“The draw to this sport is it can be played by anyone, no matter their age or physical ability,” said Lakeside, Arizona, resident Manny Duran. “You don’t have to be the strongest or fastest person out on the course.”
Duran is talking about disc golf. He’s been playing the sport for the last 13 years.
“It’s a green sport where you’re out in the woods getting exercise,” Duran said.
Duran plays at the three courses designed for the sport in the White Mountains of Arizona, along with putting on a lot of the disc golf events in the area.
Disc golf is similar to traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs players use a flying disc or Frisbee.
“We start on a concrete tee box and players throw the disc into a metal basket that has chains and stands 4 feet tall,” Duran said.
The object of the game is to complete each hole with the fewest throws.
“I like playing the sport because of the family atmosphere,” Duran said. “The disc family is like no other.”
“We can travel from state to state to [play tournaments] and are always offered a place to stay,” Duran continued.
Duran’s disc golf family also includes his real family. His 16-year-old son, Nicholas, and 13-year-old daughter, Desiree, hold world championship titles.
“Nicholas holds five different world championship titles, five different world disc golf distance titles and has traveled to 20 states and three countries to play,” Duran said.
The next tournament on deck is the Show Low Freeze Disc Golf Tournament at the Show Low Disc Golf Course on Feb. 13.
Nicholas is the tournament director.
“This is a Professional Disc Golf Association sanctioned event and is part of the Arizona Disc Golf Club’s Southwest Cactus Series,” Duran said.
The title sponsor is Innova Champion Discs.
There will be several levels players can compete in for the two rounds of 18 holes in this tournament, including professional, amateur and junior divisions.
“We try to keep everybody separated by ability as best as we can,” Duran said. “Everyone is always welcome to play up to the next division.”
There is also a charity component to the Show Low Freeze Disc Golf Tournament.
“What we’re doing this year is helping a nonprofit in Pinetop called the Love Kitchen refill their food pantry,” Duran said.
All players and spectators have to do is bring canned food items to the tournament and then they will be entered into a raffle to win prizes like a disc golf bag, flying discs and T-shirts.
“Every tournament in the White Mountains of Arizona fills up and there is a waiting list,” Duran said. “We have people who come to these events from Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and around the country.”
For more information about the Show Low Freeze Disc Golf tournament visit www.azdgc.com.