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Students start Notre Dame disc golf club

Patrick Cruitt | Tuesday, September 7, 2010

While Frisbees are a common sight on college campuses, Notre Dame now has a club devoted to the game of disc golf.

According to senior Michael Sizemore, president of the recently formed club, disc golf is a hybrid between Ultimate Frisbee and golf. It follows the rules of golf, but instead of using a club to hit a ball into a hole, players throw a disc into a metal basket. The object of the game is to get the disc into the basket in the fewest possible number of throws.

Sizemore said Northern Indiana is a popular area for disc golf.

“I’ve played probably 20 tournaments in the past year, and, with few exceptions, I’ve never traveled more than an hour or two to get to them,” he said.

The disc golf world championships were held in South Bend in 1996, Sizemore said. There are a few courses in the nearby area for serious and beginning players.

Rum Village Park is one such course, where Sizemore said the disc golf team frequently practices. He and the club recently helped renovate the park; they moved some of its baskets because there was damage from erosion.

Bertrand County Park, another nearby disc golf park, is in Niles, Mich. Sizemore said it is older and shorter, and the cost of entry is $4.

While there are several disc golf tournaments in the area, Sizemore said he hopes to schedule more. One event he plans to organize is called an “Ice Bowl.” This type of tournament is held during the winter months.

“You can’t change the day no matter what,” he said. “Their motto is ‘no wimps, no whiners.'”

He also said he also hopes to travel with a team from Notre Dame to the Collegiate Disc Golf Nationals in South Carolina.

Sizemore said for beginning disc golf players, the rules are not difficult to learn, but the hardest aspect of the game is becoming familiar with the many types of discs.   

“There are over 500 different types of discs, and each have a different flight pattern and can be thrown in a different way,” he said.

For beginning players, Sizemore said he suggests getting a basic set of discs: a putter, a midrange and a driver. A putter disc looks like an Ultimate Frisbee disc, he said, while a driver disc is thinner on the edges and smaller in size.

“That’s a little more dangerous; you can throw that a good long way,” he said.