CHRONOLOGY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS BY PITTSBURGH FLYING DISC SOCIETY AND IT’S PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
1980-1984 -- Citiparks Regional Supervisor Vince Hurley runs Junior Frisbee
Contests for kids sponsored by Wham-O.
October 1981 -- PFDS begins as an informal group of Frisbee enthusiasts and
holds a tournament in Point State Park with Double Disc Court,
Maximum Time Aloft, Distance and Freestyle competitions.
October 1982 -- Pittsburgh Flying Disc tournament held at CMU and Flagstaff Hill
with competitions in Ultimate, Disc Golf and Freestyle. Henry Thorne and Marcus
Wittich are tournament directors.
August 1983 -- Citiparks and Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society hosts Keystone State
Flying Disc Championships at Schenley Park with Distance, MTA, Freestyle, and
Golf competions. Dave Bikerman and Marcus Wittich are tournament directors.
Summer 1983 -- Jay Cohen organizes the first season for the Pittsburgh Summer
Ultimate League with 8 teams participating. PFDS continues to organize Pittsburgh
Summer Ultimate with Todd Williams and Steve Neuman as Commissioners until
1989 when Ultimate spins off as its own club, eventually to become Community
for Pittsburgh Ultimate.
1983, 1985 -- Steve Kohman, Henry Thorne and Marcus Wittich propose a disc golf
course, first in Frick Park, then at Flagstaff Hill, to Citiparks' Vince Hurley.
April 1984 -- Pittsburgh hosts its first Professional Disc Golf Association
tournament on a temporary course in Frick Park. Steve Kohman is tournament
director, and wins the tournament on a long downhill putt on the last hole.
July 1984 -- PFDS works with Citiparks to put on the Hacky Sack and Frisbee
Festival at Point State Park. Thousands participate in flying disc and footbag
games including disc golf on a 6-pole hole demonstration course. J. Gary Dropcho
is tournament director.
1985-1986 -- Citiparks and PFDS run Junior Frisbee Contests and Hacky Sack and
Frisbee Festivals at Point State Park and Schenley Park.
Fall 1986 -- Vince Hurley gains Citiparks approval and $9,300 Hunt Foundation funding for
a disc golf course in Schenley Park. Steve Kohman designs the layout with help
from Keith Clark, Red Whittington and John David from the Disc Golf Association.
March 1988 -- Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society officially founded. Founding Board members
include Teri Breier, Keith Clark, Gary Dropcho, Joe Enck, Steve Kohman, Mark Licata
and Todd Williams.
April 1988 -- Citiparks employees and PFDS volunteers install 18 Mach II poleholes and tee
signs in Schenley Park.
July 1988 -- Combined Junior Frisbee Contest, Hacky Sack and Frisbee Festival and
Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open held at Schenley Park Disc Golf course to christen
new facility. Keith Clark is tournament director.
October 1988 -- PFDS hosts Ironwood Open disc golf tournament at Schenley Park. Keith Clark
is tournament director.
November 1988 -- PFDS hosts Ultimate Players Association Mid-Atlantic
Regional tournament at sites around Pittsburgh and Hampton Township.
April 1989 – Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open held at Schenley Park. PFDO is part of
Can-Am Series for the first time. Steve Kohman is tournament director.
June 1990 – PFDS raises $1034 for the American Diabetes Association with a
“Throw for Diabetes” event at Schenley Park organized by Steve Kohman.
April 1990-92 -- PFDS sets up a temporary course at Hampton Community Park
and hosts kick-off event of the Can-Am Series. Fields swell to 120 players. Keith
Clark is tournament director.
May 1992 – PFDS hosts a World’s Biggest Disc Golf Weekend for the first time at
Schenley Park. Curtis Spence gets CJ Barney’s/Hemmingways Cafe and Zelda’s
Greenhouse in Oakland as title sponsors of the event in subsequent years. J. Gary
Dropcho organizes the event annually until Rex Nordheimer takes it over in 2000.
August 1992 – PFDS president J. Gary Dropcho challenges the club to raise the
money to buy a disc golf course and donate it to a park that is willing to be a
partner/host for a disc golf facility. A committee including Chairman Steve
Kohman, Keith Clark, Lynn Giroux, Michael Novara, Mark Daniels, Curtis
Spence, Red Whittington, Bob Pollak, Henry and Karen Thorne and Scott Johnson
send proposals to over 20 municipal and county parks and recreation departments,
make follow-up phone calls and meet with parks representatives.
