After all the places Johnny Botamer has seen, after all his stops during a decade of following professional disc golf, he settled here.
The draw was the newly built International Disc Golf Center at Wildwood Park. Botamer was blown away. There are three disc golf courses on site, the Disc Golf Hall of Fame and a state-of-the-art practice facility.
"The setting couldn't be more perfect," said Botamer, known as Johnny B. to local disc golfers.
He sells discs from the back of his green pickup. He estimates there are around 400 discs -- in a variety of colors -- stacked in the green and black crates. He said he has 700 more at home, mostly collector's items.
Inspired by a PBS special on a man who fished golf balls from lakes and ponds, Botamer fashioned a rake into a fishing device and went searching.
Some of his finds earned him cash from golfers grateful to have their discs back. Many more went unclaimed, so Botamer began selling them.
He launched this side business around the time he decided to quit his job and hit the road.
Botamer was a registered nurse in Scottsdale Ariz. He worked out of his home treating autistic patients, and he said he didn't have a day off for more than 3 1/2 years.
In 1998, soon after Botamer was convinced by his local disc golf club to turn pro, two of his close friends died within six weeks of each other.
"That kind of put me over the edge to where I wanted to grab life," Botamer said.
He quit his job, sold his house, bought an RV and hit the road with the Professional Disc Golf Association Tour.
His grandiose dream didn't quite turn out as planned. The competition was fiercer than Botamer expected, and he injured his knee six months into his trip.
Botamer began to focus less on competition. He sold discs to help cover the gas to drive the RV from coast to coast.
And he began filming.
Botamer shot video of all the events he traveled to, compiled highlights, set them to music and marketed them.
He said he was the only one filming the events when he started. Today, the PDGA's media partners include Disc Golf TV, Zone Driven Sports, Disc Golf Live video magazine and Disc Golf Monthly.
Botamer said he has done some work for the International Disc Golf Center and hopes to land a full-time job there as a media consultant.
The job would be another step in Botamer's goal of establishing roots. He stopped following the tour this year after visiting 501 courses.
At his 500th stop, in Springfield, Mo., Botamer decided he was done.
"It was almost like Forrest Gump," Botamer said. "I said, 'I think I've had enough. I think I'll go home now.' "
Botamer lives in Harlem. He is a fixture of the local disc golf scene, parking his truck in the shade of the parking lot at Patriot's Park and displaying his discs to potential buyers.
He doesn't claim to be a businessman. He said he would offer his services free to anyone who wanted to learn the game -- be it youth groups or high school physical education classes.
And Botamer said he's willing to part with some of those colorful discs for those who need them.
"I eat, sleep and drink disc golf," he said. "Most people think that's boring. But when you get out there and make that disc fly ... it's exciting."
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