Five collegiate teams — all members of the fledgling Mid America Disc Golf Conference — spent last weekend enjoying a blustery, springish weekend in the Pawhuska area. The teams, consisting of some 20 young men overall, played their conference tournament here and enjoyed a little downtown Pawhuska dining along the way.
When the players weren’t throwing pastic discs across the scenic Osage County countryside, they had high praise for P-Town Pizza.
Professional disc golfer and course designer Avery Jenkins, who calls Taylor Ranch home, said the University of Tulsa, the University of Kansas, Oklahoma Baptist University, Southwest Oklahoma State University, and Randall University participated in the weekend tournament.
There were two rounds — one of doubles and one of singles — on Friday, and another doubles round on Saturday. The teams got to play both the Moccasin Creek course and the Island course at Taylor Ranch, and players found the courses challenging.
“It was definitely difficult,” said Matt Dennis, a sophomore at Oklahoma Baptist University. His teammate Daniel Campbell, also a sophomore, said the wind made things difficult but the Taylor Ranch courses were fun.
Jonathan Hill, a senior at Randall University in Moore, Oklahoma, said the Taylor Ranch courses could be, alternatively, difficult and highly rewarding.
“These courses can be brutal at times, but they can also be rewarding if you take advantage of it,” he said. “This is actually our second month playing college disc golf.”
Other teams in the Mid America Conference, in addition to those playing at Taylor Ranch last weekend, include Missouri S&T, the University of Missouri, Southwest Baptist University, Kansas State University, Wichita State University and Emporia State University. The conference has three teams in the Top 10 — Missouri S&T, Missouri and Kansas State.
Collegiate disc golf is continuing to grow nationwide, with more than 150 schools now fielding teams. Zak Stamm, a senior at Southwest Oklahoma State and an organizer of the tournament held at Taylor Ranch, said that Jenkins had been very helpful to the college teams in making their plans to visit the Pawhuska area.
Jenkins voiced hope that the tournament will become an annual event, and that Taylor Ranch’s capacity to offer camping options will help to make it attractive. He acknowledged the tournament got lucky with the weather this time and indicated it might be wise to have the event a little later in the future,