For anyone who’s ever visited Emporia, it’s apparent that we’re a town that welcomes disc golfers wholeheartedly. When you throw in the excitement of block parties, highly coveted trophies, and specially stamped discs, you create an event that brings thousands of people to the area to enjoy week-long festivities.
Practice rounds for the 2017 GBO started as early as last Saturday, allowing those with enough time and desire to grind out five days worth of preparation. Three Flex Start C-Tiers provided ample warm up opportunities for those who wanted to get their head in the game before things get started on Thursday.
Today we saw many of the pros putting practice in, and with 45 mph winds at Olpe Lake, it will be interesting to see how their confidence holds up. Swinging baskets could be seen on many player’s Instagram accounts, with captions sadly talking about how many discs they lost to the lake itself.
While disc golf takes a lot of work, Emporia knows that fun is equally as important. On Monday, the streets downtown hosted the Kansas Craft Beer Fest where Radius Brewing debuted their GBO collaboration with our sports’ own brewers, Nate Doss and Val Jenkins of Bevel Brewing. Their ale, the “Slight Headwind Saison,” was available for the first time at this kick-off event and will be on tap all week at Radius.
With free bowling, pre-GBO block parties, Pro Panels, and Signature Sessions, GBO week has a lot of extra fun in store. But as we all know, the main event starts on Thursday with round one and some great feature cards. The women will tee off at 8:40 am local time and will highlight Paige Pierce, Valarie Jenkins, Jennifer Allen, and 2016 GBO champion Catrina Allen. Central Coast Disc Golf will be on the scene filming coverage to be released in a post-production format.
The men’s feature card received an overwhelming number of votes and will give spectators a great show. Simon Lizotte, Nate Sexton, Eagle McMahon, and Ricky Wysocki will begin their first round at 3:00 pm local time, with live coverage being provided by SmashboxxTV.
There are great events happening every night this week with the infamous block party taking place Saturday night after the tournament’s culmination. We wish all of this year’s players good luck, and for those of you spectating in person, welcome to Emporia and have fun at the GBO!