McALESTER — A “monster,” as he put it, was created when Justin Blasengame started playing disc golf in September 2011. He’d played a couple of times at Eagle Hill Disc Golf Course in Krebs and in Muskogee, but his real immersion into the sport began at Beaver Ranch in Conifer, Colo.
“At the time, it was in the top five disc golf courses in the United States,” Blasengame said Saturday.
“You’re throwing uphill and downhill. The course is built inside of a mountain. At the time, there were 22 holes, and they were working on putting in more. But, just some of the views. ... After playing that, I fell in love with it, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
A longtime McAlester resident, Blasengame returned from Colorado and became part of the small but dedicated group of disc golf players in Pittsburg County. That dedication peaked Saturday, when the Eagle Hill board nominated him for club president.
The McAlester Community Disc Golf Facebook group currently has 88 members. McAlester is home to several current or former professional disc golf players, plus many more people who just see it as a fusion of exercise and social activity.
For Blasengame, however, disc golf can be so much more. Blasengame showed that June 7 with Discs for Babies, a tournament that raised more than $2,400 dollars for the March of Dimes Foundation. March of Dimes, according to the mission statement on its website, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies and pregnant women.
Blasengame said he chose the March of Dimes for his first charity tournament after the birth of his son Jacen in 2013.
“He was almost nine weeks premature, and so the March of Dimes really hits close to me,” Blasengame said.
“I felt like I wanted to give something back because of everything March of Dimes has done. So I wanted to do this, and it turned out really successful.”