Skip to content

Cal State San Marcos Disc Golf Course a Reality

April 26, 2010

SAN MARCOS: University opens disc golf course

18-hole site designed, built with donated funds

By Manny Lopez – from the North County Times, April 15, 2010 

There’s a new game being played on the campus of Cal State San Marcos, and its name is disc golf.

A ceremony Wednesday marked the opening of the university’s new 18-hole disc golf course on the university campus in front of the Kellogg Library. A large contingent of students, faculty and donors attended the event, which culminated with a ribbon-cutting and a ceremonial throwing of the first disc.

CSUSM President Karen Haynes and donors tossing out the first disc

Campus officials said CSUSM is the first university in Southern California with its own disc golf course. Conceived by Allen Risley, a research analyst with the university’s institutional planning department, the course took more than 18 months to design.

“It was the most collaborative project I’ve ever worked on,” Risley said. “We wanted it to be accessible, provide athletic challenge and, most importantly, safety.”

The first eight holes of the course are located by the Clarke Field House off Campus Way, with holes nine through 18 meandering through the rest of the campus.

Risley said the design encompasses an aesthetic element, relaxation and strategy very similar to conventional golf. Risley has helped plan other disc golf courses in San Marcos, including the ones in Montiel Park, Sunset Park and Kit Carson Park.

The game of disc golf is played the same way as golf with a ball and clubs. Players use flying discs that are thrown from a tee. They traverse a course and eventually finish their hole by throwing a disc into a target. The player to complete the entire course in the least number of shots is the winner.

According to Sam Ferrans of Innova Disc Golf, manufacturers of disc golf products, the first formal course was built in 1975 at Oak Grove Park, which is now called Hahamongna Watershed Park, in Pasadena. Ferrans, who in 1984 at the age of 16 became the youngest player to ever win a Professional Disc Golf Association world championship, said there are now more than 3,000 courses around the world.

Ferrans was on hand to dedicate CSUSM’s new course to Tim Selinsky, a founding member of Innova, who died in August of 2009.

At a cost of more than $20,000, the course was designed and built entirely with donated funds. As part of a graduate school project, Monica Watkins of Vista took on the task of finding donors. She said she searched for people she thought would have an affinity for the university.

“Whether it was community members who had an interest in the university or disc golf, I was looking for people who were interested in student success,” said Watkins, a graduate of UC San Diego.

Dr. Karen Haynes, president of CSUSM, said that the new course will provide a wonderful opportunity to bring community to everyone on the campus and a new way for students who might not get involved with other sports to really find recreation and fitness.

Jordan Smith, a junior at CSUSM and a member of the university’s Ultimate Frisbee club team, said that the sport is a lot of fun to play, a great way to socialize and very affordable. “Frisbee” is a trademarked brand of flying disc.

Smith, who lives in the school’s dorms, added that with the new course on campus, he will no longer have to travel to one of the local parks to play and is looking forward to being able to play in between classes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Wymer permalink
    May 8, 2010 8:01 pm

    CSUSM getting it’s first course is amazing!! Thank you for all your hardwork Allen, you’re pushing disc golf in San Diego. I would like to note however, that while this is the first university with permanent baskets in Southern California, the University of California at Irvine has 4 18-hole pole golf courses from the 1978 or 79 world championships won by Snapper Pierson still marked on campus.


  1. San Diego Disc Golf
  2. Disc Golf Information » Cal State San Marcos Disc Golf Course a Reality « San Diego Aces …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: