Adam Troxtell, Sports Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chances are local member of the Chickasha Disc Golf Club Emily Beach will long remember her 15th birthday.
Just a few days before, she had entered a contest on the Facebook page of the highest ranking professional disc golfer and world champion Paul McBeth to win one of five signed discs if he got more than 1,000 likes. Beach won, but received much more than that.
McBeth himself, alongside the top women's pro disc golfer in the state Jennifer Allen, showed up to wish her a happy birthday and also sign a few autographs for local players clearly in awe of who was standing amongst them.
"I was really surprised and nervous at first," Beach said. "I was really elated and speechless."
Beach's path looks to be heading in a similar way to McBeth's and Allen's. Her talent at a young age and several tournament wins have brought her attention as an up-and-comer in the sport. She was recently invited to the PDGA AM World Championship in Minnesota this summer.
Aware of her rising status, upcoming birthday and recent contest win, Allen, who lives in Tuttle, decided to deliver Beach her present in person, and that included an appearance by McBeth.
They played a round at the Chickasha course, located in Shannon Springs Park, where locals were taking part in one of Chickasha Disc Golf Club's weekly mini fundraiser tournaments.
"This is a huge event for Chickasha, to have the World Champion Disc Golf Player to stop by and play a round with us, it was really special," said Chickasha Disc Golf Club Co-Director and Emily's father, Frank Beach.
McBeth, his brother and video producer, Jon, and Allen all showed up in McBeth's Dodge Challenger, and the whispers of amazement from players began before they had even exited.
Many people who were just out playing on their own stopped to watch the Pro players throw with the local club members. McBeth also took a few minutes to sign autographs and interact with the crowd.
"For Emily to get that sort of birthday surprise," said Patrick MacNeill, Chickasha Disc Golf co-director. "It's huge for her. She deserves it, she has worked so hard. We are all very proud of her."
The Chickasha Disc Golf club has been holding these weekly fundraising tournaments every Saturday since February. The Club, Directed by Patrick MacNeill and Emily's father and local Pro Frank Beach, is raising funds to build a large professional disc golf course at Lake Chickasha.
If things progress, the hope is that this course will become PDGA sanctioned and have the potential to attract thousands of people a year to the community with tournaments.