WCU disc golf – national contenders

Who would have thought that WCU would have a national contending sports team? In disc golf!

There are four members who make up the disc golf team at Western: Ruth Hudson, Ryan Kastle, Andrew Johnson and Matt Splain. This team has been together for almost an entire year and they have already become national contenders.

You can find them practicing for tournaments at their 9-hole disc golf course located beside the WCU marching band practice field. The team is currently ranked 19-th in the nation and are looking to make a splash at the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships– in April.

The team has competed in three tournaments this year. The Southeast Collegiate Open, The Charlotte 49er Showdown which they won, and a tournament hosted by Clemson University where the team finished 9-th overall in a 20-team field.

The tournaments that the team competes in are mainly team tournaments but some of them have singles competitions as well. At the last tournament at Clemson, Ryan Kastle placed 5-th in the singles competition. Kastle has been playing for the WCU disc golf team for four years and he explains how the team has gained a national ranking.

The WCU disc golf team is comprised of a group of people from different experience levels and backgrounds. Ruth Hudson is one of the only females who competes on a collegiate disc golf team. She has been on the team at Western for 3 years and in that time has done exceptionally well. At the 2014 national tournament, Ruth placed third in the women’s singles tournament beating out twenty five other women.

Matt Splain who is a freshman and has only been playing on the Western team for a semester and a half has also done well by helping the Western team win their first tournament. Matt Splain tells us his specific role for the team.

Aside from all of the major sports that WCU students hear about, there are club sports around that do not get that much recognition. There are not updated scores on the athletic website, you won’t see a tweet about it, and you might not even know it’s a sport. For the Western Carolina disc golf team, going unnoticed is a common occurrence but they fight through it and keep winning.

Trophy won by WCU disc golf team at tournament held by UNC Charlotte. 2015. Barrett Boyles

Trophy won by WCU disc golf team at tournament held by UNC Charlotte. 2015. Barrett Boyles

Being a club sport, the disc golf team doesn’t get as much funding as the rest of the schools sports. The team gets an allocation of about $1000 a year in order to pay for tournament entry fees and the cost to stay at a hotel. Maybe in the future, that amount will increase if Western continues to win.

The team’s next tournament is the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships which take place in Augusta, Georgia from April 15 to 18.