BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Will Goeringer is gearing up for the Professional Disc Golf Association United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship, June 7-9.
Not only is he the only player from Clarkston competing but it is being held at a close spot – Kensington Metropark in Milford.
“It’s really cool,” he said about playing in the major and competing so close to home. “I have been trying to qualify for a couple of years. It’s cool for me because I can have my mom and dad come out and watch me play. They haven’t had the opportunity to do it before. I can have a bunch of friends come out.”
Kensington has two 18-hold courses installed already but for the championship the Toboggan course will be used. The course is there when big competitions are held at Kensington.
Goeringer added for a while they stopped having competitions there.
“Bringing them back is a really big deal for the community because it was a largest prestigious course that just disappeared,” he said.
Goeringer is proud to represent Discraft at the tournament which is the company who sponsors him and is a major sponsor of the championships.
“I am on the disc underground team, an entry level sponsorship,” he said. “For the longest time only the elite players received sponsorships. Companies are introducing sponsorships for player who are up and coming or good and self promoting. If I keep improving, winning more tournaments I could get promoted to their elite team.”
Right now his favorite disc is Kong, recently released by Discraft.
“This has completely reinvented my playing style because the disc has more glide than any other disc I have really thrown before,” he said. “I have broken my personal distance record with it.”
Goeringer began playing in 2013 when a friend introduced him to disc golf.
“It’s really funny I had never heard of disc golf,” he said. “Then, after playing a couple of rounds with him I just fell in love with it. I was out all the time playing.”
He added he was surprised it took him so long to hear about the sport because there are over 250 courses in Michigan.
“I am glad I found it,” Goeringer said. “I love being outside. It’s given me a new appreciation for nature because I am outside driving to all these new places and checking out all these new cities.. I really enjoy being outside, but I think what gets me hooked the most is watching a disc fly. There is just something memorizing about it. It’s just really pretty.”
He began competing just a few years later in 2015. It was a natural move for him, explaining he is a competitive person.
“I figured it was something I enjoyed doing and I thought I could get pretty good at pretty quickly. Then, it just spiraled into me playing all the time,” he said.
He tries to play in 10-15 competitions per year. So far this year he has placed second in the March Mudfest, March 24; tenth in the Spring Fling, April 28; and 12th in the Southern Michigan Open, April 7. He placed seventh in the Cracked Plastic Classic, Feb. 9, which qualified him for the Amateur Disc Golf Championship.
For those looking into getting into disc golf, Goeringer said it is really easy to get started. He added most parks are easy to get into and don’t have green fees, and the equipment is relatively cheap.
“All you need is one disc to go outside, throw and figure it out,” he said.”The community around here is so friendly and welcoming. I have tagged along with people I never met. There’s no problem finding someone to learn from. The Michigan disc golf scene is awesome. It definitely has one of the more active communities in the United States. We are kind of spoiled out here.”
He added there varieties of courses like Addison Oaks is mostly wooden, Stony Creek Metropark has two courses – wooden and open, and Frankenmuth is open.
Goeringer likes the 9-hole disc golf course at Bay Court Park, off Andersonville Road, because it’s close to home and good to play a quick round.
He enjoys playing at Firefighters Park in Troy because it’s where he played his first round and it is also where played his first tournament and plays in a league.
He has a YouTube channel – Goeringer Disc Golf, and will soon be posting an introduction series for those getting into disc golf or entry level golfers who want to learn more.