Listen: Disc golf tournament this weekend in St. Cloud

MPR’s Tim Kelly takes alook at the sport of disc golf. Kelly talks with a golfer on a Riverside Park course in St. Cloud.


1995 Northwest Broadcast News Association Award, award of merit in Sports Reporting - Medium Market category


text | pdf |

TIM MACKEY: Let's see how it rolls. Still going down the hall.

TIM KELLY: On the third tee of the disc golf course at Riverside Park, Tim Mackey launches a small beveled edge plastic disc down the long fairway. The 18-hole course meanders through hills and oak trees on a bluff above the Mississippi River. There are no putting greens or manicured fairways. The only obvious signs of the sport are the tee markers and the targets. Anchored poles holding a web of chains above around steel basket.

TIM MACKEY: These-- what are called mark three targets. You can hear the chains. And the idea is the disc hits the chains and drops down into the basket.

So now that the course is converted all the way to mark threes here, we're real happy. And the course now, because of the evolution of it, has been registered with the Professional Disc Golf Association as one of the top courses in the country, and obviously one of the top courses in Minnesota.

TIM KELLY: Tim Mackey is a 40-year-old teacher and President of the St. Cloud Disc Golf Club. He's also the course professional. Mackey's been throwing Frisbees and other brand name flying discs since his college days at Winona where he played on an ultimate Frisbee team. After moving to St. Cloud, he eventually convinced city park officials to support a disc golf course. Mackey says disc golf is growing because it's good exercise and inexpensive.

TIM MACKEY: There are no green fees. The courses are always free, for the most part, because they're on public property and parks. So that makes it very attractive to just come out and play.

A disc costs anywhere from $7 to $10 or $11. And all you need is a disc. You'll see golfers like myself, and others obviously, with more discs because we play a lot more courses. And the discs do have different flight characteristics.

TIM KELLY: You don't need to reserve a tee time at the Riverside course yet. But the number of disc golfers is growing. You'll find several golfers on the course at any time of day.

Evenings and weekends are the busiest. Terry Olson of Saint Paul stopped on his way to Northern Minnesota to play the course. He says he's played the sport for two years.

TERRY OLSON: It's a nice walk in the woods. And it's a little bit competitive. And there are elements involved. And the circle too.

I'm into the Native American stuff. And the circle is-- that attracts me to the disc. I've played in a couple tournaments. I would put-- in the tournament, I would go in amateur one.

Top level amateur. I can't keep up with the pros. Not at this point.

TIM KELLY: Tim Mackey says he expects the growth of disc golf to continue. He says more cities are seeing the recreational benefit of the sport as well as improved safety for the parks.

TIM MACKEY: The vandalism that you see in parks is totally-- not totally. But definitely reduced when there's a disc golf course in the park because there's more people playing. The golfers take pride in the course. And they don't want to see not only the course wrecked, but other things in the park wrecked too. So I think it really deters vandalism as well.

TIM KELLY: There are disc golf courses in Austin, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Rochester, Winona, and about a dozen in the Twin Cities area. One of the state's largest disc golf tournaments will be held in St. Cloud July 8. I'm Tim Kelly, the FM News Station. Collegeville.

TIM MACKEY: Those all went in the basket. Those all hit the chains real well. I'll throw one that doesn't go in. This one will hit the plate. That's the sound of a disc not going.


Materials created/edited/published by Archive team as an assigned project during remote work period and in office during fiscal 2021-2022 period.

This Story Appears in the Following Collections

Views and opinions expressed in the content do not represent the opinions of APMG. APMG is not responsible for objectionable content and language represented on the site. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report a piece of content. Thank you.

Transcriptions provided are machine generated, and while APMG makes the best effort for accuracy, mistakes will happen. Please excuse these errors and use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report an error. Thank you.

< path d="M23.5-64c0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.2 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.3-0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.1 0 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.2 0 0.4-0.1 0.5-0.1 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.1-0.3 0.3-0.5 0.1-0.1 0.3 0 0.4-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.3-0.3 0.4-0.5 0-0.1 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1-0.3 0-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.2 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.3 0-0.2 0-0.4-0.1-0.5 -0.4-0.7-1.2-0.9-2-0.8 -0.2 0-0.3 0.1-0.4 0.2 -0.2 0.1-0.1 0.2-0.3 0.2 -0.1 0-0.2 0.1-0.2 0.2C23.5-64 23.5-64.1 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64"/>