Disc golf enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy their sport on a tour around the scenic parts of the Hotchkiss campus and the Fairfield Farm thanks to the efforts of students and faculty members.
The sport, growing rapidly in popularity throughout the United States, is similar to regular golf with discs used instead of balls. Players begin from a tee box and attempt to toss their disc into a specially designed target basket several hundred feet away in the fewest number of throws.
The project was coordinated by varsity Ultimate Frisbee head coach David Thompson, in coordination with other coaches and the students participating in the Ultimate Frisbee co-curricular this past fall.
“We’re really excited about this project,” said Thompson. “It’s a relatively easy sport to pick up but it’s a lifetime opportunity.”
The course, designed largely by faculty members Josh Hahn, Adam Lang, Nathan Vish, and Thompson, includes portions of the Larsen Perimeter Trail that are near the William and Martha Ford Indoor Tennis Courts, The Class of ’49 Fields, Hoyt Field, and Centennial Field.
Funding for the effort came from different sources, including the Student Activities department and the Environmental Initiatives office, and was put towards the purchase of 60 Frisbee golf discs and five disc golf targets.
“The vision then and now was to use the course to draw kids away from their normal paths and potentially entice them to explore the Farm property,” said Hahn, who also helped Thompson gather funding for the project.
Thompson and four of the co-curricular students – Aidan Kelly ’24, George Ojemen ‘24, Jeffery Shi ‘24, and Alejandro Zhao ’24 – assembled the targets and deployed them on Holes 4-8. The other hole finishes are currently marked with stakes.
Early feedback on the course has been positive. Thompson and assistant coach Eric Stone played the course with a local disc golf course designer who praised the course for its beauty, its technical challenges, and the variety of different hole setups.
Further development will include purchasing the other four targets and mounting all nine of them permanently, and developing a second nine holes that will lead out through the woods beyond the Belcher Estate and towards Fairfield Farm.
Thompson said he hoped to finish the first nine holes in time for students to have a chance to play the course this spring after they return from break.