LAS VEGAS - If you’ve never heard of disc golf, the rules are simple. It’s golf with Frisbees.
“Your arm is the club, and instead of hitting the ball, you have different discs that do everything different that golf clubs do,” said Desert Oasis High School instructor William Matthews.
Students at Desert Oasis High School are honing their disc golf skills.
“When I started, I'm like, ‘This is amazing. Give myself one year to get good, and then take it to school, start a team in a high school,’” Matthews said.
Twenty five athletes make up this year's Desert Oasis disc golf team. Matthews, a history teacher, started the team.
Although his ultimate goal is to make it a varsity sport, he had to start somewhere. With the help of the Las Vegas Disc Golf Club, more student athletes are signing up.
The sport mimics traditional golf. Competitors try to land discs into various baskets throughout a carefully designed course with the intent of making baskets in the fewest number of throws possible.
Unlike golf, disc golf is a team sport.
“This one's more of a team effort. You can only get better by working with your team,” said Desert Oasis junior April Davenport.
Matthews introduced Davenport to the sport three years ago with a short video in his American History class. Then, he brought in some professionals.
“Three years ago, I had eleven of the best players on the planet come out here to this very field and demonstrate what could be done with disc. Blew the kids away,” Matthews said.
Davenport says she wants to play the sport professionally, especially since she's one of the few local women competitors.
“It's kind of challenging. The guys are bigger, stronger. It just helps me try and challenge myself more, to be better than them,” she said.
The sport entails many techniques and strategies. Gabriel Banalas is the only freshman on the team. He says he is still getting a feel for what this sport requires and learning how to overcome challenges such as the weather.
“Fight the wind, so it doesn't carry it away from basket,” he said.
Williams says he hopes to see his athletes pursue the sport and, one day, become part of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).
“Who knows? (They may be) putting Vegas on the map for professional disc golf,” he said.
The Desert Oasis disc golf team represents What’s Cool at School.
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