, 2023-05-19 15:15:21,
Jonah McPhee still finds time most weeks to get out and play a round or two of “ball golf.”
On other days, the Waterloo resident dedicates his time to “disc golf,” a sport he discovered near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through hours of hard work and training, he has become one of Ontario’s top players. He even has a Professional Disc Golf Association profile and is listed as No. 983 in the world rankings, with three tournament wins to his credit and $2,250 in career earnings.
All in all, not too shabby for a player who is only three years into the sport.
“My buddy, Owen Malo, got me into it near the start of COVID. He told me to watch a disc golf YouTube video, which I did, and then I went out to Columbia Lake, a disc golf course at UW, tried it and loved it,” said the 21-year-old McPhee.
“And then I’d spend six hours on the disc-golf course every day during lockdown. It was what I’d do to pass the time.”
McPhee has been a regular at Columbia Lake in recent days as he makes final preparations for this weekend’s Foxwood Open, a PDGA A-Tier tournament and qualifying event for the Oct. 5 to 8 United States Disc Golf Championship and Throw Pink Women’s Disc Golf Championship in Winthrop, S.C.
This year’s Foxwood Open, at Foxwood Golf Club in Baden, will showcase 229 of the best amateur and professional players from across North America, and has a projected pro payout of more than $10,000.
Intermediate players will compete on the par-65 White course, which measures 8,195 feet in distance, and advanced amateurs and professionals will play the par-63 Gold course, at 8,535 feet.
McPhee was a multi-sport athlete at Waterloo Collegiate and ended his time there by winning male athlete of the year honours in 2020. He was part of the school’s golf team that played at the 2018 all-Ontario (OFSAA) championship — carrying a handicap of “about three or four” while playing Westmount — and also excelled in basketball, volleyball and track and field.
He moved on to the University of Western Ontario after high school and is currently an intern, as a financial analyst, at a Cambridge real estate company. He’ll return to the Ivey Business School in September for his fourth year of university.
Disc is serious business
McPhee’s approach to disc golf is just as serious as the other sports he has played.
“A lot of people think of disc golf as just a bunch of hippies going out smoking weed, but at the top, it’s very competitive, and…
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