Ever wonder why everyone is so crazed about disc golf? Courses seem to be popping up all over and with the opening of two new courses, Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) decided to do a bit more research on the whole topic.
Near as anyone can tell, the first noted disc golf course was on an elementary school playground in Vancouver, BC in 1926. Children designed and created their own course and played with lids from tin cans. Throughout the decades the sport has transformed into a phenomenon that continues to grow today.
Disc golf is a fun alternative to getting outside and exercising. A player will walk between 2.5 and 5 miles on an average course. It is a relatively inexpensive sport to get started in that requires a basic 3 disc set that includes a driver, mid-range and putter disc. A basic set will cost under twenty-five dollars. You can play individually or with a party of disc enthusiasts. As a lifetime activity, disc golf may be experienced by people of all ages and abilities. It is a sport that can be played any time of year and most courses in Minnesota are free and open to the public. Rumor has it that they even make discs that glow in the dark.
In 2006, Southwest Minnesota State University installed an 18-hole course on campus that has gone through a variety of transformations. It was started as an activity for students to do during summer orientation sessions and people now play the course on a daily basis and is managed by the Residence Hall Association (RHA). One year later an 18-hole course was designed and installed at Robbin’s Island in Willmar. The last two years courses have opened in Montevideo and Granite Falls through funding in part by BlueCross and BlueShield of MN Foundation in the “Connect for Health” Challenge grant that is administered by CURE with the support of local partners. Shortly after the opening of the Sunset Lodge #109 Course in Lagoon Park, Montevideo, and the city of Clarkfield put in a 9-hole course and this spring the River’s Edge Disc Golf Course opened in downtown Granite Falls on the Minnesota River. There are also new courses in Canby, Balaton, Slayton, Morris and soon Appleton.
With all of the opportunities to play in the area as well as just over the border in South Dakota, the local partners involved in the Granite and Monte courses organized a two-day, 18-hole tournament named the 2013 Monte-Granite Riverfront Disc Classic. What makes this tournament different that other area tournaments according to Marc Dissell, a Montevideo disc enthusiast is that it is over two days, two courses with a Saturday morning Skills Clinic for those individuals who want to learn more about the sport as well as an evening throwing exhibition at Wegdahl County Park that is sponsored by Frog’s on the Footbridge.
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The Skills Clinic that Dissell spoke about will have four stations to learn some of the basic skills. Marc’s son, Henry Dissell who was the Fiesta Days Youth Champion will instruct the Putting Clinic, Mike Jasperson from Montevideo will instruct the Rollers Clinic, the Backhand Clinic will be taught by Nick Mentele also from Montevideo who was the Fiesta Days Men’s Champion and the Forehand Clinic will be by Justin Samson from South Dakota.
Another feature of the 2013 Monte-Granite Riverfront Disc Classic this coming weekend is that it is an opportunity for community members to learn more about the sport of disc golf. The Skills Clinic is free and the first 75 people to register for the clinic on Saturday morning will receive their very own disc. Saturday evening the event at Wegdahl County Park is also FREE and open to the public and will feature a light supper, a disc throwing exhibition and smores around the campfire. For more information about the Monte-Granite Riverfront Disc Classic July 13 & 14th please visit www.cureriver.org or check out our Facebook pages – Monte Disc Golfers, Granite Ridge Disc Golf and CURE MN River or call 1-877-269-2873.