(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Disc golf is taking off around the country and here in St. Joseph.
The sport originally came to town in 2013 on the campus of Missouri Western which introduced a nine-hole course. A few years later, a group of disc golfers in town approached the Director of Parks and Recreation Chuck Kempf to build a new one.
The new fully-sized disc golf course is located on the iconic parkway and has drawn in hundreds of newcomers to the game.
"Everyday I see brand new people out here that I've never seen before. It's crazy right now," said Sayler Osburn, the Vice President of the St. Joe Disc Golf Club.
The sport became wildly popular around the country when the pandemic began, and the Bartlett Parkway Disc Golf Course in St. Joseph reflected what was happening around the country.
"I've been coming out ever since COVID started so it's just been a thing that I've kind of fell in love with you know cause there wasn't anything I could really do. I was out of work for awhile so I kinda just came out here and fell in love and just couldn't stop playing," said Collin Easter. "A couple of my friends played and then I found this group and I started coming to league every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday and I've been going strong ever since."
To put numbers into perspective, the Professional Disc Golf Association added over 100,000 new members, almost doubling the number of players to the game.
"You know, last year was crazy and all hectic and not great for tons of people, but for this, it was really like a perfect storm of it's a safe activity to do because you're outside, you're spread out from everyone, no shared equipment, but you can still get out and do it even in a pandemic."
For Sayler Osborn, his role of Vice President consists of keeping up the maintenance of the course and scheduling league nights which are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. The course will also host a tournament on July 10th.