SIOUX CITY | Making a trip across the nation to play disc golf in all 50 states is a pursuit that could take years to accomplish. Larry Kirk is making the loop for the third time and this one has an interesting wrinkle.
Kirk, who was in Sioux City late Monday to play the disc golf course at Sertoma Park, is trying to make this journey through the 50 states in 50 days.
“I am just passionate about the game of disc golf and bringing it to the forefront,” he said during a phone interview on Monday.
Kirk played the nine-hole course with some Morningside College students on Monday, but said the best thing about the sport is that both young and old can play and enjoy it.
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc with the objective of completing the hole in the fewest number of throws. Players try to throw the disc into an elevated metal basket to complete each hole.
“I grew up loving the sport as a teenager and I wasn’t passionate about going anywhere with it I just became passionate about it once I introduced my boys to it,” Kirk said. “I started playing in 1978 and 2001 my boys were 11 and 13 when I introduced them to the game and it was just magical.”
Kirk, 52, and his sons began playing all over California while taking his daughter to different softball tournaments throughout the summer.
“I got addicted … and I got all 50 states done in eight years. In 2010 I completed all 50 states,” he said.
In all it took him 16 separate road trips to record his first 50.
Then in 2012, while attending military school, Kirk took some of his retirement funds to make the 50-state loop a second time, but it was his older sister who sparked his latest journey with disc in tow.
“My older sister thought I should get someone to sponsor me to do 50 states in 50 days,” Kirk said. “It lingered with me last year and I thought it sounded good.”
Kirk, who is currently in the Fresno Air National Guard said he has a couple of sponsors that basically put gas in his car even if he “isn’t eating lobster.” The trip also gives him a chance to reunite with family and friends that he has made during his stops at various courses across the nation.
It is just one of the reasons he enjoys the sport.
“You can get outside, meet new people, play a new sport … and just enjoy the course,” Kirk said.
Iowa was Kirk’s 18th stop on this latest trip around the states with stops coming shortly in Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. He hopes to complete the 50 state journey by Sept. 30 when he plans to play in Rock Hill, S.C., for the United States Disc Golf Championship.