, 2021-01-04 02:00:00,
Michael Nolte walked up to a strip of cement in the park on Saturday afternoon with a plastic disc in his hand. He took a couple steps, rotating his arm in a practice swing. Then, he backed up to his starting point and positioned himself for the real thing. He repeated the process, much faster this time, letting go of the disc and sending it far down the field of snow-covered grass.
It was 34 degrees with sunny skies, as good a January day as one could ask for a round of disc golf in Minnesota. Nolte was just one of a handful of disc golfers working his way through the course at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park near the Federal Medical Center in east Rochester.
The groups were part of the MLK Professional Disc Golf Association winter league. The league is one of several giving players a platform on which to compete and meet other players. According to Nolte, who has organized the leagues through his company X-14 Disc Golf, it filled a void in the Rochester area since there really weren’t any league options.
Gannon Olson, another disc golfer out on Saturday, echoed that as well:
“It was pretty close-knit. It was not advertised,” Olson said about the previous disc golf scene in Rochester. “They weren’t super welcoming to the players, which is completely the opposite of what disc golfers tend to be.”
As the name implies, disc golf is essentially a version of golf that’s played with plastic discs. Instead of aiming for a hole in the ground, players try to sink their discs in a metal basket that stands on a pole.
Olson was a part of a group of five making its way through the course. A speaker in one of their backpacks was resonating songs like the “Sound of Silence” cover by Disturbed, and “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi as the friends swapped jokes and jabs.
The formation of the new leagues was not the only thing that got disc…
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