Around Campus: Disc Golf

Texas State Disc Golf takes flight to national tournament

By Billi London-Gray

Texas State Disc Golf, one of the newest sports clubs on campus, is headed to the 2011 Collegiate National Disc Golf Tournament in April.

The tournament, which will include 36 teams from colleges around the nation, will be held April 14-17 at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex in North Augusta, S.C.

Texas State senior Stephen Allen, the founding president of Bobcat Disc Golf and now Texas State Disc Golf, will be attending the tournament with three other members of the team: junior Mark Olden, junior Stephen Schmidt and senior Zach Jansen, who won the 2010 Central Texas Long Distance Drive contest with a 497-foot throw.

“We have never played in a collegiate tournament before,” Allen says. “We have been talking about playing in this particular tournament since our club found out, in 2010, that there is a collegiate league of disc golfers.”

This year marks the fifth Collegiate National Disc Golf Tournament. The sport, which is growing in popularity according to the Professional Disc Golf Association, involves throwing a flying disc long-distance from a tee area into a post-mounted basket or other target. Like golf, the object of the game is to complete a course of such targets in the fewest number of throws.

“Disc golf is different type of sport. It is really like herding cats,” Allen says. “The ones that have passion for it stick around.”

Members of Texas State Disc Golf not only spend time practicing together, but they also do all the work to maintain the 21-hole disc golf course on campus. Each Friday around noon, members meet on the course at the north end of campus behind Blanco Hall to pick up trash and repair equipment.

The club hosted the 2010 Bobcat Fall Open last year to create enthusiasm for disc golf among both avid players and curious newcomers. Central Texas Professional Disc Golf player Joel Kelly taught fundamentals of the sport to new players. Texas State Disc Golf hopes to host a collegiate tournament in December 2012.

“We look forward to growth for Texas State Disc Golf,” Allen says. “I’d like to have the headquarters for the Texas Collegiate League of Disc Golf right here at Texas State University.”

As the team prepares for the national tournament, Allen reflects on what attracted him to disc golf in the first place: “In all truth, I am looking for a unique experience, a resumé builder and some great memories.”

For more information about Texas State Disc Golf, join their Facebook group or email StephenV@txstate.edu. You can also watch a video about the team produced by the University Star.

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