Crowds left over from the Masters, one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments, stayed in Augusta, Georgia, to witness a different take on the traditional sport. The National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship hosted a slew of Universities from all over the country including Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
The disc golf team, which also happens to be a club on campus, has been invited to this prestigious event for the past three years. Not many know this sport or its relation to the well-known sport of golf. Disc golf is similar to golf in scoring and the names of the devices used to hit, or in disc golf’s case, throw.
As the name suggests, disc golf uses different discs otherwise known as Frisbees. The discs vary for each shot. The discs come in different shapes, colors, and weights. There are drivers, putters, and discs used for range. The object of the game is to get the disc into the hole, or basket, which is suspended in the air.
Daniel Messina, senior, Business, a disc golf member, stated disc golf is just like golf but notes the elements can be an advantage to the thrower. “Disc golf is more about becoming one with the elements,” Messina stated. With no special technique on how to throw the disc, Messina insists you can throw it any way you want.
On campus, disc golf is both a club and a team, although they do not receive any financial backing from the school. The top players in the club play on the team.
In order to fund the trip to Nationals the team had to raise roughly $5,000, which they did through countless fundraising efforts. Their efforts were not in vain. According to the team members, all eight members finished well individually and, as a team, they shot the best. According to Brian Rambler, senior and member of the disc golf team, the team was, “Ballin’ Outrageous,” at the tournament. Rambler’s response to how the team approached the tournament was, “Mash drives and bang putts!”
The team of eight was divided into two groups of four which competed in two different divisions. Division A and B. The division A team finished seventh overall in their division while division B took second place overall in their division.
This was not the team’s only success. Sam Bahlenhorst, junior, became the individual National Putting Champion as well as placing fourth overall in division A. “We basically tore up, ripped the competition to shreds,” Bahlenhorst said. Rambler also had a hole in one.
Other achievements by the nationally-ranked team included being the first and only university to have an international student participate in the competition. Fumihide Kohori, an exchange student from Japan, won the most fun wins award for his participation in the tournament. Another Otter, Brandon White, is currently ranked sixth overall in the country which gives him the title All-American. Merle Witvoet is the team’s coach.
The team performed so well they have been invited back the next year. However well they did this year, the majority of the team is graduating this spring, leaving a huge gap in the team’s composition.