As states start to resume sanctioned disc golf again, we couldn't help but notice that Arkansas was the first to open back up which benefits us greatly with its close proximity to Oklahoma (our home base). We saw that Luke Humphries was the Tournament Director who is also a touring pro we've worked with in the past and who's been nothing but gracious to us. The GK Pro team was eager to see if we could have the opportunity to film the first sanctioned tournament back since the Covid 19 Pandemic. A couple minutes later we get a message from Luke on Facebook with just a phone number. We give him a call and boom, we're in!
We drove an easy 3 hours from Grove, Oklahoma to Greenbrier, Arkansas to film the "Let's Get Back To Golf" B-Tier featuring touring pros such as Kevin Jones, Nathan Queen, Andrew Presnell, G.T. Hancock and more. As we pull up to the course, our jaws drop. The natural beauty of this private property called Persimmon Ridge is any disc golf lovers' dream. The course is set on a preexisting 9 hole ball golf course with well-maintained fairways and great views from just about every tee box. I'm personally not the biggest fan of discing on ball golf courses because most of the time the holes are wide open but this place is unique. They utilize the rough from the ball golf course to make wooded disc golf holes that complement the long bomber holes. Each hole out here has either natural OB with brutally thick rough or an OB painted line/sidewalks. Persimmon Ridge has rolling hills with huge trees spread throughout the property with ponds stocked to the brim with largemouth bass and crappie. We knew the second we arrived that this was going to be an experience we'd never forget.
Round 1 feature card was a stacked one starring Kevin Jones, Nathan Queen, Andrew Presnell, and the local favorite Abe Bahena. Mistakes were being made throughout the whole card at the beginning due to lack of competitive play over the last couple of months but shots started to get dialed in after a few holes. It was awesome to see how excited the players were to be out on the course in a competitive setting again. The vibes at this tournament were like nothing I've ever seen before. After the first 9 holes of the tournament, there was only a 2 stroke separation on the card. Abe Bahena was putting on a show in front of his fans by keeping up with some of the biggest names in our sport. It was my first time seeing him play and I was extremely impressed with his putting. He has a very simple but effective routine which is why he had so much success out there. On hole 17, Andrew found himself in big trouble by throwing his tee shot in the pond followed by throwing one more in the water from the drop zone. He then tapped in his putt for 7 on a par 3. Leading up to the hole, Andrew was tied at the top of the card at 5 under par in which he knew he had ruined his chance of making it back on lead card for round 2.
For round 2 out at Persimmon Ridge, the lead card was Abe Bahena, Kevin Jones, Nathan Queen, and Jake Hebenheimer. Jake is a young, up and coming player out of Missouri who told me he wants to make disc golf his profession. The 21-year-old has been practicing daily with Kevin Jones in Columbia at Harmony Bends (the most challenging disc golf course in Missouri) so it was cool to see them bombing discs together on lead card. After the first 9 holes, Abe and Kevin broke away from the rest of the card and looked to have a showdown for the back 9. At around hole 12, Kevin decided to do Kevin things which is birdie every single hole left on the course. Abe put up a heck of a fight but couldn't quite pull it off giving Kevin Jones the win.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to the owners of this amazing property Kim and Steve for giving us a place to stay and being the best hosts we could've asked for and also Luke Humphries for having us out there to capture the action. We are filming "Rumble At The Ridge" today and tomorrow at the same course but with a couple new faces. On the feature card for round 1 we've got Nikko Locastro, Gregg Barsby, Emerson Keith, and Kevin Jones. Coverage will be dropping next week and you're not gonna want to miss it!