Ambitious Slacking: Dissatisfied Student to Build his Own Course Disc Golf Course on SOU campus
More than 250 disc golf courses have been built on college campuses across the country. The easy accessibility, free cost of play and simplicity of the game is giving hacky-sack a run for its money as the slacker activity of choice. But Southern Oregon University isn’t one of them.
And Charles Mathias, an SOU student and campus maintenance worker, has been frustrated by the lack of places to disc golf since he moved here from Southern California to attend college a few years ago.
“I used to play almost every day during the summer,” he says. “I came to school and there isn’t even a course with baskets in the entire county. I knew something needed to change.”
Disc golfing seems pretty self-explanatory. But it might be unfamiliar to some, due to its small presence in the area. Instead of using a club and tee like traditional golf, the competitors huck frisbees at metal structures with chains. However, it is similar to golf in that the object of the game is to try and traverse the course (usually nine or 18 holes) in as few tosses as possible. Make no mistake, though, these aren’t the usual Frisbees that you’d use to play catch with you friends. The flatter, and more streamlined design allows golfing discs to travel faster and farther than the average toy.
According to Oregondiscgolf.com there are only a couple Southern Oregon courses that are open to year-round play. The Cove, located around Emigrant Lake has a good review of scenery as well as course creativity, but it condemns the holes layout which are apparently hard to find. Also, the course lacks actual holes and instead uses “tones.” Tones are colorful cylinders that the golfer aims for located on top of posts or hanging from tree limbs.
Frog Creek is another course that golfers can head to if they are looking to play a quieter and more isolated game. Reviews of this course state that the woodland paths are scenic and beautiful but also make finding the holes difficult. Also on the comment boards were some criticism of trash along the paths and cleanliness of the course in general. ”DON”T GO IN THE WATER! If a disc goes in just say goodbye. You don’t want some nasty disease,” said one reviewer named trashmonster1985.
Mathias, who’s going into his third year at SOU, started a petition last spring to build a disc golf course on the school’s campus behind the Suzanne residence halls. Nearly one hundred students rushed to sign his petition and the course was approved by the University.
Construction will begin as soon as projects are campus slowdown since the school-employed maintenance worker plans to arrange development of the course himself in the fall. Through volunteer work parties, he hopes that the project will move along quickly and that the large, often vacant field, will be ready for play as soon as possible.
The completion of the course means more to Mathias than just another project though, as he might only be enjoying playing on it for this one year before graduating in the spring.
“It’s about bringing people together to have fun outside,” he says.
Until that course is completed, you can scratch disc golf off your summer bucket list at these locations.
Head east on Green Springs Hwy 66 for 4.7 miles to the entrance on the left. You will go past the main park entrance and the dam, The Cove entrance is on the left just past milepost six.
Take I-5 exit 14 to Ashland. Head east on Hwy 66, 0.7 miles to left on Dead Indian Memorial Rd., 6.7 miles to left on Shale City Rd., 3.3 miles to course. 1st tee in woods on right side of road – 300′ up the road from the pond.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons