Disc golf: a par-fect pastime


Noah Hausmann

You step up to the tee, flex your muscles, angle the rubbery disc and get ready to let it soar. You throw, thinking it’s the best drive of your life. The disc whizzes through the air, following its gentle arc toward the basket—until it collides in the tangles of a lone tree branch.

“If it weren’t for that one tree,” you exclaim.

Though your first time disc golfing you may be 18 over par and decide to stop keeping score, or you spend more time searching for your lost disc in the shrubby overgrowth than actually playing, the sport is not without its attractions.

In Marquette, numerous NMU students and locals try their hand at the sport of disc golfing, many of them simply as a leisurely

A decent starter set of three discs can be purchased online for about $20 or less, and that can include a driver, a mid-range disc and a putter. For someone who’s still learning the basics of the game, there’s no need to buy a 16-disc bag and other paraphernalia, but that option might be a good idea as the nuances of different discs become apparent.

Two disc golf courses are located close to Northern’s campus. The first is Powder Mill Disc Golf by the Kaufman Sports Complex soccer fields and BMX course off of County Road 550 and Sugar Loaf Avenue. Powder Mill affords a challenging terrain of trees, rocks and the disc-swallowing waters of the Dead River. A bit farther away, in Harvey is Silver Creek Disc Golf Course. Located by the ball fields behind Silver Creek Church, the course has its fair share of trees and other earthy obstacles, and many consider it well worth the extra drive.

Sophomore mathematics and computer science major Nate Santti is a frequent patron of both courses, and he’s not shy about extolling the advantages he sees in the hobby of disc golf.

“You don’t have to pay to go out. A lot of things to do around town cost money, but you can go on the disc golf course for free. That’s nice,” Santti said. “[Disc golfing] just takes an hour of your day, and you get moving in the outside. It’s a great hobby.”

Like any sport, it’s also something you can improve on and better your skills, Santti said.

“Understanding the curves and angles is one thing—and it helps a lot—but actually throwing the disc the way you want to, that’s another,” Santti remarked.

For junior finance major Connor Cappaert, the social aspect of disc golfing with friends—to enjoy successes and failures together—has great appeal.

“I like competitive sports, so it’s another way to be competitive,” Cappaert said. “But I also like being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of Marquette.”

Talking to disc golfing enthusiasts, nature does come up a lot, and the U.P. has plenty of wonders to offer.

“I love the outdoors,” Kelly Edington, senior outdoor recreation leadership and management major, said. “I enjoy disc golf because it’s more slow-paced than, say, hiking would be. Between throws I can stop and take a look at things, like flowers, without having to worry about slowing down the whole group as much.”