Introducing Team Eagles Wings!

In the disc golf world, many players are working harder and harder to become sponsored by their favorite disc manufacturers. Here at Eagles Wings Disc Golf, our goal is to support as many players as we can, and this looks differently from program to program.  We love offering the junior grant every year but also wanted to find a way to support and encourage young disc golfers looking to improve in their disc golf game, as well as grow in their faith.

In 2019 we were blessed to have the opportunity to get to know Esther Schultz during her three-month internship in Zambia.  Not only did she do an excellent job helping to develop and grow disc golf in Zambia, but she was also a great resource in putting together our Team Eagles Wings program.  While we wish we were in a position to help young players financially, unfortunately, it is just not realistic for us at this time.  Instead, we will seek to help our young team members navigate the challenges that come with pursuing disc golf seriously and help them better understand what it looks like to honor Christ with their play.

Part of the program includes pairing up our team members with touring professionals who share the same mission and values as Eagles Wings Disc Golf.  They will meet with these players regularly to help improve the mental side of their game and to talk with them about their faith journey.  We are really excited to support these young players in the years to come and hope to grow the program in the future.  To get to know Team Eagles Wings better, we have created team pages for them which can be found here: Team Eagles Wings.

 

 

 

 

 

A Week at One of the Biggest Events in Disc Golf History

Last week, a few of our staff members had the opportunity to participate in a disc golf event with over 1,500 competitors, and a huge group of staff and volunteers. It was an honor and privilege to be part of the event and we wanted to share some of the ways we saw God at work!

Each year the Emporia Presbyterian Church opens their doors to welcome us for chapel after the players meeting. Due to the size of the event, and the convenient location, we typically have one of our larger turnouts. This year we had the opportunity to fellowship together with 60 people who were preparing for a full week of disc golf. It was a great night where we were challenged, worshiped together, and met Christian disc golfers from around the country. It was a great start to the week!

Two of our staff had the opportunity to oversee a course that was used for the tournament. This is a great opportunity to be in front of hundreds of people throughout the week, and it was exciting to have people ask us questions about Eagles Wings. The hours we were not at the course were filled with time talking to people interested in Eagles Wings. We met with people who are starting their own ministry endeavors in disc golf, desiring to be part of Eagles Wings in some capacity, and people who wanted to share ideas with us. That part was exciting and energizing, and we can’t wait to see what the Lord does in the disc golf community in the weeks, months, and years to come!

Thoughts from Esther Schultz

Esther Schultz recently completed her three-month internship in Macha, Zambia.  We took some time to catch up with her and talk about her experience and wanted to share her thoughts with you.  As you read this keep in mind we are looking for more people to take on a similar experience in both Zambia and Costa Rica. If someone comes to mind please pass this information along!

*Interview with Esther*

Q. What was the highlight of your experience in Zambia?
There were so many great moments during the three months that I spent in Macha. It’s hard to pick just one highlight. When it comes to the disc golf side of things, I’d say one of the many highlights was the last tag round that I played in Macha. Approximately 25 guys came out to play and most of the players were not interested in disc golf when I first arrived. Seeing them pumped to compete and do really well made me super excited for disc golf continuing to thrive in Zambia! Also, a 13-year-old boy ended up shooting the hot round and beating everyone! It was a fantastic end to a great time playing disc golf in Zambia.

Q. What were some of the things you learned through this experience?
I learned so much about the world, other cultures, the Lord, and myself. By disconnecting myself from everything and everyone that was familiar to me, I was able to learn and grow so much as an individual. I also learned to rely on the Lord. He was by my side when I needed Him the most. It is only because of Him that I was able to do all of the things that I did. I honestly learned an incredible amount in the past three months. This simple answer does not do the trip justice.

Q. In what ways did you see the most growth in your life through this experience?
Being in a foreign land with foreign people completely flipped my world view upside down. I now have a first-hand perspective on the life of people in Macha. I have grown as an individual because of this. I have seen people live life very differently than how I have seen it done my whole life.

