Opinion Corner: For the love of disc golfIn case you missed it last Tuesday I wrote a story about a man who was coming through Jamestown on his way of playing disc golf in all 50 states — for the second time.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
In case you missed it last Tuesday I wrote a story about a man who was coming through Jamestown on his way of playing disc golf in all 50 states — for the second time.
This time Larry Kirk is attempting all 50 in one year.
Kirk isn’t a dominating disc golfer, experienced yes, but far from world champion caliber. Kirk does however have a passion for the recreational sport I’ve never seen matched before.
After his stop in Jamestown, Kirk hiked up and down 578 different courses across this nation. He presses on with enough money to sleep in his car at night and play disc golf during the day.
Why? Because he loves disc golf. He wants to spread awareness of a family friendly sport that’s affordable and good exercise.
All a player needs is a disc and some free time, most courses don’t charge people to play. Walking 18 holes isn’t the same as lifting weights but good cardio nonetheless.
He wants to act as an ambassador and show people that the sport isn’t for burnouts, but for anyone looking to have a fun time outside.
He explained to me his adventures of climbing trees, jumping logs, digging through the woods and sometimes swimming for a lost disc.
Kirk has played courses from Maine to southern California everywhere in between. He’s met with world champions and played hundreds of rounds with people he has met at parks across the nation.
I played my fair share of disc golf. In college it was a cheap way to waste a few hours, get outside and grab some exercise. Back in high school we used to pile four guys into a car and try a new course each weekend usually within an hour from home.
Those were fun times — Kirk is living that by choice.
The remarkable thing is Kirk is a 30-year veteran of the California Air National Guard. He’s not by any means a bum, but instead quite possibly one of the most dedicated disc golfers in the country.
We’ve had a number of cyclists coming through the area this summer supporting one cause or another, all of which deserve some attention.
But I can’t ever recall a disc golfer roaming across the country to play simply because he loves the game.
Each course has something different to offer for players, trees, elevation changes, water and wildlife. What Kirk has seen and played through is truly remarkable if you stop and think about it.
In the professional world of disc golf a top pro could possibly make $40,000 for a dominating year. Kirk is spending a fair amount of that crossing the country doing what he loves.
It’s a great outlook for a recreational sport that oftentimes is shown in a bad light. For that I thank the humble Californian and wish him well as he looks to cap off all 50 states again.
Ben Rodgers is a news writer at the Sun and frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner