Brannon dominates competitive disc golfing


Photo courtesy of Bowman Brannon

FOLLOWING THROUGH: Computer Science teacher Brannon Bowman practices his throw at the park. Bowman has been playing professionally for six years.

Dimitri Silva, Sports Editor

Growing up, Computer Science teacher Bowman Brannon never would’ve imagined himself in the spotlight as a professional disc golfer. Now, being watched by sponsorship committees and his friends didn’t faze him as he threw the perfect disc into the basket, winning the match.

While playing professional disc golf, Bowman has accomplished new sponsorships, brand deals, designed different courses, and bested his competition a numerous amount of times.

“I think that it’s one of those sports where the barrier to entry is very low,” Brannon said. “It doesn’t cost a lot and most of the courses are free so just buy some plastic and go out. You can even go on a field and throw it at a telephone pole just to get started. It’s a great sport for teenagers in particular because you don’t have to have a set schedule that you practice on certain days or, three-hour games you have to go to on Friday. There’s none of that.”

Before he began his disc golf career, Brannon started with baseball, which he played professionally before turning to teaching. Baseball helped him get familiar with throwing which allowed him to be familiar with competition and understand the necessity of building vital relationships with teammates.

“One of the best things about playing disc golf is the culture of the sport,” Brannon said. “Most of my good friends play the sport, and having this specific thing we all find in common is really great, and we are always trying to improve.”

Brannon began playing with his friend at local parks, which gave them a chance to get away from their parents and have fun on their own. Then everything changed when he got noticed by the Waterloo Disc Golf Club.

“After I got noticed, I played in some tournaments and in local leagues,” Brannon said. “After I won a few of those and picked up my first sponsor with Teaming Wreckit three years ago. Then I also got another sponsor called Black Zombie Disc Golf who pays for my entry for tournaments. I then started making a little money which helps pay for my addiction to the sport. I’m always buying new plastic and a couple of baskets which makes it all the more fun.”

Playing disc golf is something Brannon is passionate about, but he is also passionate about teaching computer science.

“He doesn’t talk about playing disc golf very much,” junior Andrius Velez said. “But when he does I can tell it makes him really happy and he’s obviously very passionate about the sport. I never really knew much about disc golf before Mr. Brannon talked about playing it and It’s super interesting hearing about it.”

With new disc golf courses constantly being created, there is a variety for disc golf players to choose from. Brannon is currently working to help design and create his first disc golf course. In addition to designing courses, he is now hosting tournaments.

“The amount of people getting into disc golf right now is crazy,” Brannon said. “Since the sport is growing so fast people are looking for tournaments to join and hosting tournaments gives others the same opportunities I had when I first started playing.”

Sponsorship is something that is pushing Brannon to continue pursuing disc golf. With many new sponsorships and other professional athletes he’s met playing, he’s climbing the ranks as an excellent player.

“There are a lot of organizations, like the Black Zombie Disc Golf, that are really trying to promote the transition from the high level amateurs to being able to do it and make some money out of it,” Brannon said. “It’s the camaraderie of getting to play with your friends. It’s also the thrill of being able to enjoy the nature force.