Club sports at Oregon State: The disc golf team
Oregon State has made it to nationals for the second consecutive year
Published: Monday, March 12, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 21:07
For the first time in school history, the Oregon State disc golf team hosted a national qualifier at Milo McIver State Park at the Riverbend Disc Golf Course this last weekend.
OSU, along with University of Oregon, Willamette University, Portland State University, Lane Community College and Humboldt State University competed in the qualifier.
The top two teams qualified for the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship in Augusta, Ga., which will be held on April 11 and 12.
Oregon State was able to secure a spot due to some unique circumstances.
Overall in the tournament, OSU placed fourth with 674, but because University of Oregon is the reigning national champion, they get an automatic spot in nationals — and Portland State decided it did not want to go to nationals.
Because of these events, Oregon State will be joining Humboldt State, who placed first in the tournament with 642 points, in Georgia come April.
Since the team consists of 30 members, they can only send their top four players. The players are Jordan Bowser, Jon Lebsack, Connor Smith, Casey Walker and alternate Andrew Downey.
Member Randi Gullickson took second and member Katelyn Cooley took third in the women's individual event, which will allow them to compete in nationals as well, but as individuals.
The OSU disc golf team was founded in 2010, and has made it to nationals two consecutive years.
"Last year we were able to go to nationals because of our coach's connections and because it was our first year," said Sean Delohery, vice president of the club.
Nate Sexton, their head coach, is currently ranked No. 25 in the world professionally, and has made a large difference in the team.
Each Tuesday, Sexton will come up with a lesson to teach the team, and that is what they try and focus on for the rest of the week.
"Nate is phenomenal, and he really helps out the team more than he even knows," Delohery said.
Each Tuesday and Thursday, the team meets at the Truax Building from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for practice.
Willamette Disc Golf Course and Adair Disc Golf Course are the two local courses they also try to practice at on a regular basis.
At practice, they typically warm up with putting and mid-range shots, then move onto the lesson that Sexton comes up with.
They have 30 due paying members, and usually about 20 members show up for each practice. The club fee is $20 per year, and all skill levels are welcome to join.
The main competition within the club is for spots on the team that travels to nationals. Otherwise, each member comes to practice to improve their skills and have fun.
Each member has a certain bag tag, and they compete with each other to swap bag tags. Bag tags represent a member's skill level, so to get certain bag tags, a member must beat out another member.
"This can be a lot of fun, because it creates competition within the team and helps us improve our skill levels," Delohery said.
Disc golf has very similar rules as regular golf. The only main difference is the use of frisbees instead of clubs.
There are different kinds of frisbees used for different kinds of things performed on the course. The three main elements of the sport are putting, mid-range shots and driving.
Putters are used for close-range shots, such as 20 feet and closer to the basket. Mid-range discs help get a player as close to the basket as they can. Drivers are used for ultimate length and at the beginning of holes.
Like regular golf, the main goal is to make it through the course with as little throws as possible. Whoever has the lowest score wins.
Because the team is so new to campus, they are looking to expand and are doing all that they can to fundraise for upcoming tournaments and nationals.
If you are looking for a way to get involved, and if you like the outdoors, disc golf might be for you.
Delohery added, "Disc golf is a fun way to be active and meet new people. Since we are a new club, we are all working together to make it even better."
Caitie Karcher, sports writer