September 1992 – Marshall Township Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee
votes to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that a disc golf course be made
the top priority for 1993 capital improvement in the parks. Committee Chair
Carolyn Volk champions the cause.
January 1994 – Marshall Township Manager Neil McFadden tours PFDS
members around the grounds of Knob Hill Park in his SUV. Members show him
the potential for a great course with throws on what would become Hole #9.
March 1994 – J. Gary Dropcho proposes the design for Knob Hill Course. Steve
Kohman, Keith Clark, Michael Novara, Lynn Giroux and others contribute to its
eventual form. Marshall Township workers and PFDS volunteers clear brush and
stake tee and basket locations.
June 1994 – J. Gary Dropcho works with Marshall Township crew to dig the holes
and set the basket anchors and tee signs.
July 1994 – Keith Clark and Michael Novara assemble and install the baskets.
PFDS volunteers dig tee boxes and set the tee boards. Nelson Bennett constructs
and installs the tee signs.
August 1994 – Marshall Township Community Day, intended to showcase the
new disc golf course, is cancelled because of torrential rains. The disc golfers, take
shelter and wait optimistically. The sun reappears in the afternoon, and an official
ribbon cutting ceremony his held with Parks committee members Arleen Lipsman
and Mary Ann Salzman.
November 1994 -- PFDS volunteers set B pin anchors and layout blue tees at
June 1995 -- PFDS hosts Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open at Knob Hill after a two
year hiatus. Tournament layout uses A and B pins and White tees the first year.
June 1996-2000 -- PFDO grows in popularity and stature on the PDGA tour as
layout expands to 7300’. Keith Clark and J. Gary Dropcho are co-tournament
May 1996 – Carrick High School teachers Dan Tyger, Russ Peters, Larry Jackson,
and J. Gary Dropcho help students design, get approval for, construct and install
baskets and tee markers for a nine hole course in Phillips Park. Mike Gable from
Pittsburgh Public Works and Citiparks provided use of land and tools.
December 1997 -- Based on presentations and groundwork done by Rex
Nordheimer, Monroeville Township agrees to put in a nine hole disc golf course in
Monroeville Park. Rex designs a layout and leads the fundraising effort to buy the
course and tee signs.
March 1998 -- Hunt Foundation funds $5000 grant written by J. Gary Dropcho to
install concrete tee pads and tee signs on new Recreational (Red) tees, concrete tee
pads on existing White tees at Schenley Park, and two park benches. Pittsburgh
Citiparks and Public Works Directors Duane Ashley and Mike Gable support the
project with a backhoe, construction materials and tools. Partners in Parks director
Myrna Antonio-Hall provides administrative help.
April 1998 -- On a day forever to be known as “Concrete Friday” (April 10,
1998), a crew of 16 PFDS members needed only eight hours to pour and finish 31
cubic yards of cement into 36 tee pads each big enough to park a VW Beetle on.
PFDS members volunteered 500 hours to plan, coordinate, install and landscape
the tees in a great example of a partnership that improved the quality and value of
our public park.
August 1998 – Rex Nordheimer and PFDS volunteers install 10 Mach 5 baskets at
Monroeville Park. Rex designs and constructs the tee signs.
August 1999 – Can-Am Cup team match play tournament is inaugurated at Knob
Hill Park. TD J. Gary Dropcho initiates format for event that is intended to be
contested each year by teams from around the Can Am region. Northern Virginia
wins the Gold Medals and the possession of the perpetual trophy until the next
year’s event. Pittsburgh, Columbus and Pittsburgh B teams compete.
April 2000 – Ironwood Open disc golf tournament is resurrected as a PDGA event
and part of the Can-Am series. J. Gary Dropcho is tournament director
April-November 2000 – After Allegheny County Department of Public Works
denied disc golf course proposals in 1994, 1998, and 1999, Tom Moeller renews
campaign for disc golf to be included in the county parks comprehensive master
plan. Moeller implements a sign-in petition at Schenley and Knob Hill courses to
document the number of people using the facilties and collects the signatures of
over 200 “playing” members of PFDS. Moeller, J. Gary Dropcho and Rex
Nordheimer testify at public meetings at North Park and Boyce Parks to advocate
for the disc golf proposal.
