AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Disc Golf Club held its fourth annual Austintown Open Saturday at Austintown Township Park. In 2019, just nine golfers participated in the event. Today, nearly 80 showed up to compete.
“Leading up to this year, we ended up selling out the whole tournament in 22 hours and 48 minutes it sold out,” said director of Youngstown Disc Golf Club Zachary Campbell. “So, big change.”
The club believes the pandemic and disc golf’s low cost have played a role in the sport’s rapid growth.
“I’ve played regular golf since I was 12 years old. It’s just so expensive. With disc golf, you can come out and there are no green fees. You can come out with one disc and play all day if you want for nothing. So, its very, very low cost,” said administrator of Youngstown Disc Golf Club Luke Shelton.
The course at this year’s open looked slightly different from previous years.
“We introduced five new alternate pin locations this year. So, it’s a lot of people playing a course that they haven’t actually played yet, so today is the first day they got to play it. So, it’s just a little bit of terrain difference and things like that,” Campbell said.
All the money raised from the event will go directly back into the Youngstown Disc Golf Club or the local parks. The club hopes to double the number of participants next year.
“Next year, I’m hoping to push this to a two day tournament, or one day tournament with two courses, which would allow us to have double the amount. 150, why not?” Shelton said.