Corbin Smith
Editorial Assistant

Disc golfers from across the country traveled to the Cliff Drive Disc Golf Course at Kessler Park for the inaugural Kansas City Flying Disc Challenge on May 30.

The 18-basket course is a big attraction for disc golfers and the tournament utilizes the course, intent on showcasing it. Tournament director Mike Krueger wanted to host a tournament that would be a little more unorthodox to invite all types of people.

“There’s a lot of disc golf tournaments in Kansas City, but there aren’t many that are four rounds over two days at four different courses,” Krueger said. “I wanted to feature all courses in Kansas City, Missouri. I think it is great to get more activity in the Northeast. It’s such a diverse community here, I love having people come in and watch us play disc golf.”

Krueger’s plan worked as the tournament reached professional disc golfers like Ray Hill from Joliet, Ill.

“I love all the holes here,” Hill said. “My only wish is that people would treat Earth better and it wouldn’t be so littered, but that has nothing to do with the community.”

Krueger acknowledged the litter problem of the Cliff Drive course, but he emphasized that the tournament was a way to combat the issue.

“The more people we have in this park, the less chance bad things will happen,” Krueger said. “A lot of people come in and dump garbage. I love having all these people out here and enjoying the park rather than abusing the park.”

Krueger wants the Northeast Kansas City community to be more involved in the disc golf community, kind of how Hill learned about it. As a kid, Hill went out with some friends and as soon as he picked up a disc, he fell in love.

Hill was playing with another professional disc golfer in Kevin Babbit, who personally loves the Cliff Drive course enough to visit every year. Coming from Lawrence, Kan., he appreciates the proximity of all the Kansas City courses.

“I really like Cliff Drive. It’s a nice course,” Babbit said. “There’s a lot of open holes with elevation, which makes it a fun course to play.”

In the future, Krueger hopes to continue drawing in talent similar to Hill and Babbit. However, the most important aspect of these tournaments is to introduce the community to something different.

“Organized things like this help people learn the rules and how to throw a disc,” Krueger said. “I started getting involved in running leagues and tournaments and that has allowed me to encourage other people who are just getting started.”