October 2000 – June 2001 --Marshall Township funds and installs concrete tee
pads on Knob Hill’s White tees. Public Works Director Bruce Dickson and his
crew work with J. Gary Dropcho, Keith Clark and PFDS volunteers to create 5’
x15’ grade level pads.
January 2001 – Tom Moeller and other PFDS members survey Deer Lakes Park
as a possible disc golf course site.
April 2001-2002 – Ironwood Open continues at Schenley Park with Tom Moeller
as tournament director.
June 2001 – Allegheny County consulting firm recommends a master
development plan that includes a disc golf course in Deer Lakes Park, as well as
establishing an independent recreation commission to oversee park development.
June 2002 – C pins and Recreational (Red) tees at Knob Hill designed and
installed by J. Gary Dropcho and Marcus Ranii-Dropcho.
June 2002 – PFDO field and tournament purse/value reaches Supertour status.
Keith Clark and J. Gary Dropcho are co-tournament directors and are recognized
by the Mid-Atlantic Disc Club (MADC) as Tournament Directors of the Year.
February 2003 – Western Pennsylvania Field Institute (later to be renamed
Venture Outdoors) refers inquiries by Moraine State Park about a disc golf course
to Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society. PFDS president Rex Nordheimer and board
member Keith Clark meet with park Supervisor Obie Derr who tells PFDS they’d
like to partner with PFDS on a course and to survey the park for a suitable site.
April 2003-2004 – Ironwood Open continues at Schenley Park with Rob Johnson
as tournament director. Indiana Open inaugurated in April 2003, with Michael
Dropcho as tournament director. Ironwood and Indiana held as two one-day events
and nicknamed IO
June 2003 -- Full field at PFDO reached for first time with a $10,000 purse. Keith
Clark and J. Gary Dropcho are co-tournament directors and are again recognized
by the Mid-Atlantic Disc Club (MADC) as Tournament Directors of the Year.
February-April 2004 – Leo Liller, Bryan Wright, and Tim Wright locate the
eventual site for the Lakeview course at Moraine State Park. Chris Deitzel and
Keith Clark join the survey. J. Gary Dropcho joins the design team after hip
May 2004-October 2004 – Volunteers work with DCNR and State Correctional
Facility inmate crews to clear fairways and greens. Collaborative design work
September 2004 – The A Team of PFDS members win the 6th annual
Can Am Cup Team Match Play championship held at Brown’s Farm for the first
time. KB Clark, J. Gary Dropcho, Greg Meitus, Tom Moeller, Mike Speaker and Tim
Wright win tons of matches and defeat Buzzy Chains for the Gold Medals and
possession of the Can Am Cup trophy. The trophy is displayed in the
Ralph Kaiser Trophy Room at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum for one year.
November 2004 – PFDS volunteers turn out on three successive weekends to
install anchors, assemble baskets and put Mach 3 baskets in the ground at Moraine
December 2004 – PFDS celebrates raising $8000 to pay for baskets at Moraine
State park by holding the first tournament at Lakeview disc golf course. Carl
Vesch wins the “Over the Top” event by shooting 60 from the White tees.
April 2005 – Club agrees to move Ironwood Open to Knob Hill Park to avoid
conflicting use problems at Schenley, and to give amateurs opportunity to play
Knob Hill in 2005, as the PFDO is planned to be a pro only warm up to the PDGA
Pro Worlds to be held in Allentown, PA in July 2005.
August 2005 – Tom Moeller coordinates a meeting with Allegheny County Park
officials at Deer Lakes Park to discuss the potential site for an 18-hole
championship disc golf course. Andy Baechle, Clarence Hopson and Mike Dutch
from Allegheny County Parks meet with Tom, Dan Sauers, Jason Plunkett, and J.
Gary Dropcho. The group walk proposed areas around Blue Gill pavilion and the
upper fishing lake and conclude a handshake agreement to proceed with a
partnership in which Allegheny County will purchase the course hardware, and
PFDS will donate design services and volunteer labor to clear and install the
course. The project timeline is 2006.
September 2005 – Pittsburgh Flying Disc Society A Team becomes the first team
to repeat as Can Am Cup winners with the exact same roster. KB Clark, J. Gary
Dropcho, Greg Meitus, Tom Moeller, Mike Speaker and Tim Wright have their
names engraved a second time on the perpetual trophy which returns to the
Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum trophy room for another year. Team Ohio
wins the Silver medals. Pittsburgh B team narrowly misses playing for the Bronze
medals with a strong performance that helps the A team get into the Gold medal
December 2005 – PFDS members Tom Moeller, Dan Sauers, and J. Gary Dropcho
meet with Andy Baechle at Deer Lakes to walk a proposed routing of 18 holes.
