, 2022-07-24 05:56:52,
In Finnish, the term “kiekko” means puck or disc, and it’s quite well-known that people in Finland go a bit wild over the sport played with a puck.
However, another kiekko sport has taken Finland by storm in the past few decades, but it isn’t played with a puck, sticks or even on ice. It’s played with a disc.
Disc golf, also known as Frisbee golf, is a big deal in Finland.
So it should come as no surprise that the Disc Golf European Open in Nokia, Finland has become one of the premiere professional disc golf tournaments in the world and the largest of its kind in Europe.
Switching out clubs for discs
The sport is similar to traditional golf, just with a few adjustments. Forgoing clubs, balls and holes, players try to get discs into baskets with hanging chains in as few attempts as possible. The same terminology is used as well—”birdie”, “eagle” and “fore” are all borrowed from the original version of the sport.
Depending on the type of shot, players also switch out discs, often named by their counterparts from traditional golf clubs—”driver” and “putter”. And while not as bulky as traditional golf bags, some players even have caddies of their own to help them carry their arsenals of discs.
Although they might seem similar, the style differs greatly from traditional golf—the Disc Golf European Open’s sponsors included barefoot shoes, a popular Nordic tabletop game and, of course, numerous disc manufacturers.
At this point though, Finland now has more disc golf courses than traditional golf courses. There are a few reasons behind the sport’s meteoric rise in Finland. Compared to other sports it is relatively inexpensive—for both equipment and use of the courses.
The sport caters to players of different skill levels, is family-friendly, and a way for people to get outside. Additionally, unlike traditional golf courses, disc golf can be played in forests, rather than carefully manicured fairways and greens—suiting Finland’s natural terrain quite well.
Thousands in attendance
Originally hosted in Tampere in 2006, the event started being held at the Nokia disc golf course—also known as “the Beast”—in 2011. The 18-hole course is challenging, littered with trees and offers elite players a chance to truly test their skills.
The logo for Europe’s preeminent disc golf tournament is a lion in mid-roar—a nod to Finland’s coat of arms and ice hockey team and to remind competitors that this is no…
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