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No Whimps, no Whiners at the Ice Bowl Tournament
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No Whimps, no Whiners at the Ice Bowl Tournament

It’s minus three degrees outside, but the western wind is whipping and making it feel more like minus 16. Your nostrils stick together when you inhale, and the air hurts your lungs.

It’s the perfect day for disc golf, right?

That’s what the creators of the international Ice Bowl disc golf tournament thought. In 1987, some disc golf enthusiasts put together a winter tournament to get people outside, even in the off season. But they had some stipulations on the event --- any course hosting an Ice Bowl had to hold it no matter the weather and the proceeds have to go to a charity fighting hunger.

Also, whimps and whiners aren't allowed.

Sanborn started a Siouxland Ice Bowl in 2007, and this year the event is being moved to the Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course in Kenue Park in Okoboji, a part of the University of Okoboji Winter Games.

The Winter Games draws in about 100,000 people to the Iowa Great Lakes area each year with tons of activities on the ice, card tournaments, concerts, meals and now an Ice Bowl.

The weather might be warm, like some years have been when the ice activities have been moved to dry land for the safety of participants. However, it might also be frigid. The coldest Ice Bowl to date was minus 29 degree in St. Cloud, MN, in 1997. Sanborn holds the second place record with minus 16 degrees in 2008.

The snow record for Ice Bowls is 48 inches, met in Cascade, OR, in 2000 and Watrous, SK, Canada, in 2011. The worse the weather, the more fun the Ice Bowl can be, if you bundle up and prepare for the elements. You might have to calculate wind speed when throwing your disc, or you might have to dodge a huge snow drift. You might even have to aim for the top of the metal basket if it is filled with snow.

Tee off for the Siouxland Ice Bowl is 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24. Registration costs $20, and those who pre-register by Jan. 2 will receive a free Ice Bowl disc. Participants are also required to bring at least one non-perishable food item to the tournament, and all proceeds and food donations will be given to Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

To sign up for the tournament, contact Siouxland Disc Golf Ice Bowl director Terry Crisel at

The Okoboji Gold Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole professional level course with two grades of tees, both gold and white. It is open year-round in Kenue Park in Okoboji, just outside the Dickinson County Nature Center. For more information on Dickinson County Conservation’s disc golf course, visit our website!

For a full schedule of Winter Games activities, visit the Winter Games website.

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