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Catrina Allen from the US tossing a drive down the fairway during the Presidents Cup at the Nokia DiscGolfPark on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Allen is ranked as the secondbest professional woman disc golfer in the world. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Throw a hole-in-one down the fairway at hole 17 and you get to take the brand new Mercedes parked next to the tee pad out for a two-week spin.

It’s the lottery win for an average player at the Nokia Discgolfpark, as the distance from the tee pad to the basket is 140 meters, but when watching the top pro players from the US and Europe throw constant accurate shots of such length, you start to believe that anything is possible at the Presidents Cup, a team battle of the continents.

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Henrik Johansen from Sweden throwing a putt. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Finland is one of the hotbeds of disc golf, a game where accuracy, precision and mental toughness determine the winner, and just like in traditional golf, the player who scores the fewest number of shots wins. There are four Finns in Team Europe (the teams consist of six men and two women), facing hard-boiled pros from the USA.

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Seppo Paju from Finland is one of the top professionals in the country. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The four Finns are Pasi Koivu, Jalle Stoor, Seppo Paju and Juho Parviainen and some of the top players in the US team include Paul McBeth, David Feldberg, Paige Pierce and Catrina Allen—the latter four all world champions during one time or another.

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David Feldberg from the US is ranked as the fourthbest professional disc golfer in the world. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

About 2,000 spectators have gathered to observe the competition on Wednesday afternoon in the small town of Nokia, a town of about 33,000 inhabitants, located some 15 kilometers from Tampere in Pirkanmaa region, central Finland. According to one of the organizers, Jukka Teräs, the number of spectators has been growing yearly (this is the seventh Presidents Cup), thanks to the increasing number of disc golf devotees. There are about 80,000 disc golf enthusiasts and about 420 courses across the country. The game attracts new practitioners yearly.

READ:  Disc Golf 2019 European Open Champion Paul McBeth in Nokia: 'The Finnish Players Are Real Athletes'

The reasons for the game’s growing popularity are simple. First of all, it’s easy to start playing. The discs cost between 10-18 euros, most of the courses are free and, although the basics can be learned relatively fast, it remains a challenge for a lifetime.

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David Feldberg putting the disc into the basket. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The game originates from the US where the players amount to about 500,000. It has been played there since the late ’60s.

Surprisingly, disc golf started enjoying some interest in Finland already in the ’70s, but only on the verge of the millennium, it started attracting more players after municipalities began designing free courses to meet the growing number of players. After all, many small towns have large areas surrounded by trees or forests, and these areas could be turned to challenging courses relatively easy. It’s common to see even families enjoying time together at the disc golf course.

Sharing a good walk defined.

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Nathan Doss from the US has won three world championship titles. He is ranked as the secondbest disc golfer in the world. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

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The year 2013 European Open winner Paul McBeth from team US holds the rank as the number one disc golfer in the world. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

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Paige Pierce from the US displaying incredible focus and accuracy. It’s no wonder that she is ranked as the number one woman disc golfer in the world. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today
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Paul McBeth taking home the trophy for the US. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today