North Texas Daily

Disc golf club reemerges at UNT

Disc golf club reemerges at UNT

Disc golf club reemerges at UNT
October 23
11:35 2013

Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer

UNT Recreational Sports re-welcomed disc golf this fall as its newest addition to its list of club sports.

Mechanical engineering sophomore Allison Carlton and applied behavior analysis and psychology sophomore Nick Mills started the club after learning the short-lived disc golf club disbanded last fall because of lack of interest and participation.

“At first we were joking around, but then it became a reality,” club vice president Mills said.

Disc golf is a combination of Frisbee and golf, with the flying disc used as a golf ball. The goal is to throw one’s disc into a disc pole hole, or basket, roughly 250 to 350 feet away in the fewest number of throws, or strokes.

As with golf clubs, there are different discs designed for different purposes. Long-range/distance drivers are used for longer throws, fairway drivers are used for shorter distances while approaching the basket and putters are used to throw inside the basket.

“It’s such a popular sport and anybody can play it,” said Stuart Birdseye, recreational sports assistant director of marketing and membership services. “That’s one of our goals for all our clubs is to have it open for anybody. So if you’re just learning, you can find a home there.”

Carlton and Mills agree the best thing about the sport is the people who play it.

“It has that kind of community that everyone looks for in a sport,” Mills said.

Mills said that it is a way for him to forget about his busy schedule and to relax with friends.

The duo spent the spring 2013 semester recruiting players and compiled nearly 30 members. Some of them play recreationally, while the others joined the team for competitive play.

Business entrepreneur senior Austin Colley joined the team about a month ago in search of people to help him “hone in” on his skills.

Colley found the UNT team on the Internet and met up with them after a practice at North Lakes Park on Bonnie Brae Street. He immediately joined.

“It doesn’t matter how everyone else is playing, the game is truly versus yourself,” he said.

The team has been practicing for five weeks to prepare for the first qualifying tournament on Oct. 26 and 27 at Twin Parks Country Club in Austin.

Club president Carlton will select four men to represent UNT in Austin along with herself. The club is allowed to send two teams, four men and four women, but Carlton is the only female player.

Players can compete by playing alone in singles, or on a two-person team in doubles. At the end of the tournament, the scores of each individual player are tallied and combined with the other team members’ scores to determine the team’s rank in the tournament.

The team’s goal is to place in the top 20 for the tournament and get an automatic bid to the National Championship held next spring at the Hippodrome Complex in North Augusta, S.C.

“Everyone has been coming to almost every practice and has been working really hard,” Carlton said.

Disc golf is a fast-growing sport. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association website, the number of current registered members in Texas nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012.

Though there are more than 18,000 current registered members in the U.S., the Professional Disc Golf Association has handed out more than 56,000 memberships since its first member in the early ‘80s.

For more information about the UNT Disc Golf team, call: President Allison Carlton (214) 504-5417

Feature photo: Disc golf, sometimes called Frisbee golf, has nearly identical rules to the sport of golf it’s named after. Players aim to complete the course in as few throws as possible. Photo by Edward Balusek, Staff Photographer.

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