Menomonie Disc Golf History

Discateers MembersDisc golf, aka frisbee golf or frolf, has been around Menomonie since the early 1980s.  Disc golf was first played between the south dorms as they are today, but with a much different layout and variety of obstacles.  Early disc golfers used discs very similar to a regular frisbee or ultimate frisbee.  Some of the current buildings and facilities were not built yet which left a bit more green space for an actual course to be installed.  Baskets were homeade, but looked somewhat like the ones currently being used.  The first generation of the Stout Disc Golf Club was born known as the Discateers, which was actually an ultimate frisbee and disc golf group.  One of the members from this decade is now the Wisconsin Disc Golf Tour Coordinator, Tom Jenkins.

In 1999, Wakanda Park was first approved and installed as a 6 hole course with the understanding that additional holes would be added as required or needed.  The City of Menomonie never expected the popularity of the sport.  However, when they saw the number of players at the 6 hole course, plans were shortly underway to add the next 6 and another 6 a year later.  The first layout of 18 holes was completed in 2001.  The first course of six holes consisted basically of holes 1,2,3,4,9 and 10.  The next six holes added were what is now holes 11,12,13,14,17, and 18.  Holes 5,6,7,8,15, and 16 were the final holes to be added in 2001.

The first tournament that was held at the new course was the Wakanda Open in the Spring of 2000.  It was a two person best shot tournament of two 12 hole rounds.  This is the now famous Guiness artwork tourney sponsored by UW Stout Disc Golf Club, Simple Sports, and Greenskeeper Karl.  Shirts were printed in the art department at UW-Stout and discs were ordered from Innova.  Discs were stamped with the Guiness/UW-Stout artwork on Aviars, Rocs, Eagles, and Polaris LS.  The Innova Eagle and Millenium Polaris LS were the ultra long range drivers for that time period.

First Disc Stamp for 2002

In 2002, The Stout Disc Golf Club was reorganized with an entirely new membership, as the prior membership graduated.  The Spring Fling, a well known event of the previous club, was continued as a fundraiser. The club invested in a run of 100 discs with a design including a DisCatcher in the foreground and the Clocktower in the background.  The campus course was approved and returned, but as a putting practice facility.  Baskets were slowly installed throughout the next couple years, totaling up to 5 DisCatchers permanently installed between the south campus dorms. 

 

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In 2004-05, the club approached the City of Menomonie about installing another full course on City Property that was close to campus.  Through several meetings with the Mayor and the City Council, use of land was granted for what is now the Brickyard Disc Golf Course.  Construction started in 2005 with extremely tight lanes cut out to set up the basic layout of the course.  Each year thereafter, the club has performed many upgrades such as increased brush removal and fairway widening/grooming, the installation of steps, cement tee pads, extra pin positions, a grill area, and much more.  The course is now a dual pin (yellow and orange basket), dual tee (short and long) course with a 3 basket putting area set up for around the world and DiscShoes (like horseshoes).  It also has a tight little warm up hole that leads the player(s) to the first tee from the putting area.

Also in 2005, Menomonie and Eau Claire teamed up to host the Chippewa Valley Disc Golf Challenge, a PDGA B Tier event.  With representatives from the Chippewa Valley Disc Golf Organization (CVDGO), the Menomonie Disc Golf Association (MDGA), the Stout Disc Golf Club (SDGC), and players from the various communities, this grand event was developed.  Over 144 participants battled from around the Upper Midwest states.

In 2007, the club helped with the design and installation of the Menomonie Middle School disc golf course with teamwork from Phy Ed teachers Doug Stratton and Neil Hall, plus many other staff and students.  The goal was to build a course that would provide free recreation for students, family, and the rest of the community.  To do this, dual tees of Red and Green skill were laid out.  The original design was an 18 hole course that played up to a hilltop covered in tall mature pines and back.  The summer after installation was completed, a devastating wind/rainstorm ripped through the hillside snapping hundreds of the massive pines like toothpicks.  The canopy opened up allowing sunlight in, with a result of increased underbrush growth.  The course became unmanagable and a redesign to 12 holes was decided upon.  Besides being open to the public, the course is used for gym class, and in 2009, the club helped to implement the Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) program, a full curriculum and skill building platform.  www.edgediscgolf.org  Over the summer of 2009, the club was able to bring 3 of the top Professional players to teach a clinic open to the public at the MMS course.

In 2008, a former President of the club approached the Pioneer Grill and Saloon about installing a disc golf course that played across the crystal clear Lambs Creek.  The result was a side project internship and the creation of the 9 hole Lambs Creek Disc Golf Course and 4 hole lighted putting course.  www.pioneergrill.com

Throughout the years, many events have taken place from weekly leagues to annual socials to Wisconsin Tour PDGA sanctioned events.  It's the fun that keeps 'em coming back, and the passion of the players that keeps it growing.