Ledgestone Open hype is sweeping the nation.
Players have traveled in from all corners of the United States to play in the biggest event in disc golf. Of the 50 states in the union, only five will be absent from this year’s tournament.
Though Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island won’t be at Ledgestone this year, the states with the two longest travel distances will be represented. Alaska and Hawaii each have three players at the tournament across four different divisions.
Edan and Jai Badajos had the farthest land-locked trip to Central Illinois. The duo hails from Homer, Alaska which lies at the mouth of the Cook Inlet about five hours southwest of Anchorage. The trek spans over 3,200 miles in total.
“Our trip down from Homer, Alaska started with a 5 hour drive through the Chugach mountains and along the Cook Inlet to Anchorage,” Edan said. “From there, we flew down to Chicago, rented a car, and headed to Peoria.”
They made the trip to Peoria in 2021 as well and are excited to be back.
“We are going to play a bunch of the 1-round flex start tournaments and check out a bunch of different courses,” Edan said. “We came down for the challenge of playing Lake Eureka and Northwood as well as Sunset Hills and Wildlife Prairie Park. We are thrilled to be part of the largest disc golf event.”
John Roe also made the trip down from Alaska to attend the Ledgestone Open in the MA65+ division. Though slightly shorter than the Badajoses, Roe’s trek spanned over 2,800 miles.
The biggest draw for Roe is the amount of players in each division, specifically those in his MA65+ age group.
“I am excited to finally get to play with guys my own age,” he said. “I'm 69 years old and have been the oldest player in the State of Alaska by 10 years for a long time. I always play with the young MA 50+ group.”
But even the 9,000+ combined miles traversed by the Alaskans doesn’t come close to the farthest-traveling group of Americans in the Ledgestone Open field. Three players are flying in as a group from the the city of Kapa’a on the westernmost populated island of Hawaii.
John Pennell, Ramsey Ross, and Jacee Lucero are at Ledgestone for the first time. They’ll be playing in the MA40+, MP40+, and MA1, respectively, and each spent over 8 hours in the air to reach Central Illinois.
As a group, the three players will have journeyed an inspiring combination of 25,176 miles by the time they reach their doorsteps back in Hawaii. For context, that’s farther than one full trip around the entire globe.
In addition to the United States, there are eight more countries represented at this year’s tournament. The most notable of which is Australia from which Luke Bayne has traveled almost 9,000 miles (with several stops on the Euro Tour in between) to play in the MPO division.