My name is Premek Novak and I have promoting disc golf in Czech Republic since 2010 when there were just a few people playing and only one permanent course. Six years later at the end of 2016, we had over 70 public courses and thousands of people playing. How did that happen? The answer is simple – vision, hard work and DiscGolfPark.
My disc golf story started in 2005, when I spent three months in Estes Park, Colorado. I worked there as a mountain bike guide in Rocky Mountains NP and waiting tables in a hotel restaurant. We were working like real Eastern European immigrants (means like hell) with my friend Michal and had just a couple of days off during the whole summer. During those days, we visited Utah’s Slick Rock mountain bike trail, climbed the highest mountain around (Longs Peak 14,255 ft) and finally tried disc golf in Edora Park, Fort Collins. One of our managers Pete took us there. First thing that crossed my mind was: How can we get this to Czech Republic?
At that time, we were studying at a University in Czech Republic with the major named Recreology. Sounds weird, I know, but the fact is that it is a very interesting and much needed field of study. Our society is facing several issues which come from our sedentary life style, nutrition and lack of movement. We are spending a lot of money to heal people with diseases like 2nd type of diabetes, heart attack, obesity and certain types of cancer. It is very hard, almost impossible to heal those diseases, and in fact we are currently just trying to slow down their impact on the human body. We are not able to heal them, so we are basically fighting windmills. The only thing we can do to lower the presence of these lifestyle diseases is prevention. And there is only one way how to motivate people to move actively – building new sports infrastructure in public places. And disc golf course is one of the best in this manner – it is cheap and it is for everyone!
After coming back to Europe, I started digging more information about disc golf. I realized that a crucial part for disc golf growth are courses in public places. How could we get them? I put together all the necessary costs and had a feeling that the cities would never pay for this, I thought it is too expensive! Of course it was not, I was wrong and it took me five years until I realized it.
It was June 2010, when I found the DiscGolfPark website on the internet and thought to myself – this must be it! I sent an email to the concept owner Innova Europe, visited Finland and became a representative of the DiscGolfPark concept in Czech Republic. We built the first DiscGolfPark in Prague a year later in June 2011, and from that point we have been putting 6-12 courses into the ground every year. Sometime in 2011, my youngest brother Krystof started playing disc golf and helping Michal and me with our business. He soon became a partner and he is now handling the proDiscgolf.cz online store, while Michal and myself are handling the course sales and installations. With six courses installed in just last month we all can see a bright future for disc golf in the Czech Republic. You should come over to check it out!
Premek is the tournament director of the Disc Golf World Tour event Konopiste Open 2017 this week. Click the picture to follow the event!
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