Disc golf has been called the fastest growing sport in the world as courses are springing up everywhere. Tuesday afternoon, a professional disc golfer made his way to East Texas, but not just to show off his throwing skills.
Scott Stokely, a Colorado native, made a stop in Longview as part of his “Blue Power” campaign.
“I’m kind of getting to be their champion in a way,” he said.
He’s a familiar name in the sport. Stokely has won more than 20 national and world disc golf titles. He turned pro in 1985 when there were just 75 courses across the country. Now, there are more than 4,000 in the U.S.
He said he is using his passion for the game to be a teacher and a voice for those with special needs.
“It’s the best sport for the whole family because it’s a parallel sport,” he said. “What I mean by this is you’re not competing directly against someone with special needs where you kind of have to change your game to kind of adjust to them.”
Instead, he said the biggest opponent is the course.
James Estes brought his son to the event who has autism, but is high functioning.
“Regular kids, they don’t pick them to play stuff too much because their mind is running 100 miles an hour,” said Estes. “Finally he can be a part of a community of some type of athletic that’s not just pressure to perform.”
“I feel good when I make people happy, when families write me letters telling me how much it means to them,” added Stokely.
These folks may not write him a letter, but they said they loved learning disc golf techniques from a pro.
“I sure did. Meant a lot of things to me!” said Dana Cole.
“It was awesome. It was just something different, like playing golf but at the same time playing Frisbee,” said George Haley.
“I had fun out here and learned to hit the Frisbee in!” added Jalen Perry.
Blue Power is a simple message, ending isolation for many.
Stokely said he has hosted around 200 events across the country in a little under two years and still has around 40 to go. For more information about his campaign, visit here.
For information on Longview’s disc golf association, click here.