Q. What ways were you challenged the most while there?
The language barrier was a big challenge for me in many ways. It challenged my heart when I started to feel left out because everyone around me was speaking Tonga. It was also really hard when I had to teach or wanted to simply communicate with the kids around me but I just couldn’t. Instead of trying, feeling like I couldn’t communicate often made me silent. I then got tired of that and began to look for other ways to invest and interact with the people around me without using words. That often looked like many high fives and smiles.

Q. What advice would you give to future interns?
You are going to teach disc golf but try to learn as much as you can from the people around you. Be more than a coach. Learn and develop relationships with the people God has placed there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Things are going to be tough at times but just keep moving and trust the Lord always.

Q. Do you see yourself going back to Zambia in the future?
Definitely!

Q. What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I am planning on playing as many big disc golf events as I can but also working a lot. My family is a part of a team who is starting a church which will be launching in the next few months so there will be many ministry opportunities there. I will mostly be relying on the Lord’s plan and trusting that He will continue to use me in this season.

2019 National Chapel Schedule (Calling All Volunteers!)

The 2019 National Tour disc golf season begins next week with the Las Vegas Challenge which means we are making final preparations for our chapel program.  We are so thankful for the many people who have worked with us over the years to make this program possible.  This will be the third full season coordinating chapels, and our goal remains to have a presence at all the Majors, National Tour, and Pro Tour events.

Our objective with this program is to simply provide an opportunity for the disc golf community to come together for fellowship and worship throughout the disc golf season. We are excited to announce that Joel Freeman and Lance Brown will be working with the Eagles Wings team as chapel ambassadors to help us grow and develop this aspect of the ministry.  Not only are they great players, but they were key contributors to the chapel program last year.

While we are excited to officially add them to the team, we are always looking for people to get involved.  Please take a look at the chapel schedule and if you would like to volunteer, or be notified of the details of when and where we will be offering chapel, please fill out this form.

Wrapping Up the Chapel Season

 The Eagles Wings chapel season has come to a close, ending with the Hall of Fame Classic chapel last week. We finished the season with a great turnout and a message about sacrificial love. As we expand our chapel service, we have seen disc golfers on tour step up and really help at our chapels. Lance Brown, Joel Freeman, and Cameron Sheehan have been three of those players. Joel has been the worship leader at many of our chapels throughout the year and has done an amazing job. We are so thankful for the ongoing support of all chapel attendees and helpers.

Our 2018 chapel season has seen growth on many levels and we are excited about that. Throughout the season we hosted 25 chapels in 18 different states and saw over 400 people attend! We are grateful for the the support and assistance of tournament directors, local churches, and players who make it a reality. This season almost every Pro Tour, Major, and NT tournament had a chapel hosted in accordance with the event, and our hope is to continue to expand in 2019. Another highlight was the Junior Disc Golf World Championships, which marked the largest chapel attendance in our history. We thank God for the ways He has pulled things together to this point, and we are looking forward to taking the momentum of this year forward to prepare for another great year.

We are committed to serving the disc golf community in the upcoming years by continuing our chapel service. In order for us to be even more effective and reach more people, if you attended a chapel service this year, please fill out our Chapel Feedback form and give us your thoughts. We truly value your feedback and thank you in advance for taking the time to share it with us. You can find our feedback form on our website or by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you at some regional chapels hosted throughout the off-season, and be on the lookout for information about next year!

Meet Our Newest Team Member – Esther Schultz

Our Newest Team Member

Eagles Wings Disc Golf is extremely excited to announce our first ever international disc golf internship.  Starting an international internship program has been a dream of ours for a few years now.  In January 2019 we will see that dream realized as Esther Schultz heads to Macha, Zambia for a three month internship where she will lead disc golf activities, provide training for the staff, and help get the newly completed 18 hole course established.  We met Esther this past year at the Junior World Championships, and we don’t think we could have found a better candidate!  Esther has a heart for the disc golf community and Africa and we can’t wait to see what the Lord does during her time there!  We wanted to introduce you to Esther so please check out the interview below to get to know her better.

 

Esther’s Interview

1. Tell us your name and just a little about yourself. Where you grew up, what sports you played, size of family, etc.
My name is Esther Schultz and I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am the second oldest of eleven kids and disc golf is the only sport that I have competed in. It is the perfect sport for my family and I have been in love with it for many years now.

