The spin on disc golf


Photo by Alex Zank

Story by Alex Zank, Chief Copy Editor

It is a hybrid between Frisbee throwing and golfing, but without the polo shirts and white belts. Disc golf (aka frolf) is a sport, that anyone can play according to students and officials at UW-Eau Claire and is indeed an activity enjoyed by a large number of students and community members of the Eau Claire area.

“I really like how casual the sport is,” said senior psychology major Michael Wollin. “It’s really laid back, no one is ever trying to get up in your face if you’re going too slow; it’s really laissez-faire out there.”

Disc golf is not a complicated sport to understand. Players start at a tee box, which signifies the beginning of a hole, and throw their disc until they get it into the designated basket of that hole.

Courses are typically nine or 18 holes long. The more shots you take to get your disc into each basket is another throw — or stroke — added to your score. The person  or team of two or three with the lowest score wins the game.

This summary may serve as a simplification, as there is quite a bit of technique and strategy involved to the game
as well.

Depending on your location relative to the basket, Wollin said there are different throwing
techniques and disc options involved.

“The trick with the drive is to use your arm like a whip,” Wollin said, adding it is key to use the back muscles and keep the throwing arm parallel with the ground. “As with a putt you’re … standing and facing the (basket) and you have a lift motion as you’re throwing the disc.”

Many different types of discs can be used and are designed for different scenarios. The different types typically are drivers, mid-range discs
and putters.

There are several disc golf courses in the area, including one on upper campus.

The Campus “9” frolf course was installed in the spring of 2006, said Allen Wiberg; program
manager for the Environmental Adventure Center.

“Disc golf was really popular back then (as it is today),” Wiberg said. “Students were seeing if we could find … a possibility of building a disc
golf course.”

The course on campus is exactly where senior marketing Cody Sanoy got his start with the sport.

“Freshman year is when I got started … on the (upper campus) course,” Sanoy said. “It was a nice way to relax.”

Along with student demand, another reason for installing the Campus “9” right on campus is that it provided students with a convenient way to get some exercise with free time, Wiberg said.

“What a great way to get some physical fitness … in between      classes,” he said.

As for an official disc golf club presence on campus, Wiberg said there was one for a brief time period but it is currently not active. He did state there was no reason it could not be a club sport, and he was willing to start one up if there was student desire again.

Disc golf is a good activity for students with busy lifestyles and not much time or money to
dedicate to participating in a sport, Wiberg said.

“We know students are very busy; finding time for … play has always been a challenge,” he said. “Disc golf seemed to be one of those activities (that) doesn’t take a lot of equipment, it’s inexpensive and for students for the most part, this (sport) is free except for them purchasing their discs.”

The EAC sells discs and offers rental ones as well. It costs one dollar to rent a disc, and the price range for purchasing one at the EAC is roughly $8-20, Wiberg said.

Some areas where students can play disc golf in the Eau Claire area are Mount Simon Park, Towers Ridge One and Two, the Northstar Middle School course, and, of course, the Campus “9” course on upper campus. Each place is free besides a small parking fee at the Towers Ridge courses.