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Charlotte DG Icons win Golden Rake
Two pillars of the Charlotte Disc Golf scene, Stan McDaniel and Sam Nicholson, who also become integral to the USDGC scene every October, took home the 2013 Golden Rake Award.
“We don’t know what to do without these guys. They absolutely make it better,” said Event Director Jonathan Poole as he announced the winners at the Tuesday night gathering.
Following with the anniversary theme, the 15th USDGC Golden Rake Award went to two volunteers, similar to 2008 when Lisa McDaniel and Bill Jacobson won it for the 10th anniversary.
Both Sam and Stan have deep history with the Championship. Nicholson and McDaniel have either been a player or a volunteer at practically every USDGC. To them, taking the first week off in October is a given.
“It’s the event and it’s in the little town next door,” said McDaniel, “Where else would I be?”
When volunteering you can find Nicholson and McDaniel marshaling holes, driving carts, spotting holes, and more. McDaniel even helped with course design early in Winthrop Gold’s life. And, Nicholson, a restaurant owner, has come through with staff lunches in a pinch more than once.
In addition to their USDGC contributions, these two men helped turn the Carolinas into a disc golf hot bed.
When you think of Charlotte disc golf courses, Stan McDaniel’s name automatically appears. Self-named ‘the mule’, McDaniel keeps saying he’s retired from course building and improving, but each time he says that you catch a glance of that familiar white truck at a Charlotte area park and the mule himself not far away, clearing another fairway.
Nicholson appears to be on a roll. He was named the 2012 PDGA Tournament Director of the Year at thePDGA Awards banquet in August after leading the largest disc golf event in history with 1,125 players.
“It’s been a big year. I’ve been doing disc golf work since 1986. To be honored with this award (Golden Rake) is a very great reward for all of the work I’ve been doing for the sport,” said Nicholson, adding it’s even better that he won it with his friend Stan.
Though he’s slowed down with USDGC work in recent years, McDaniel said his Golden Rake probably represents the cumulative work he did over the event’s history. He said he was incredibly proud to be a part of it.
Nicholson says it takes special people to pull-off events like the USDGC and he’s glad he could be one of them.