Chandler Fry makes a short birdie putt on Hole 6 on Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort’s Red Course. Fry is a professional from Olympia, Wash., and he has tallied 31 career wins. He will be one of the players in this year’s Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division. (Photo courtesy Andy Jaynes)

Chandler Fry makes a short birdie putt on Hole 6 on Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort’s Red Course. Fry is a professional from Olympia, Wash., and he has tallied 31 career wins. He will be one of the players in this year’s Mixed Pro Open (MPO) division. (Photo courtesy Andy Jaynes)

Disc golf tournament to bring hundreds of competitors to Kayak Point

The fourth annual Kayak Point Open will feature some of the best players in the state and the region this weekend.

South African professional golfer Bobby Locke once said, “You drive for show and putt for dough.”

That statement also rings true to disc golfers who are throwing for “show” and “dough.” The driving and putting motions are a toss of the disc into a basket rather than a swing of a club to get the ball into the hole.

From Friday through Sunday, the fourth annual Kayak Point Open will welcome some of the best disc golfers from Washington state and its neighboring areas to partake in the three-day, Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA)-sanctioned Pro/Am B-Tier tournament.

Held at the Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort (15711 Marine Drive) in Stanwood, formerly known to many golfers as Kayak Point Golf Course, which closed in 2018, the tournament is part of the PackEx Cup, a summer series of 11 events spanning the Puget Sound area.

There are close to 250 players registered with about 30 spots still open and several players on the waitlist. Registration closes at noon on July 10, but the event is also open to spectators who want to enjoy the sunshine and watch top-notch, local disc golf.

There are various pro and amateur divisions, including mixed, female and age-protected divisions. Each division also has payouts. All pros receive payouts to the top 45%, including $1,000 of added cash, and amateurs in the top 50% receive store credit to the Kayak Point Disc Golf Resort Pro Shop.

The resort has three courses: Red (beginner-intermediate), Blue (intermediate-advanced) and Gold (advanced-pro). The Red Course was rated No. 1 in the state and No. 42 in the world, and the Gold Course No. 2 in the state and No. 59 in the world in 2022, according to UDisc, an app for disc golfers.

Players will compete in three rounds across two of the 18-hole layouts during the three days, and juniors (ages 15 and under) will play two rounds on the same course both days.

For example, Pool A consists of the Mixed Pro Open, Mixed Pro 40+, Mixed Pro 50+ and Mixed Amateur 1 divisions. Pool A players will compete on the Gold Course on Friday, Blue Course on Saturday and Gold Course on Sunday. This group’s tee times start first at 8 a.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.

First-year tournament director Andy Jaynes was introduced to disc golf in Knoxville, Tennessee, in high school by a friend. An avid outdoors adventurer, Jaynes played the local courses and used the sport to “have this social experience, meet some new friends and have this new kind of thing that we’re competing but also having fun with.”

He moved to Leavenworth where he resided for 10 years and helped start the Leavenworth Disc Golf Club.

“I think a lot of people have thrown a Frisbee, maybe at the beach or in a park. And (disc golf) really just kind of takes it to the next level where, for very inexpensive, you can get started,” he said. “And it’s really just a personal kind of journey of trying to learn the game, improve on yourself with the different discs and release angles and form and technique. So it’s just been something that I’ve really fallen in love with and try and get out there and do as often as possible.”

According to the PDGA’s demographics report updated in September 2023, there were approximately 130,800 active members in 2022, about a 20% increase from 2021. A little more than 90,000 members renewed in 2022, about a 40% increase from the year prior. Males made up approximately 121,100 of the memberships, about a 20% increase from 2021, and there were approximately 9,650 female members, about a 22% increase from the year prior.

“If people were to come out,” Jaynes said, “they’d be really impressed with how well some of these players can throw a disc, how accurately, how far and get a sense for kind of the thrill of that competition in the sport.”

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