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Disc golf professional Nate Sexton praises the “endless creativity” of the sport at Tokyo Air Force Base
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Disc golf professional Nate Sexton praises the “endless creativity” of the sport at Tokyo Air Force Base

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, plays a hole at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2024.

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, plays a hole at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2024. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)


YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Frisbee fanatics honed their skills at a weekend clinic hosted by a former disc golf champion at this U.S. airlift hub in western Tokyo.

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, is a familiar voice to fans of the sport who listen to his commentary of professional disc golf tournaments on YouTube.

“Mentally, I think it’s similar to real golf,” he told Stars and Stripes ahead of Saturday’s clinic at Yokota’s Par 3 Golf Course, which used disc baskets in January 2023. “I think golfers would be impressed with how close disc golfers can get on their throws. to the basket.”

About 25 military personnel and civilians watched Sexton demonstrate holds for forehand and backhand shots and perform throws such as putting, in which a player attempts to throw a disc into a metal basket from relatively close range.

“There is endless creativity when you play disc golf,” he said.

For example, it is possible to throw a disc upside down, and the rules allow discs to be rolled on the ground for a considerable distance.

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, demonstrates his forehand technique at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2024.

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, demonstrates his forehand technique at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 25, 2024. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, will conduct a clinic at Yokota Air Base, Japan, on May 25, 2024.

Nate Sexton, who won the 2017 U.S. Disc Golf Championship, will conduct a clinic at Yokota Air Base, Japan, on May 25, 2024. (Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)

UDisc, a phone application for disc golf scoring and course navigation, lists dozens of courses in Japan, up from just three twenty years ago.

“Japanese disc golf is definitely growing,” said amateur Take Nori, who helped translate for Sexton at the Yokota clinic.

There is momentum behind the idea of ​​adding disc golf to the Olympics, says Sexton, who has scored about 100 holes-in-one since turning pro in 2004.

“It’s still a few years away, but we’re taking early steps to position ourselves for that possibility,” he said.

One of the pilots at the clinic, Staff Sgt. Chris Hanson, a member of the US Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia, is a fan of Sexton’s disc golf commentary.

“He talks about the game in a way that a player can learn from how the pros do it,” he said.

All you need to play is a disc, which you can buy for about $30, said Hanson, who has been playing the game seriously for about two years.

“Disc golf has a significantly lower barrier to entry than other sports,” he says.