Man from Iowa is No. 1 in the world in a sport you've never played

Have you ever been walking or driving near a park and noticed those things that look like giant baskets sticking out of the ground? If so, then you are driving or walking past a disc golf course.

If you don't know what disc golf is, it's basically exactly the same as traditional ball golf. The most obvious and biggest difference is that this sport is played with a disc, rather than a golf ball. Players try to throw the discs into a basket in as few shots as possible. The player with the lowest score wins.

Unsplash – Priscilla Du Preez

Unsplash – Priscilla Du Preez

Disc golf has seen a huge boom in popularity since its early days, and today more than 4 million people worldwide play the sport regularly. According to UDisc, there are more than 16,000 courses worldwide, and 3.4 courses were being built per day in 2023.

There are recreational leagues all over the state of Iowa, you can find casual players in the parks every day, and every now and then the best players in the world show up in one place.

What you may not know is that there are actually professional disc golfers and some of these players win huge sums of money on the Disc Golf Pro Tour.

This Independence weekend, the best players in the world will all be in Des Moines competing in the 2024 TruBank Des Moines Challenge. The current world-ranked disc golfer and 2023 TruBank Champion is a proud Iowa native.

Gannon Buhr, known in the disc golf world as “The wounderchild“” has won 3 Disc Golf Pro Tour events this year, more than any other player.

In 2022, Buhr won the biggest tournament the sport has to offer and became the U.S. Disc Golf Champion. In 2022, he became the youngest player to ever win the USDGC, and he was also the second youngest player to ever win a major disc golf tournament.

Burh looks to defend his title at the TruBank Des Moines Championship and couldn't be more excited to play in front of his home crowd. Gannon spoke to We Are Iowa about his win at the 2023 TruBank and wants to repeat his feat.

“Winning at home was crazy. I also had a fellow Iowan, my friend Gavin Babcock, on the card and it was cool that we both played great here last year. We hope to repeat that. We also have a couple of new holes this year to make the course a little more difficult. And so the scores will be a little bit worse this year and that will make it a little more exciting, I think.”

Gannon discussed some of the new holes being added at Pickard Park, home of the TruBank Tournament. He shared with the Disc Golf Pro Tour YouTube page the unique hole number 17. This special hole is shaped like Iowa!

In this video, Gannon says that you should aim for Des Moines on the 17th hole and that the basket is near “Cedar Rapids.” He also says that he once lived in Cedar Rapids!

The 2024 TruBank Des Moines Challenge will take place today (July 5) through Sunday (July 7) at Pickard Park in Indianola.

Will the current world number one and proud Iowan repeat his victory from last season? We'll find out this Independence weekend! Did you know that one of the best disc golfers in the world hails from Iowa?

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