Students play in disc golf tournament

Sydney Dietz, Sports editor

Disc golf is a fun activity that many people enjoy. During the pandemic in 2020, disc golf became extremely popular and had a reported 84 percent growth in new members.  

Although disc golf may seem like a hobby, it is actually a legitimate sport found at many universities including Mercyhurst.  

Unlike other sports, such as football and basketball, disc golf is not a typical sport that is reported on. Because of that, here is a brief history and summary regarding the sport.  

The earliest record of disc golf was recorded in history in 1926 in Baldworth, Saskatchewan, Canada. A group of elementary school students played a game involving throwing tin lids into four foot wide circles that were drawn into sandy patches on the school grounds.  

However, as time moved on the standardized disc golf target, much like the ones that are used today, were developed in 1976.  

Ed Headrick became one of the most significant figures in modern disc golf history. Headrick introduced the disc golf target with chains and a basket and he formed the Disc Golf Association and then later the Professional Disc Golf Association.  

Because many people may not have much knowledge regarding disc golf, here are some rules explaining the game.  

The main objective of disc golf is to play each hole in the fewest strokes possible. Disc golf is played like regular golf but golf discs are used instead of clubs and balls.  

Each stroke, also known as a throw, is counted each time the disc is thrown. The player with the lowest total strokes for the entire course wins. The hole is completed when the disc comes to rest in a disc golf basket.  

Associate physics professor, Dr. Joseph Johnson has been a long-time disc golfer. He loved the sport so much that he organized a Mercyhurst disc golf team for students to join.  

Although disc golf is not an official club yet, Johnson is hoping to start one. In order for the disc golf team to be considered a club, they were required to participate in an unsanctioned event.  

On March 12, in Olean, New York, the disc golf team competed in the Twin Tiers Disc Golf Regional Tournament.  

“I like to say that disc golf is like going for a hike while playing a sport at the same time to keep you entertained throughout the hike,” said senior geology major Quinlan Hawkins.  

“Playing disc golf has taken me to many different parks in Erie and other parks across the U.S. Plus, disc golf is much cheaper than regular golf. Discs are usually around 10 to 20 dollars and there is no fee to play at most places. As spring is now here, go out and play, you won’t regret it!”    

The disc golf team is growing and will be participating in more tournaments in the future. Professor Johnson hopes to further expand the team and grow its status on campus.  

Hopefully more students will join the team to allow for this growth.