Paul Stephens of Grand Island, who has been involved in the sport for more than 40 years, has been elected to the New York Disc Golf Hall of Fame along with two others. The induction ceremonies will be held at the 2021 New York State Championships in Ithaca at a date to be determined.
Stephens has been active in the sport since he competed in his first tournament in 1979. He is best known, though, for promoting the sport and designing championship caliber courses.
“Being named to the HOF is an absolute honor. This is certainly one the greatest highlights of my 40 years of involvement with the sport and my life, in general,” said Stephens, a former Niagara Gazette staffer. “Not in a million years did a 14-year-old kid who played the AFDO (American Flying Disc Open) in 1979 ever think in his wildest dreams that he would ever be named to the State Disc Golf Hall of Fame.”
Stephens has been a Professional Disc Golf Association member since 1988 and has been instrumental in the growth of disc golf in the Western New York, He has served as liaison to the New York State Parks Western Region and has designed 12 disc golf courses, including Evangola State Park, Shorewinds DGC Blue and White courses, Lake Erie State Park, Lakeside Beach State Park, Beaver Island State Park, Joseph Davis State Park, Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, Golden Hill State Park, and Veterans Park in Tonawanda. He was nominated for the honor by the Niagara Region Disc Golf, WNY Disc Golf and FNL Disc Golf.