Students work creatively to design disc golf course

Published 9:26 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Planners, designers and installers of the new BHS Catcrossing Disc-golf course are, from left, Luke McConnell, Caleb Scott, Steve Caulden, Amy Worsley, Megan and Lindsay Watson. — Carolyn Iamon


This week the Bainbridge Rotary Club heard how two Bainbridge High School senior girls took on a challenge from Principal Tommie Howell to design a disc golf course on the BHS campus. The students are Megan and Lindsay Watson, who moved into the local school district in March 2013 from Titusville, Pa., where they had formerly been enrolled in a physics class.
The local project was part of a physics class taught by Amy Worsley, and one that meets the STEM teaching method requirements.
STEM education puts an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math, and according to Dr. Suzi Bonifay, it usually is a project that addresses a problem or practice that presents a challenge and is solved through collaborative research and application. It must also have a real-world application and relate to the Georgia educational standards.
Howell explained disc golf has become a popular game at many schools around the country, including Bainbridge High School. The game is played using Frisbee –type discs that are tossed toward baskets hanging by chains at the designated holes. The goal is to get the disc to drop into the basket.
The students incorporated both physics and math to calculate, diagram and plan each hole on the course, as it was necessary to calculate the elevation needed for each hole. They used aerial photos of the campus and a split screen overlay to place the holes.
Once the course was designed, two students of Mr. Steve Caulden’s metals class,  Luke McConnell and Caleb Scott, walked the course with map in hand and dug the holes for placing the signs and baskets.
The 1595 yard course is on the high school campus and is open until 9 p.m. where the public is invited to come play.
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, the first known instance of anyone playing golf with a flying disc occurred in Canada in 1926, where a group of elementary school buddies played a game throwing tin plates as targets such as trees and fence posts. They called the game Tin Lid Golf and played on a fairly regular basis on a disc golf course they laid out on their school grounds.
Through the years the game resurfaced each decade, called by different names and with different fields. The first official disc golf tournament was held in 1969 at Brookside Park in Pasadena, Calif.
Today, it is estimated more than 100,000 players in 40 nations are playing disc golf and the sport continues to grow at a very fast pace, with more courses and more tournament play.

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