Paige Bjerkaas, junior elementary education major, was ranked fifth in the country by the Professional Disc Golf Association after winning the PDGA championship in September in Jeffersonville, Vermont.
“When I made my final putt, (it was) very emotional,” Bjerkaas said. “I started crying. My parents ran up to me and we all hugged and it was an incredible moment. To have my dream come true in a beautiful place like Vermont, and with my parents there, it was just a perfect moment.”
Bjerkaas said she started playing disc golf with her parents when she was 10-years-old in Colorado.
“My parents discovered disc gold the year I was born, in 1996,” Bjerkaas said. “We found a local disc golf course and we were hooked.”
Bjerkaas said she liked that the whole family would play disc golf together for fun. Once her father signed Bjerkaas up for her first tournament, she started to become more competitive.
“That’s when I was like ‘Okay, this is fun. I could do this,’” Bjerkaas said.
In 2011 Bjerkaas was ranked third in the amateur women’s championship, according to the PDGA. Dynamic Discs sponsored Bjerkaas for the first time in 2013 after a tournament in Hays, Kansas.
“That’s when I met Jeremy Rusco, and he saw something in me,” Bjerkaas said. “He saw a little girl throwing discs…Now I’ve accomplished so much, and it’s really cool for him to see the growth of who I am as a player.”
Rusco is the creator and CEO of Dynamic Discs, according to their website.
Bjerkaas said she wants to play and practice during the offseason in Jacksonville, Florida. She plans on practicing eight to nine hours a day, workouts included.
“I want to treat (disc golf) like a real job,” Bjerkaas said.
Bjerkaas said the biggest challenge in her career has been time management and keeping up with friends and family.
“Instead of hanging out with my friends, I’m out practicing, or instead of hanging with my family, I’m on the road competing at tournaments,” Bjerkaas said. “But if I had putted an extra thirty, forty minuets this week, I might not have missed that one putt.”