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Disc golf team members at tournament

Disc Golf Club Wins Regional Championship

  • By: Frank Smith
  • Published:
disc golf player next to basket

Taylor is home to many opportunities for students to become involved academically, socially, and athletically, recognizing the importance of a whole-person education. In September of 2023, Taylor added its newest club: the Disc Golf Club.

The Disc Golf Club has been a fast-growing addition to Taylor’s many student attractions. With four teams, the club is already highly competitive and travels around the country competing in intercollegiate events.

College Disc Golf

College disc golf involves teams of four individuals playing both singles and team rounds. The goal is similar to golf in which players attempt to throw their discs into the basket in as few throws as possible. 

In competitions, the team’s score is evaluated by the average of the team’s singles round, followed by the scores of the doubles rounds. Singles rounds, therefore, are less important than team rounds, and this brings out the necessity to play well with your team. Taylor’s club has done exactly that.

Successes off the Bat

With a handful of highly experienced disc golfers on the team, Taylor’s club team quickly grew in team chemistry and placed second in their first conference event, falling to Michigan State University by one stroke. Fortunately, they still qualified to compete in their first regional event, hosted by the University of Michigan. 

After two rounds of the regional event, Taylor found themselves in fourth behind Ferris State University, Ohio State University, and Michigan State University. By the end of the tournament, Taylor was able to remain in a tie for fourth and qualified for Nationals in Division 2, despite technically being a Division 3 school. They were ranked #24 in the nation with senior Frank Smith ranked #4 in singles and freshman Ethan Darby ranked #37.

A Fight in the South

With hopes of a Division 1 bid, the Taylor team drove over 13 hours to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for January term break and was able to participate in another regional event. With stiff competition from Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and 9th-ranked Ferris State University, Taylor would have to play well in order to receive their desired bid.

After the first round, freshman Ethan Darby shot the hot round (best score during the round), with a 391’ hole-in-one, taking the win in the singles and giving Taylor a good start before the two challenging team rounds. Going into the team rounds, Taylor was tied for third, two strokes behind the University of Alabama. With two stellar team rounds, Taylor was able to take home a win, clearing the field by two strokes.

Ethan Darby's score card from the event. 

After achieving this highly-desired win, Taylor received a DI bid to Nationals and will be competing April 3-6 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In addition, they are ranked #9 in the nation with senior Frank Smith ranked #5 in the singles event and freshman Ethan Darby ranked #6. With a National Championship in sight, the team has two more events to continue rising in the ranks and training in hopes of hoisting the Championship trophy.

Faith and Disc Golf

Like everything at Taylor, the Disc Golf Club puts heavy emphasis on their faith as they play. Club Vice President Ethan Darby speaks of how the club has truly reshaped his mindset about playing disc golf as a whole. “I could have gone to any other school and competed with others. My teammates, however, are believers, brothers in Christ. His blood is at the center of every throw.” 

Darby spoke further about his experience on Taylor’s club team, claiming that “Taylor has forced me to step back and rethink that regardless of how I throw, the main goal is to be Christ-centered.” This mindset is shared by the club both on and off the course.

Visit Taylor University

Beyond the disc golf club, Taylor has many opportunities for students to get involved around campus through different clubs and activities. Request more information here or schedule your Taylor visit to learn more.