Andy affirms that he wants “the best course” possible including whatever targets,
tee signs, and tee pads the club recommends. Andy commits to ordering baskets
early in 2006, and all agree to forge ahead with design and clearing work to
commence early in Spring 2006.
May-August 2006 – Design, clearing and installation on the Deer Lakes course
proceeds. A par-66 layout is developed with three sets of tees rated at 950 (Blue),
900 (White) and 850 (Red). J. Gary Dropcho, Tom Moeller and Dan Sauers lead
the design team. Hole for the front nine anchors are dug by Allegheny County
Parks workers and J. Gary, and 9 PFDS volunteers cement the anchors in place on
July 29. County workers dig the holes for the back nine on August 22 and 11
PFDS volunteers cemt the pins in place four days later.
August 5-6 2006 – PFDS foregoes running a World’s Biggest Disc Golf Weekend
and instead concentrates on two promotional opportunities at the Regatta at Lake
Arthur and West Deer Community Days. Jerry and Marie Gotcher lead the effort
at Moraine State Park, setting up a beginner course near the practice basket, giving
lessons and info about the sport. Tom Moeller and Dan Sauers promote the new
Deer Lakes course at West Deer Community Days with a temp course and info
booth at Bairdford Park.
September 27, 2006 -- More that 840 volunteer man hours spent proposing,
clearing, designing and installing the Deer Lakes course culminate in the Mach 3
baskets being assembled, welded with a County Parks brand, and locked in their
anchors. First rounds are played on the baskets on September 27.
September 30, 2006 -- Bryan Wright hosts the fifth and final event of the 2006
Steel City Championship Series at Knob Hill Park. The second year of the series
featured events at Schenley, Monroeville, Moraine, Phillips and Knob Hill courses
and raised approximately $500 for on its course construction projects.
October 6-7, 2006 -- 7 PFDS volunteers build two foot bridges to cross ravines on
#11 at Deer Lakes, and continue clearing work on the back nine.
October 7, 2006 -- Job Ebel runs a fundraising tournament at Schenley Park to
benefit Asbury Heights, a faith-based continuing care community in Mt. Lebanon.
October 28, 2006 -- the first tournament held on the Deer Lakes course featured
high school and middle school players from around the county in the final event of
a series of 4 tournaments that began in September. The Scholastic Championship
was first held in 1995 at Phillips Park by students at Carrick High School and has
grown to include events and players from around Allegheny County.
March 2007 -- PFDS members elected representatives to the club's board of
directors for a 2-year term: K. B. Clark, President; Scott McIntyre, Secretary;
Steve Kohman, Treasurer; Greg Meitus, Communications Director; Michael Hoeg,
Membership Director; J. Gary Dropcho, Course Superintendent; Jerry Gotcher,
Director-at-Large; Jeremiah Libby, Director-at-Large; Sid Olcott, Director-atLarge.
May 3-4, 2007-- PFDS participates in the club sponsorship program for the
Pennsylvania State Disc Golf Championship, hosted by Indiana Disc Links
Association at the IUP College Lodge course. PFDS sends 10 of its members to
compete for bids to the United States Disc Golf Championship, the US Amateur
Disc Golf Championship and the US Womens Disc Golf Championships. A full
field of 90 players compete on a new 7625-foot par 61 layout featuring B pins.
Tournament Director Michael Dropcho, Assistant TD Kurt Poole, IDLA members
Keith Hernandez and Bryan Schlemmer run a state championship worth $6000 in
purse money, prizes and trophies.
February 27, 2008 -- Schenley Park course promoter Scott Heintzleman and
PFDS course superintendent J. Gary Dropcho met with Pittsburgh Parks and
Recreation Director Duane Ashley and agreed on a partnership proposal to
renovate the 20 year-old Schenley Links. Mr. Ashley agreed on the spot to fund
the replacement of all the baskets on the course, repair broken tee pads and install a
split rail fence between the course and the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion. PFDS
pledged its volunteers to install the new equipment and to fund, produce and install
new signs on the Red and White tees. The work is to be completed by the end of
the summer 2008.
