His withered boots dance across the concrete tee pad. The plastic disc glides out of his fingers, soaring through a channel of pines towards the aluminum basket. After a moment of silence, the disc lands softly on a pile of pine needles. The quiet thud replaces the ambitiously anticipated cacophony of chains rattling together proclaiming an ace.
Sophomore Nate McKenna is one of the few members of the disc golf team here on campus. Almost every day sophomores Charlie McCracken and Drew Coker join Mckenna at Beaverfork Lake to play a round of disc golf. The daily game serves more than the purpose of killing a little bit of time before they start their homework—it’s practice. But wait, what is disc golf?
“Disc golf is a sport on the rise that is played worldwide. It involves throwing variations of frisbee-like discs into chain baskets, trying to maintain as low of a score as possible, similar to regular golf,” McKenna said.
What the team lacks in numbers, it makes up for in skill.
“In the 2016 season we played really well for a first-year team with almost no experience,” McCracken said. “We won our home game against Arkansas State, who won our conference tournament and just took 3rd place at nationals, and then came in 3rd place in our conference tournament.”
The disc golf club has been around for a few years but it was not until last year that the group became an official team. Senior Baker Helton initiated the transition from club to a team when he decided to start the Hendrix Disc Golf Team in 2016.
“I saw a need for competitive disc golf at Hendrix,” Helton said. “There was a solid group of us with real potential who needed an outlet to play at a high level.”
Helton went further than just starting a team at Hendrix and established a disc golf conference.
“When starting the team, I also started a college disc golf conference, the Southern Collegiate Disc Golf Association. The SCDGA consisted of five teams during the first year and it made college disc golf just like any other collegiate sport,” Helton said.
With Helton graduating this year the team will lose a member but they encourage others to join and expect a much larger turnout next year.
“People can join the HDX disc golf club my emailing the club president at firstname.lastname@example.org Drew will give you all the info you need! You are always welcome to come play a round with us. And we have discs you can use if you don’t have any,” McCracken said.