Disc golf mania in Austin

Published 9:36 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

As the weather grows warmer, disc golfing has picked up in Austin. Pictured are team members form the Austin High School disc golf team, which recently dominated the state tournament. Back row (left to right) Lucas Hegna, Lance Wallis, Alan Schwartz, Ryan Lysne, Brady Bell, Billy Bednar, Devon Dorsey and Logan Hegna. Front row: Alec Anderson and Collin Bailey. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

There’s no doubt about it. There’s definitely a disc golf boom going on in Austin.

With a 27-hole course in Todd Park and a nine-hole course in Driesner Park, local youth have been hitting the greens and the proof of how many Austin High School students play disc golf was pretty apparent when three of their teams swept the six-team Minnesota Frisbee Association High School Championships in Albert Lea recently.

Austin’s three teams took the top three spots and the Packers took nine of the top-ten individual spots, with Austin’s Collin Bailey taking the individual state title.

Email newsletter signup

The Packers knew they were favorites coming into the meet, but they exceeded even their own expectations.

“Going into it we knew we had a good chance, but we didn’t think we had that good of a chance,” said Alec Anderson, who finished seventh overall at the state meet.

The tournament would’ve had more teams if it wasn’t for rainy and windy conditions, but the Packers had to settle for beating Owatonna and Bloomington Kennedy.

“If more schools would’ve came, the competition would’ve been tougher,” Austin team member Brady Bell said.

As disc golf continues to grow, it also continues to erase its doubters. Ryan Lysne, who took sixth overall at state, wasn’t even thinking about trying disc golf not too long ago and now he’s out almost every day with his friends.

“I thought it was stupid when I first tried it and Lucas (Hegna) was the only one who was good when he first started (amongst us),” Lysne said.

While Lucas Hegna, who took fourth overall at state, was a natural, he wasn’t even sure about trying it.

“I thought it was dumb until I came out here and actually tried it,” he said. “Now we’re out here almost every day together, because it’s not fun to play by yourself.”

Bell said the time he gets with other players is just as fun as competing.

“It’s fun and you can hang out with all your friends, plus it’s pretty cheap,” he said.

The Austin disc golf team is hoping the MFA Championships grow next year and more teams can make it. Until then, they’ll be brushing up their game as they prepare for the summer schedule, which features a lot of individual tournaments.