Club team preparing for second appearance in national tournament

Michael Griffin, a senior from Madisonville, Ky., practices with the disc golf team as they prepare to compete for the national championship. The team finished 16th in the championship last year and are looking to better that finish in its second appearance. || Photo courtesy of Kelly Hulbert

Michael Griffin, a senior from Madisonville, Ky., practices with the disc golf team as they prepare to compete for the national championship. The team finished 16th in the championship last year and are looking to better that finish in its second appearance. || Photo courtesy of Kelly Hulbert

After placing 16th in the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships last semester, the Murray State disc golf team continues to win and looks to better its 2012 result in its first full year.

The rules are simple; golfers throw first from designated tee boxes to a target down range using a variety of discs. There are driving discs, mid range discs and putting discs.

Driving and mid range discs are thinner, sharper and heavier, which cut through the air and fly longer distances. Putting discs are lighter, making them more reliable in short distance shots.

Club president Michael Griffin said course lengths are typically 18 holes with the national championship course being 20.

Similar to ordinary golf, the object is to make the frisby go into the goal at the end of each hole in the least amount of throws possible. The Racers are one of the best teams in the nation at doing so.

They recently returned from a tournament at Purdue where they palced third and beat several schools larger than Murray State.

“We played Purdue, Iowa State, SIU, Ball State and teams like that,” he said. “We were tied for second and lost in a playoff but one of our guys won the overall individual tournament.”

This win came after placing 16th in the nation out of 40 teams in last year’s National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship tournament where they faced the likes of Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Florida State.

The Racers’ Zack Johnson was also a 2012 Men’s First Team All-American.

The team roster consists of 11 players. The starting lineup includes four players, while seven reserves fill in throughout the game.

Potential members can check out the team on their Facebook page or attend a practice at the Central Park course in Murray, Griffin said.

“We have a Facebook page where we post when and where we meet and play,” he said. “They are welcome to come out to the course and join us any day, but we meet Sundays at 1 (p.m.). That’s where we try to recruit new members to come and join the team.”

The Racers do not play again until next semester when they head to St. Louis, Mo., and then return to the national championship tournament.

“We already got a bid to the national championship for next year,” Griffin said. “We’ll be playing in that in South Carolina.”

The Racers look to better their result at the tournament, and move up the leaderboard, in hopes of bringing a national title back to Murray in their first full year of competition.

 Story by Nick Dolan, staff writer.