Disc Golf Makes Debut At USC Upstate

October 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

Disc golf, the second fastest growing sport in America, now has a home at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A Grand Opening for the Disc Golf Course was held on Friday, October 26 by the first hole of the course.

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®. A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target, which is the “hole”. The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole®, which is an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The trees, shrubs, and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed. Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. There are few differences, though. Disc golf rarely requires a greens fee, you probably won’t need to rent a cart, and you never get stuck with a bad “tee time.” It is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status.

“The course is open,” said Mark Ritter, director of fitness and campus recreation. “No tee times required at this point. People can just start playing.”

The 18-hole course is located near the Palmetto Trail across from the Rampey Center on North Campus Boulevard. Each hole, set up with the standard disc golf basket, is a par three, but “obviously some holes are longer and more difficult” noted Ritter.

While not aware of any teams forming, Ritter said there have been regular players among students and staff. Any number of people can play together, though four to five people per team is standard. Of course, it is not uncommon for individuals to play singularly.

For now, disc golf is recreational on campus, but there are discussions about including the sport on the college’s intramural calendar, as well as promoting it to the general public.

“It’s a fun sport and can be played in around an hour,” added Ritter. “Scorecards are being made now, and the course is ready for play.”

For additional information, contact Mark Ritter, director of fitness and campus recreation at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5939 or mritter@uscupstate.edu.