 

2. When did you begin following Christ and who has had the biggest impact in your faith?
It feels like I have been a Christian my entire life. I was raised by parents who love Jesus and showed me through their lives what that looks like. They have by far had the biggest impact in my faith.

 

3. When did you begin playing disc golf, and what is your favorite thing about the sport?
My disc golf career started when I was about ten-years-old. There’s a lot of things that I love about the sport but my favorite aspect would probably be the unique community of people that disc golf brings together.

 

4. How did you find out about Eagles Wings Disc Golf and what made you want to get involved?
Last year, my parents found out about the Eagles Wings Disc Golf junior grant and encouraged my siblings and I to enter. After my brother won, I began to learn more about what other things Eagles Wings was doing and fell in love with it. There is a real need for ministry in the disc golf world and I love what Eagles Wings is doing to meet it!

 

5. Have you always had a heart for ministry in Africa? If so, how did that start?
Yes! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to Africa. My parents are pastors, so I grew up getting to know a lot of missionaries. I have always had a burden and heart to do the things that they are doing around the world. I’m not sure exactly why, but Africa has always stuck out to me.

 

6. What are you most looking forward to during your internship?
I am really looking forward to just being there! Like I said, this is something that I have wanted to do my entire life. I know it is going to be tough, I am going to be learning and doing a lot of new things but I am so ready for the adventure!

 

 7. Other than disc golf, what is something else you like to do for fun?
 I love to play my guitar and do anything with my friends!

 

8. What is your favorite disc golf course? 
The Rez in Jackson, Mississippi.

 

9. What is your favorite or most unique disc golf memory?
I have so many! One of my favorites though was watching my brother play in Arizona for the chance to win a car. He played phenomenal the whole tournament, went into a six-hole sudden death playoff. It was one of the most intense things that I have ever experienced. Through it all, my little bro stayed true to himself and was able to come out happy on the other side. Even though I didn’t throw a single shot, watching him do what he did that week was truly an honor.
 

 

10. What is the number one thing you hope to take away from your time in Africa?
The number one thing I hope to take away is a better understanding of the Lord’s heart. To see what he created on the other side of the world and serving Him wholeheartedly I believe will be truly powerful.

 

Follow Along

To follow along with Esther, please like her Facebook page where she will be posting and updating about her experience!

Eagles Wings Junior Mid-Atlantic Regional 2018

58 junior players braved the rain and played in the Eagles Wings Junior Mid-Atlantic Regional on Saturday. Despite the morning rain and an ominous forecast, the clouds parted and we had beautiful sunshine for most of the round. Players from 4 to 18 years old each played on one of 3 different 18 hole layouts. We were excited to see that many of our competitors were playing in their first tournament, and for a few, it was their first time playing disc golf.

Each player received a generous player pack with included a shirt, hat, 2 discs, a mini, and more. This was possible thanks to the support of our sponsors: D-Town Disc Golf, Innova, Dynamic Discs, Dude Disc Golf Apparel, Zing Minis, Paragon, Chick-fil-A, and Jeff Daniel’s Jeep.

After getting their player pack, the competitors ate a free breakfast provided by Ridgeline Community Church. Then they attended a clinic taught by top local pros before heading out to play the round. The event concluded with a free Chick-fil-A lunch, some games, a free raffle, and awards.

All of this would not be possible without the continued support of our sponsors and an all-star volunteer crew. We are grateful for all who contributed to the day.

You can check out the full results here.

On Eagles Wings: Investing In The Future

EAGLES WINGS DISC GOLF AT THE JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Thanks to the staff at Dynamic Discs and the PDGA, Eagles Wings Disc Golf had the opportunity to be involved in the Junior World Disc Golf Championships a few short weeks ago. The tournament was held in Emporia, Kansas and had nearly 200 players competing. Eagles Wings Disc Golf staff members, Dustin and Hannah Leatherman, Seth and Becky Hogan, and Scott Leader along with his parents Ron and Lynn Leader, all made the trek to Emporia from Pennsylvania and Colorado to participate during the week filling various roles.

