The Disc Golf Pro Tour returned with its first competitive event since March with the Dynamic Discs Open at the Emporia Country Club Friday afternoon.
The three-day tournament kicks runs through Sunday, and has brought some of the biggest names in the sport to compete.
Paul McBeth, a Professional Disc Golf Association member from Huntington Beach, California and currently leading the Pro Tour Standings in the MPO division. He's also a three-time Glass Blown Open champion on the men's side and said he was excited to be back in Emporia, Kansas.
"It's going great," he told The Emporia Gazette Thursday. "The course looks great and the weather is looking promising."
The PDGA suspended the Disc Golf Pro Tour March 13 amid the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last few months, a number of pro events have been canceled — such as the GBO. As the situation continues to change almost daily, even McBeth wasn't sure when he would be competing again.
"Two weeks ago I wasn't coming, so the change of plans is nice," he said. "It's a good change and I'm excited to compete. I haven't competed since early March ... so I'm excited to get out here and play."
According to dgpt.com, not much has changed course-wise at the Country Club for those who have played at the championship level within the last year. A large update has come to hole no. 16, where local course designer Eric McCabe has added a wall to the island and moved the basket closer to the front edge of the green. The goal? To encourage players to stop playing it safe for par.
Brodie Smith of Dallas, Texas is a first-time visitor to Emporia. Smith said he was impressed with how Emporians have rallied around the disc golf community — even though social distancing and mass gathering guidelines have prevented a proper downtown welcome.
"It's my first time here and it's been awesome to see how welcoming everyone in the community is," he said. "Everyone will go, 'Oh, you're a disc golfer?' Everyone will have an idea of what it is, so it's been really cool."
"He hasn't even experienced the 'GBO-effect' when the whole town shuts down for disc golfers," McBeth added. "It is a little bit difficult with everything going on but it's been real welcoming still. We're still seeing a lot of familiar faces out here. It's nice."
The course is closed off to spectators.
The tournament will be streamed online via the Disc Golf Network. For more information visit www.dgpt.com.