When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Bryant Stewart was looking for a way to stay active. Normally he would play in a basketball league with his friends, but when the gyms were closed he had to find another sporting outlet.
The Lexington native went from hardwood to grass, where he and several friends played disc golf. The quartet, made up of Stewart, Josh Stevenson, Matthew Banks and Zach Buchanan, traveled an hour and a half from Lexington to participate in the Greenwood disc golf tournament.
“I am a COVID baby,” said Stewart. “When COVID happened, we all met quite regularly to play basketball. When the gyms were closed we were just looking for a sport to play where we get companionship, be together and be outdoors.
Stewart and his friends were among 70 participants who took part in Saturday’s disc golf tournament, which served as the official opening for the new 18-hole course built around the Greenwood Civic Center.
“My wife grew up going and working at Camp Fellowship, so I knew the area,” said Stewart. “I am part of a local disc golf group on Facebook, and they mentioned that this tournament is taking place. I just wanted to come and check and see the camp again. Just come here and have a good time.
Since the start of the pandemic, non-contact outdoor sports have become more popular and disc golf is no exception. Like Stewart, many people started to take up the sport after the shutdown.
Lately, courses have been opened in Greenwood County, as three courses have been opened in the surrounding towns of Saluda, Due West and Laurens.
Jacob Bradley is a former high school baseball player who attends Lander University. He got into the sport playing at Lander Disc Golf Course, but started playing Greenwood Course after Lander Course cut a few holes to build more buildings on campus.
“I got into disc golf playing on the Lander disc golf course,” said Bradley. “I started playing here every time they put this course here. It was really fun. I appreciated it. I stopped playing baseball after high school, so disc golf was just an alternative to getting back into the competitive arena.
The course spans 85 acres of Greenwood County Park, skirting baseball diamonds and behind the Farmers Market.