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Disc golf competitors have the luxury of social distancing at 2020 Kokopelli Games

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

AZTEC – Despite initial concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, disc golf enthusiasts had the luxury of adequate social distancing and a rather challenging terrain during the first annual Kokopelli Games on Saturday.

A total of 57 participants navigated their way up and down rugged pathways and around some thick bushes at Aztec Disc Golf Course, staying within their groups of four and waiting for the group ahead of them to finish the hole they’re on before proceeding.

“We figured that as long as we were within the realm of reality, we were good to go. We pushed forward, and it’s a great thing to have all these guys come together,” said tournament director Jay Maas, who’s also the San Juan Basin Disc Golf Club President.

Nathaniel Joe tosses his disc into the basket to complete the 12th hole during Saturday's first-ever Kokopelli Games at Aztec Disc Golf Course.

Instead using a golf ball and golf club, competitors threw small Frisbee-like discs down the lanes, inching closer and closer to disc golf baskets on each hole.

Just like regular golf, competitors gradually worked their way through each hole with as few strokes as possible.

Just like regular golf, competitors tried to avoid hitting bushes and kept track of the number of times they threw their Fisbees per hole.

Despite the hurdles, they made it through each hole in a safe manner.

“We make sure everyone’s being safe,” Maas said.

Tournament director Jay Maas throws his disc down the driving lane on the ninth hole during Saturday's first-ever Kokopelli Games at Aztec Disc Golf Course.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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