One of the highlights at Worlds was meeting all of the Eagles Wings Junior Grant Winners and supporting them throughout the week. Each of the winners had applied for the junior grant earlier in the year, with one of the main criteria being that they did a service project for their local disc golf community. It was really exciting for our staff to meet these incredible young disc golfers and get to know the people behind these stories we had read about. Five of our Junior Grant Winners from 2018, and three of our Junior Grant Winners from 2017 played in the event. We kicked things off for them early in the week with a dinner, and then spent time interacting with them throughout the tournament. Scott and his parents spent time each day supporting each grant winner out on the course during the tournament rounds.

Another highlight of the week was our Eagles Wings Chapel service. We had over 70 people in attendance, which was our largest chapel service to date. It is always such a blessing to worship God with other disc golfers and this night was no exception. It was held across the street from the player meeting, and a local youth pastor intertwined humor, stories of faith, and lessons from the Bible to teach the kids and their families how they can love God and others out on the disc golf course while competing at the Junior World Championships. During the award ceremony at the end of the tournament, it was incredible for us to watch so many of these same kids demonstrate their love for God and the other competitors while sharing about their faith in Jesus during their acceptance speeches. The time was well spent this week for our Eagles Wings Disc Golf staff and we all came away feeling excited about what God is doing in the disc golf community.

 

AFRICAN DISC GOLF TOUR

Last year, new friends of Eagles Wings, Yohannes Desalegn and John Luetzow, ran the first ever PDGA disc golf tournament in Africa in Yohannes’ home country of Ethiopia.  You may recall that we were able to send Elem Katambo, a member of the Push The Rock Zambia staff to the event. This experience for Elem sparked a vision of running a similar event in Macha, Zambia where he lives and works for Push The Rock.  All of this has led to the first ever African Disc Golf Tour!

We will be partnering with the Ethiopia crew to run a series of events that will be linked together.  While the African tour will most likely look a bit different than the big tours we see throughout disc golf, it marks a significant step in the growth of disc golf in Africa.  We are excited and honored to be part of this partnership and look forward to see what will come of it.

We will be sharing more details in the weeks to come via our website and social media and we encourage you to stay tuned in. We will be offering some great opportunities to support the event through shirt and disc sales, along with opportunities to sponsor holes for the event, and even local Zambian players!  

 

CHAPEL MINISTRY IN FULL SWING

Our first ever chapel took place at the 2015 World Championships, and a few short years later we have made some significant progress!  While we will not quite achieve our goal of offering a chapel at every major event, we are getting closer every year. As the word gets out, we are excited that tournament directors have been helping us promote, and local disc golfers in ministry are getting involved.  On top of that, our core player base is growing, and doing a great job helping us with this offering!

As we mentioned earlier we were recently at the Junior World Championships.  The tournament director did a great job promoting the chapel, and we were blessed to have 77 people in attendance!  It was great to worship with people from all over the country, and even a few people from overseas. In addition to this we partnered with two different churches to make it happen, and got connected with some great families that now know there is a ministry like ours in the disc golf community!

This past week we were also able to offer chapel at the Amateur World Championships.  Our South Carolina ambassador led the way and did a great job with the night. Looking ahead we will be offering chapels in Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, Georgia to name just a few states. We praise God for the growing network that has allowed us to grow this ministry.  If you are interested in helping us grow through either financial support, or by getting involved yourself we would love for you to join us!

 

ON THE HORIZON

Junior Grant Winner Evelyn Heath Introduces Disc Golf

Disc golf is a sport that has experienced some tremendous growth in recent years. Part of the reason is because those of us who love the game take time to introduce the sport we love to more people. At Eagles Wings we are seeking to do this more often. We are blessed to partner with Junior Grant winners who share this passion to introduce more people to the sport of disc golf.

Evelyn Heath, a 2018 junior grant winner from Australia, has taken on multiple events to introduce people to disc golf. In the midst of a busy tournament season and working hard to raise money to be able to come to Emporia, Kansas this July, Evelyn has taught many people about disc golf. She really enjoys showing them how to throw and makes sure that they enjoy the sport as much as she does.

Support Evelyn and read more about her event by clicking here.