bartolome explained her vision to improve the course, grow the game in the Philippines and reach out to underprivileged communities. Since then I have been impressed to see rapid improvements to the Road to Damascus course to make it both accessible to new players and a high quality course. I have seen a steady stream of new players, whether they be from the local community, players coming down from Manila or from charitable organizations’ serving disadvantaged people. I have also seen free disc golf clinics made available to the public each weekend. It is wonderful to regularly play at Road to Damascus, make new friends and be part of the growing and vibrant Philippine disc golf community. I have been very impressed by Luisa's commitment to the sport and the success of her efforts at Road to Damascus. Simon Reid."
The Marco Polo Program, conceived and approved by the PDGA Board of Directors in 2011, provides funding for innovative international projects that promote the growth of disc golf, and create links between the PDGA, the countries and the local disc golf communities.
For more information on the guidelines and eligibility requirements, as well as the application process, see the Marco Polo Program page.
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