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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Frisbee Golf community grows

When Dan McCue first arrived in 2006 to take a position as Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at Grinnell College he brought more than just his job qualifications, he brought a hobby.

Now that the snow has mostly melted and three layers are no longer required to walk outside, it is time to start spending more time outdoors. Over the past two years, Frisbee Golf has become a great way to do this due to the creation of a new 18-hole course and the development of a strong community in the Grinnell area.

“I was driving around when I first got in, I had seen the 9-hole course there on the north side of campus near the athletic facilities. I thought, ‘Oh this is great, I didn’t know Grinnell a disc golf course.’”

After a closer inspection though, McCue found the course to not be in the best of shape.

“There are no signs, no tee pads, or anything, so I didn’t really know what was [hole] one or what was nine,” McCue said.
Eventually, McCue found Dave Eberbach ’89, another disc golf enthusiast, who showed him the way a majority of people played the course. The two, along with some other locals decided they wanted a course that offered a bit more.

“Dave and I started talked and we wanted to take what was already on campus with the 9-hole course and kind of take it up another level, so we looked at a few different spots on campus and in the community,” McCue said. “After talking with the city we…identified Lake Nyanza as the best place.”

Now that they had a location at the south end of High Street, they needed funding.

“The College gave us a mini-grant to help purchase baskets and other equipment, we got a grant from the Grinnell Tourism Board, and then we had some individuals in the community step up. We received full funding,” McCue said.

The first nine holes were installed in May 2009, with the back nine following later in the summer. To celebrate, the newly formed Grinnell Disc Golf Club hosted the “Inaugural Goose Poop Open” over Labor Day weekend 2009, which had a solid turnout of around 30 people. There was also the formation of a league, which meets once a week and has an optional buy in of three dollars, which goes toward a purse to be won by the first place finisher that day.

The efforts of the Grinnell Disc Golf Club are paying off, as people who haven’t played in years are once again picking up a disc.
“I started playing in grad school in 1996 or 1998, maybe, I played for a couple years there and then I didn’t play again until just this last year,” Monty Roper, Anthropology, said. “I was excited to go out and play with a group.”

When the snow came, the golfers continued to brave the elements, even hosting the Grinnell Freeze on Feb. 21 tournament which drew around 50 players from all over Iowa.

“For league, when it was the summer and the fall, we’d usually get 10 to 15, over the winter time we’d had some days when we have close to 10…so yeah it has dropped off,” McCue said.

Now that the weather has picked back up, McCue expects participation to rise with the temperature.

Use of the course is free and league play will move from its current Saturday noon slot to Mondays at 5:30 p.m. starting April 5, all levels of players are encouraged to join. Those interested in can visit the Club’s website at or contact Dan McCue at

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