Askren, Andrew Zimmern, Dylan Cease among those that will attend.
June 14, 2021 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with comments
It’s fun watching Steph Curry play golf. How about seeing Ben Askren play disc golf?
The Disc Golf Pro Tour has teamed up with the former MMA fighter and champion wrestler to co-host a Celebrity Pro-Am Invitational on Tuesday, July 13th, at Askren’s personal course, Funky Farms.
Late last week, Askren tipped the news on Twitter:
The Pro Tour had been planning to host a celebrity pro-am event in the offseason in Florida, but the pieces came together to hold an event after the Des Moines Challenge.
“Paul [McBeth] hit me up and asked me if I would want to host, because I had mentioned the desire to do something like that last year [when he and Brodie Smith visited my course],” said Askren.
Rather than wait until December, the DGPT decided to slot it into the season. “We saw it as a good way to create some initial buzz for the concept,” said DGPT CEO Jeff Spring. “The next one we do will be a little bigger, with spectators.”
Invitations are still going out, but a number of celebrities have already agreed to come, including the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease, Pardon My Take podcast host Dan “Big Cat” Katz. Some MMA fighters, including Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, will also be in attendance. Invitations are in the mail to some PGA Tour pros that are known disc golfers as well, including Bubba Watson and Bryson DeChambeau.
“I’m obsessive about watching my favorite sport, so the chance to play with and meet some of the people I idolize and try to emulate — I know I sound like a ridiculous superfan, but I am a ridiculous superfan,” said Zimmern, who has played disc golf for years and closely follows the professional tour.
The event’s format is still being finalized, but it will include best shot doubles with pro disc golfers paired with celebrities competing for the chance to name the charity of their choice to receive $5,000 from the Disc Golf Pro Tour. The DGPT will cover room and board and travel expenses for the participants.
The event will be broadcasted on Disc Golf Network. No spectators will be on site this year.
The Funky Farms course has “a little bit of everything except water,” according to Askren, who pointed to elevation change as a key feature of the “more technical” course. You can see the course played by Askren, Paul McBeth, Hannah McBeth, and Brodie Smith on YouTube.
Askren lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so it’s a manageable drive from Des Moines for the eight pros — six men and two women — that will be competing at the event.1 It’s also an easy drive for Dylan Cease — and the event lines up perfectly with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Break.
“I’m most excited to get a round in with some studs!” he said. “I don’t get to play much during my season so just getting to play is big for me!”
“The celebrities are jumping on with excitement just to be close to the pros,” said Spring.
Cease said he’s played with Ricky Wysocki before and thinks they would make a good team, but “Paul is obviously a legend so getting to play with him would be cool too!”
“I’d love to play with any of the 1050 guys,” said Zimmern. “I’m a big fan of some of the older players on the tour — if Dave Feldberg was there, it would be a thrill to play with him or JohnE McCray, simply because I don’t know how many more years they’re going to be out there playing. Catrina Allen is from Minnesota, so I’d be thrilled to play with her.”
Askren said he was excited about playing host to the event and getting the chance to play more disc golf. He hasn’t played in a tournament since 2012 because of his busy schedule.
“I hope everyone tunes in,” he said. “I hope it turns out to be a really fan-friendly product that everyone enjoys the vibe of. And I hope we can do it again and have a really good turnout.”