Students at CHS lead the way as disc golf and ultimate Frisbee grow

Jess Canaley, Reporter

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Jackson Holforty, disc golf player and senior, throws a disc after school at Northview Church. Holforty is highly ranked among disc golfers.

Frisbee sports have an increasing presence around Indiana and in Carmel. Disc golf and ultimate Frisbee have made their mark on some of the students attending CHS through clubs and leagues the athletes participate in. Jackson Holforty, disc golfer and senior, discusses the new popularity of the sport among CHS students in recent years.

“I have noticed (disc golf growing) here within casual players. A lot of people will just come out and play a few rounds at Northview,” Holforty said. “At Carmel it’s more of something to just have fun. Hamilton County has a disc golf union which is a little more competitive. The guys in that play almost everyday, and we’ll link up on Facebook, so that’s really the main place to play with people.”

Stuart Anker, ultimate Frisbee player and sophomore, said he also has noticed the increase of players in his sport.

“The swim team plays ultimate (Frisbee) pretty frequently. We went to state last year and we lost to Center Grove, but we’ll probably win this year. The sport definitely seems to be growing in popularity,” Anker said.

He said the reason for the possible increase in popularity within Frisbee sports is the ability of the game to be practiced and played almost anywhere.

“It’s a game that every person can play because it’s so easy to play. Literally all you need is a few friends, a Frisbee and an open field,”Anker said. In the case of disc golf, it may appear harder to get out and find a course to practice on, but getting used to the different types of discs, distance drivers, fairway drivers, mid-range discs and putters is just as important.

“For someone starting the sport, I’d say don’t pick a driver that has super high speed just because you think it will throw far. For beginners it’s better to start out with slower speed drivers,” Holforty said. “The best way to improve is to start with a putter, and don’t cheat yourself. Try to throw straight and look up some motions online, so you’re not cheating yourself and you’re getting better form.” 

Edward “Eddie” Ward, disc golf player and senior, emphasizes the importance of practicing throwing each of the different discs in order to get better at the sport.

“The different molds of discs all fly in unique ways, so you have to learn how each of the discs in your bags fly depending on the angle you throw it at with different wind conditions or if it’s uphill or downhill,” Ward said.

While disc golf and ultimate Frisbee are both played with Frisbees, the two sports differ in multiple ways. In disc golf, the rules are almost the same as ball golf except you are using discs. Each disc serves a different purpose in a player’s bag. The goal is, from the start, to get the least amount of throws possible to get the disc into the basket. Each time the player throws the disc, he or she must throw from where the disc landed until they make it into the basket.

Ultimate Frisbee, on the other hand, is a mixture between football and soccer. The objective of the game is to score a touchdown or to throw the Frisbee to someone in the zone. In this regard, it resembles football. The soccer aspect comes in with the constant motion and continuous nature of the sport itself. Basic rules of ultimate Frisbee include not being able to take any steps whatsoever after a player catches the Frisbee. Teammates will run around as the player attempts to throw to one of them. If the Frisbee touches the ground at all or goes out of bounds, then it results in a turnover.

Ward suggests to anyone interested in playing a Frisbee sport to get cheap equipment and just try throwing the Frisbee around to get comfortable with the discs.

“I would tell someone who wants to try it out to go to Play It Again Sports (or) online, get a few cheap discs and go out to the closest course or field to them, probably with some friends, and just throw around. Nothing too competitive,” Ward said. “For anybody who’s trying to play and get better, just keep playing and the improvements will come.”