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OUTDOOR FLING: (from left) Matt Boyer, a Slippery Rock University park and resource management major from New Castle, and Jordan Beaver, a park and resource management from New Alexander, play the University’s new disc golf course Monday.

Students say 'fore' to disc golf

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - It has many of the same elements as golf: par 3s and par 4s, strokes, tees and obstacles. Unlike its older brother, participants play the new disc golf course at Slippery Rock University by tossing flying discs into metal baskets.

SRU opened a nine-hole disc golf course this month and plans to add another nine holes by spring semester. The course is open to the public and free. It begins at the 1st hole behind Building F residence hall, with a tee that requires players to fling a disc across a stream, and meanders through the back end of campus to the 9th hole near the Ski Lodge.

"What I like best about disc golf is the easygoing nature of the sport," said Jordan Beaver, a park and resource management major from West Alexander and president of the SRU Disc Golf Club. "It does not have to be a highly competitive sport, although it can be if that is what you are looking for. I like to get out and enjoy a walk around campus with friends. Disc golf is a fun addition."

Disc golf is a game in which individuals or multiple players throw a disc into a basket cemented into the ground and keep track of their score. The object of the game is to play the course with the fewest number of throws, called strokes. Each throw counts as one stroke. The plastic discs, which are available for purchase at SRU's Student Government Association Bookstore, are slightly smaller than Frisbees.

The intent of the Disc Golf Club is to get more students outside playing the course to promote fitness, Beaver said. "A lot of time and effort has gone into the construction of the new course and this (the club) is a way of making people aware of it," he said. "The club is not part of any formal fitness program. Our primary purpose is to get people outside and walking around."

Steve Roberts, SRU coordinator of Outdoor Adventures, said he and a student wrote a $5,000 grant application that came from the University's Green Fund program to buy the initial nine baskets. The national Disc Golf Foundation paid for the second nine. He said the next nine holes would be in the woods behind the Ski Lodge and will be more challenging.

"We're going to add those later this fall when they leaves are off the trees," he said.