After attending the USDGC since 2005, Brent Newton of Wilmington, N.C., decided it was time to give back by volunteering for the event for the first time this year.
Since Wednesday, Newton’s post has been spotting drives for Hole 18. There’s a location halfway up the hole (when it’s a par 4) where Newton stands guard and he darts this way and that as drives fly to see if they land safe.
In past years, Bill ‘Old Man’ and Mary Ann ‘Mom’ Wallis, of Illinois, spotted the hole, but they were unable to make it this year.
Newton had intentions of spotting the hole for all four rounds, however his stay in Rock Hill had to be cut short before the end of round 3, so he could join his wife at home to prepare for Hurricane Matthew, which continues to be a threat to the coast.
“I was really hoping that the hurricane would do something else, but I will be back next year and hopefully there won’t be any hurricane,” said Newton.
Still, he enjoyed the time he’s had at the Winthrop Gold Course.
“It’s a lot of fun running up and down this hill (hole 18 slants upward for most of its 647 feet (in the par 4 version). And, I’ve been watching some great shots,” said Newton.
One of those great shots was Eagle McMahon’s crush of a drive during round 2. Newton said he was chasing the disc as it sailed past him and kept thinking it would fade OB, but it kept gliding and gliding and landed safely.
“That has got to be the best drive I’ve seen on this hole in this tournament and I’ve been coming here for a while,” said Newton, who is the New Hanover Disc Golf Club president.
(Check out the Instagram video below of McMahon's drive. You can see Newton on the left side tracking the disc.)
During round three on Friday, a card had thrown tee shots with each player landing safely, which Newton likes – not just because it’s easier to spot, but you can tell that he’s rooting for each of these players to do well.
Good luck to Newton and all of our other disc golf friends riding out the storm on the coast.