COBDEN (WSIL)-- Saturday marked the first annual Red White and Blue Disc Golf Tournament in Cobden. Fifteen teams showed up to compete.
"The doubles event that the Cobden Park is running is just a great event," said Herrin resident Jonathan Bolster. "All fundraiser and we're just out having fun, having a good time. It's good to finally get back to life as normal for most of us."
For Saturday's doubles tournament, partners were chosen at random.
"We all showed up, and then they randomly drew the names out of a hat," said Carterville resident Bruce Macui. "It's just in teams of two. It's just a lot of local guys, but some guys travel 2-3 hours to play."
Over $500 was raised for the Cobden Disc Golf Course. Tournament Director John Wingate says tournaments like this help raise awareness for the sport.
"I have been playing for almost five years now, and from when I started to where we are now, it's just amazing how much the sport has grown in Southern Illinois," said Wingate. "There are several new courses from John A. Logan to Anna to Cobden. Marion put in Pyramid’s Park course, and it's great to see. Every time I come out there is just more and more new players. It is great exercise for all age groups and something fun and free to do."
With the global pandemic, disc golf is another great way to stay active.
"With disc golf as a sport, we are all relatively spaced out," said Bolster. "Shots are going everywhere, so you never have to worry about being too close to somebody. It's good to see friends that I haven’t seen since February, March before all this happened."
If you're like me and haven’t played the sport before, the message is simple.
"You should try it," said Macui. "That’s all I say, you should try it. It is a very addicting game. The people are very friendly. Your first time we’ll help you play. Everybody will show you the ropes, and you can ask anybody. Just a great group of people that play the game."
"Most of the guys here I have actually met through disc golf," said Wingate. "There is probably 5 out of the 30 guys that I knew previous before disc golf relationship. Every time we come out, we're meeting new guys, growing, and it's just a great community. And everybody is very helpful and likes to encourage new players. It's very welcoming."
Having fun seemed to be the theme of the day.
"I started with the mullet, and for work it gets too hot, so I shaved the top off and the skull is just the way to go," said Jonesboro resident Cyrus Lingle. "I mean I’m aerodynamic. I can throw discs further. It just cuts right through it. I got to leave the mullet down because I putt better because it slows me down got some resistance. But I call it the majestic mane."