Pro players like what Geneseo offers

Chris Steele
Kiel Brown throws his tee shot; and Wyatt Tyler tosses his putt at the PDGA Amateur and Junior Disc Golf World Championship held at Richmond Hill Park, in Geneseo.

Playing for the first time in the PDGA Amateur and Junior Disc Golf World Championships, Port Byron’s Kiel Brown was excited to compete on what he considers to be his home courses.

With a variety of different courses around the Quad Cities testing players’ disc golf skills in the tournament held from July 18-22, Brown believes he’s set up to make the most of his knowledge of the local courses.

Starting in the men’s advanced group D division, Brown was able to begin the tournament on what has become his favorite course over the past few years — Richmond Hill, in Geneseo.

With renovations and the recent additions at Richmond Hill, the course has become one of Brown’s favorites to play.

“They have done an awesome job out here,” Brown said. “I think the course is amazing, and I think it’s turned into one of my favorite courses.

“A few years ago, you didn’t know where you were going unless you were local. Now, the holes are closer together and you have multiple tee pads which makes the course more challenging.”

The Geneseo course gives pro disc golfers a lot of birdie opportunities, but the course conditions can change in an instant with the high winds that roll through the hilly course at Richmond Hill Park. Wyatt Taylor, from Des Moines, Iowa, believes a low round is a must at Richmond Hill.

“You have to be placing your drives and taking your birdies,” Tyler said. “You have to take a lot of strokes away to score really well.”

Taylor shot a low round of 10-under par in the first round for the D division group.

However, just the hills themselves can change things for the players.

From Nashville, Tenn., Jason Connatser has never been to this part of the country before, but he loves what the course brings to the tournament.

“It’s exhausting, but it’s fun,” Connatser said. “I love playing through the hills and woods. All the courses are so different in this area.”

With a baseball background, Connatser started playing disc golf about a year and a half ago after he fell in love with the creativity the sport provides.

Eric Jenneke, from Rochester, Minn., said Richmond Hill is a stark contrast from his courses back home.

“A lot of my hometown courses are flat land,” Jenneke said. “It’s a little bit more difficult with a lot more roll outs here, but if you make your putts you are good.”

He liked the split between wooded and open holes, and the small-town feel around Geneseo.

The tournament will conclude with the top players competing in a final round at West Lake Park’s disc golf course, in Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday, July 22.