July 28, 2021
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Regulars to Kensington Metropark will notice a different type of golfer this weekend as professional disc golfers compete on the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
The Discraft Great Lakes Open at Kensington Metropark is the seventh stop on the tour.
This is the fifth year the tour has returned to Livingston County after it began in 2016.
“We are excited to be back,” Jeff Spring, CEO of Disc Golf Pro Tour said. “The athletes are thrilled.”
Spring said some players can throw discs accurately up to 200 yards – the length of two football fields.
“Disc golf is similar to traditional golf but instead of hitting a ball with a club, you are throwing a disc with your arm,” he said. “There are greens, fairways and tees. Instead of clubs, there are discs.”
Spring expects around 1,000 spectators will show up for the event, a stark contrast to last year when there were no spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sport has gained popularity over the years with many of the well-known players allotting time to sign autographs after events, he said.
“Disc golf is a game for life,” Spring said. “For very young to very old, people with disabilities can play disc golf. It’s free in a lot of cases. It’s very cheap.”
The event will start on Friday and continue through Sunday with approximately 150 players from around the world.
Typically there are players from European and Scandinavian countries as well as Australia but travel restrictions have prevented some from participating, Spring said.
The tour has traveled to Europe, Australia and Japan for competitions in the past. This year the majority of events will take place in the United States with the tour championship scheduled to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, later this year.
The three-day event will take place on the Kensington’s toboggan course and has a women’s and men’s division. The winners will receive $5,000.
Spring said prizes for competitions have continued to increase with the winners of larger competitions winning up to $25,000.
Spectators can purchase a day pass or a three-day pass to watch the competition. Children 10 and younger are free with a ticketed adult.