Vision - The Roots of the Oregon Series and the boom of disc golf in the region
Cris and Teresa had started playing competitive disc golf events in 2000, and were quickly hooked. They had played the Eugene Celebration, the last event in the Northwest Series for that year, and indeed ever. The NW Series fell apart after that and was replaced the next year by the Oregon Series as pulled together by Mark Miller. Mark Miller discovered that he could really use some help and asked Teresa to join him in running the Series. Having recently become a disc golf addict, she jumped in. The following year, Mark backed out and Cris decided he wanted to get involved as well.
Realizing they had just taken on not only an amazing amount of work, but a greater responsibility to the players in the region who would be playing the Series, Teresa and Cris started bringing people that had been running disc golf in the region together to devise a plan and a vision for what this new Series would eventually become.
The Oregon Liquid Environment (OLE) Series run by Tom Embree, had been around for years, and was a fun non-PDGA Series in the Eugene area. There were other local non-PDGA events being run all over Oregon by established TDs and clubs. What Oregon was lacking was a collection of 2-day PDGA sanctioned events. There was no way to earn an invitation to Worlds without traveling out of state. So it was decided we would try to fill this void with the Series. The next thing was where to run the Series? Portland and the Willamette Valley seemed a reasonable choice because of the courses available and the majority of Oregon's population is in this area, but was not inclusive of regular players that lived in Southern and Eastern Oregon, so an effort was made every year to include these areas in the Series schedule.
Cris and Teresa had started traveling all over the country to play disc golf, and had started to see differences in the way events were run from region to region. They took notes about all the things they liked about these differences and worked to incorporate all the positive aspects into the Series. These are the things that give the Series the professionally run character is has: smoothly run, and on-time rounds; consistent payouts; scrip for payout instead of a stack of discs, so the player has a choice in what they win; awesome player's packs, especially for Ams, so that everyone walks away with something for their entry fee; large readable leader boards; water supplied on the courses so everyone could be hydrated; toilets accessible from the course so bushes aren't the only option during a round; and of course, playing on the best courses we could find in the State. The local clubs and TDs were supported by the Series staff so they could focus on the key aspects of pulling together a great event (i.e. hosting registration, course prep, gathering sponsorship, etc.) without being distracted by a lot of the tedious details that go into just producing a professional feeling event. Support such as providing: scorecards/boards and leader cards/boards; scoring after rounds; PA system, easy-ups, tables and PDGA banners for tournament central; water jugs for the course.
How does this all relate to the Beaver State Fling? The BSF was Cris and Teresa's own event, an event where they could materialize their complete vision for the Series in one awesome weekend. Even though it started small, the goal has always been: how do we provide the best overall weekend experience for all the players? This is why you don't necessarily see the BFS having the largest payouts, while they are quite healthy, that only benefits a small percentage of the players. A smoothly run, on- time, professionally run event with well-prepared disc golf courses, group camping areas next to the course, high quality player's packs, prime rib dinners, free lunches, player's parties, these are the kinds of things that all the players can enjoy while they spend a weekend playing disc golf.
Milo McIver State Park
After the first couple of years of using other courses for the event or splitting time on two different courses it was the belief of the staff that to produce a top notch event we needed the competitors to be playing on consistent courses and ideally within the same park. This is where the Riverbend Disc Golf course took center place in the event. Providing two 18 holes professional caliber courses with similar difficulties allowed for a consistent level of competition that produced champions based on skill and not on luck.
The course has changed over the years with the dedication of the Portland Rocs and Tournament Director Jeff Mittl. They have poured heart, life and soul into this course and have strived to provide the best environment for this level of competition. The volunteer hours they have racked up over the years are enormous. The courses have the benefit of onsite bathrooms and facilities, pavilions, ample parking, camping and the scenery to inspire the best disc golf around.
If you want to be a part of this amazing event consider just coming out to watch and see the level of competition at the elite professional level.