A scene from the opening ceremony of the Xiamen Beach Ultimate Open. Photo: Brian Hoeniger
When we last checked in from overseas, the PDGA and Prodigy Team contingent in China had arrived back in Shanghai by bullet train. They then took to a sports field at an experimental middle school in the country’s largest district to introduce disc golf to teachers and students, who were already learning ultimate Frisbee. The school’s 350 to 400 students spectated from the sidelines and oohed and ahhedas Will Schusterick and Dave Greenwell launched midranges and drivers the length of the pitch and beyond.
Three-time United States Disc Golf Champion Will Schusterick demonstrates proper forehand technique for a group of university students in China. Photo: Brian Hoeniger
On Monday the disc golf ambassadors to China and their China Disc Golf Center hosts sped north from Suzhou to Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, traveling the 800 kilometers (497 miles) by bullet train in under four hours, with cruising speeds that reached 305 kph (190 mph).
Our visit to this metropolis of 6 million was hosted by Mr. Wong, vice president of the sports department at Shandong University, one of the country’s 15 double-A rated academic institutions, and Mr. Lee, a local sports organizer.
Songqing Guo took fifth place in the Advanced division at China's first PDGA-sanctioned tournament Sunday. Photo: Brian Hoeniger
Sunday marked a milestone in the evolution of disc golf, when the first PDGA-sanctioned tour event was held in the People’s Republic of China. Surely “Steady” Ed Headrick was smiling down on the proceedings from his eternal flight, knowing that the sport he formalized some 40 years ago was now taking off in the world’s most populous nation.
Disc Golf Hall of Fame member Dave Greenwell demonstrates proper putting technique in China. Photo: Brian Hoeniger
Thursday morning Team Prodigy members Will Schusterick and Dave Greenwell had the privilege of introducing disc golf to some truly beautiful people in Ningpo, China, an exercise in basic skills transfer that they will cherish as one of the highlights of their long careers in disc golf.
Ultimate Frisbee players at Nottingham Ningbo University get a lesson in disc golf. Photo: Brian Hoeniger
PDGA International Director Brian Hoeniger, Prodigy Disc President Michael Sullivan, and Prodigy team members Will Schusterick and David Greenwell have arrived in the Peoples’ Republic of China to begin a two-and-a-half week whirlwind tour that will include demonstration workshops to local students, training of physical education teachers in disc golf instruction, and meetings with local government officials.