June 28-29, 2008 -- PFDS celebrated the 20th year of the Pittsburgh Flying Disc
Open with a PDGA A-tier tournament at Knob Hill and Moraine State Park
courses. J. Gary Dropcho and Dave Olcott direct the event that has a pro purse of
$10,000 with 127 players. Scholl’s Bicycle Center is the title sponsor and
contribute $2500 in cash and merchandise for the purse and am player packages.
Rex Trimm donates handmade glass trophies for the Men and Women Open
champions (Barry Schultz and Angela Tschiggfrie).
October 12, 2008 – Schenley Park course promoter and Wednesday League
director Scott Heintzleman leads a 20th anniversary tournament to celebrate
completion of the renovations to the course and to cap the league for the year.
Highlight include a catered lunch for the players, trophies and prizes for the league
and scholastic winners, and congratulations to volunteers who helped install new
pin placements on each hole, renovate tee signs, and replace old Mach 2 baskets
with new Mach 3 targets paid for by Citiparks.
February 14, 2009 – PFDS Treasurer Dave Kuhrt, and Kristen Scopaz lead the Ice
Bowl tournament at Schenley Park to benefit the Pittsburgh Community Food
Bank. The club raised $1265 and collected 259 food items. Mark Prestopnik, Sid
Olcott, Brian Grace, Scott Heintzleman and Jeff Stanek assist.
March 14, 2009 -- Work commences on the concrete tee pad project at Deer
Lakes, a joint effort between PFDS and Allegheny County Parks and Recreation.
Footers are dug and tie walls begun on holes #1, 10 and 11.
July 2009 -- Knob Hill Park course promoters Scott Hartle and Keith Clark and
Lifetime member Chris Deitzel complete Blue and Red tee upgrades at Knob Hill
disc golf course. Asphalt aggregate bases are spread and tamped for final
installation of recycled rubber Flypads on the Blue tees. Tee signs are installed to
mark Red tee locations.
August 20, 2009 – Work commences on installing 54 recycled rubber tee mats on
crushed limestone bases at the Lakeview Course in Moraine State Park. The joint
effort between PFDS and Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources (DCNR)
completes the White, Blue and Gold tee pads on Holes 1 and 2.
September 19, 2009 – Over 1000 volunteer hours in 2009 building, pouring and
finishing concrete tee pads on the Deer Lakes Course are logged with the pouring
of 7 more Red, White and Blue tee pads on Holes 2, 14 and 15. Only ten pads
remain to be completed in Spring 2010.
Dan Sauers, Josh Charlton, Jason Plunkett, Scott McIntyre, J. Gary Dropcho,
Jerry Gotcher, KB Clark, Scott Hartle, Sid Olcott, Dave Olcott, Dave Kuhrt, Brian
Grace, Chris Deitzel, Lori Merriman, Scott Heintzleman, Jon Ebel, Pete Dawida,
Albert Theobald, Craig McCloud, Matt McMillan, Tim Wright, Kristy Alanna
Poole, Kurt Poole, Jim Wilson, Dave Wagner, Dave Walker, Ron Hosek, Curtis
Spence, Don Altmyer, Robin White, Brad Cirelli, Marcus Ranii Dropcho were
among the volunteers that Lakeview Course Promoter Jerry Gotcher referred to
when he declared 2009 to be The Year of the Mule.
November 22, 2009 – Work is declared completed on 54 tee pads at Moraine State
Park. PFDS purchased Fly18 Flypads and volunteers worked with DCNR staff to
level and tamp crushed limestone bases before installing Flypads. Additional
landscaping around tee areas planned for Spring 2010
Tom Baumgartner, Dave Wagner, Jim Wilson, Jack McCullogh, KB Clark,
Chris Deitzel, Jason Gibson, Lori Merriman, Jenn Johnstone, Bryan Schlemmer,
Mike Hoeg, Jerry Gotcher, J. Gary Dropcho, Scott Hartle, Dave Kuhrt, Leo Liller,
Dave Muchicko were among the volunteers that Lakeview Course Promoter Jerry
Gotcher referred to when he declared 2009 to be The Year of the Mule.
January 23, 2010 -- 38 participants raised $1,058 and collected 366 pounds of
food for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in the 2010 Pittsburgh Ice
Bowl. Winning fundraisers were Mark Prestopni ($161) and Craig McCloud ($125
in addition to gift certificates for the raffle!) Jeff Stanek (60 food items) and Wes
Hudson (50 food items). Condition were 50 degrees, sunny and no wind.