Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 16, 2017

Kujala earns disc golf sponsorship

Jul 27, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Hayden Kujala

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Hayden Kujala came to Mt. Pleasant in the fall of 2014 to play football, but a different sport now occupies his free time.

The ever-growing sport of disc golf, which has taken off in Mt. Pleasant in the last few years, caught Kujala’s eye in early 2016. He has since grown his game to be good enough to earn a sponsorship with Lift Disc Golf, a company located in Punta Gorda, Florida.

Kujala, now a senior at Iowa Wesleyan, came in as a quarterback in 2014. Originally from Griffin Ga., he learned about the sport from family members and watched it grow here in Mt. Pleasant.

“My family (was into) disc golf, and then I found out that disc golf was huge in Mt. Pleasant,” Kujala says, “so I was like, ‘I might as well jump on that.’”

He joined the Mt. Pleasant league, ran by Steve Thirtyacre, and won his class in 2017. Kujala also picked up a win at the Old Fort Open in Ft. madison on June 10, an win at Peninsula Park in Iowa City and a third-place finish at a “Beat Out ALS” tournament this month.

Kujala was introduced to Lift Disc Golf when he saw an ad to buy shirts. He messaged the owner, John Porton, and began working with him from there.

“It’s an up-and-coming brand so I was like, ‘I’ll help you out as much as possible,’” Kujala says. “That sort of grew (and) while I was doing that, I was winning tournaments so I got recognition for that.”

Kujala is the first player to be sponsored by the brand. With the sponsorship, Kujala can start to make a profitt with the company when players use his last name as a promo-code on the site.

Kujala says head injuries forced him out of football in 2016. Before discovering disc golf, he had yet to play the sport.

“I played ultimate frisbee a lot (so) I had that form down already,” Kujala says, “but I didn’t know about disc golf until about two years ago.”

Kujala has grown to be a big part of the Mt. Pleasant disc golf league in 2017, and will be hosting his own event in late August.

He says he plans on running his event on Sunday, Aug. 20, one day after the East Lake Challenge. That event is set to be played in two rounds, one on the IW campus and one at Oakland Mills.

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