Local disc golfer, 12-year-old Brock Dowdell, is advancing in his sport in a way he could have only dreamed. He has been invited by the Professional Disc Golf Association to attend the World Juniors in Peoria, Illinois during the week of June 26 to July 1. “When he got the email… he was blown away,” said Brock’s mother, Holly.
Brock was selected to attend based on his performance in 2022. He will play in the Mixed Amateur category as he turns 13 in July.
The question of how Brock became involved with disc golf is a story going back to his very early childhood. “Before Brock was born, there were disc golf baskets all over the yard,” said Holly, explaining that they would play with neighbours and friends for fun. Brock watching his father play for years competitively encouraged him to want to play as well. He started to play in 2020 with his own PDGA # 197393. Brock has participated in several tournaments in Hamilton, Quebec, Kingston and locally in Kemptville. His father, Dwayne Dowdell, designed and installed the Kemptville disc golf course. Brock can be found there all summer practicing his skills and helping teach people who are new to the sport. During the school year, he practices for an hour per day after school.
“We are overjoyed and very proud as parents to watch our son Brock play and compete in a sport that he truly loves,” said Holly. “His passion for disc golf is the driving force behind his many successes on the course. However, Brock is just as happy practicing and playing casual rounds with his dad and the many members of the Kemptville Disc Golf Club.”
Brock explained some of his history with disc golf and other sports. “I first began throwing discs around as a toddler, but it was until I was 10 years old in Spring 2021 that I began playing disc golf with my father at the Ferguson Forest Disc Golf Course and quickly developed a keen interest in the sport,” said Brock. “I enjoy other athletics immensely including hockey, badminton, and pickleball.”
Brock likes to practice as much as possible year round. “This can be a challenge in Canada where our winters make it difficult to practice outside,” Brock added. “The short game of disc golf (putting) is something I can practice in the winter with a disc golf basket in the basement. Another challenge is having to travel all over the province on weekends to compete in tournaments, much like many other sports at the highest level.”
Brock began playing disc golf seriously in 2021, winning his first tournament, the Junior Division of the Ottawa Disc Golf Plaid Jacket Championship, in the fall of that year.
“I spend the vast majority of my spare time dedicated to my development as a player as well as promoting the sport within my community,” Brock added. “I play disc golf year-round in leagues and tournaments, even in our cold Canadian winters. I also spend a lot of time researching, learning about discs and all brands, as well as following my favorite professionals on YouTube.”
Brock appreciates the amazing support of his parents and grandparents. He and his father have conducted in-person disc golf information clinics at local community events, including the 2022 International Plowing Match and The North Grenville Healthy Living Expo. “I even had the opportunity to teach our North Grenville Mayor, Nancy Peckford, how to putt into a disc golf basket,” Brock added.
Brock is determined to make disc golf a life-long endeavor. “Above all, pursuing the joy of disc golf and sharing it with others is very important to me,” he said. Fundraising has begun to support Brock’s journey to the World Juniors. Anyone wishing to contribute can email [email protected], and all are encouraged to keep an eye out on social media for upcoming raffle baskets.