Written By: Ernst Schneidereit - June 9, 2006
A little gem of a disc golf course has been built on the new campus of Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington. Near the southern state border, just above Portland, and readily accessed via Highway 205, the course is not yet found in the PDGA Directory and is a beautiful little secret. Playing the 9-hole WSU course gave us the opportunity to try out the Discwing Quarter K and the Aerobie Sharpshooter #3, along with the Wham-O Touchline Putter.
When the Discwing Quarter K first arrived on the golfing scene, it was an instant sensation, flying out the internet doors of discfly.com. While much has been made of its "unusual" shape, seeing it initially and throwing it first hand proves it to be not that much different from other top-flight drivers. The Quarter K is very smooth, with a stable flight path that provides a little more curve than that of the Discraft Elite XL we used for comparison.
Sidearming the Quarter K is simplicity personified. Its flight can be readily shaped overhand or sidearm. Distance is not phenomenal, but easily comparable to other extra-long drivers. I would describe excellent accuracy as the Discwing's main selling point.
Accuracy, however, was not essential at the WSU course. Trees or bushes only come into play on two holes, the left dogleg eighth and the uphill ninth (right at the tee box too). Surrounding forest lends to the lush beauty of the jaunt you'll take on this midrange course, down and then up a hillside below the main university buildings. Green grass is mowed to create narrow fairways and bright discs are essential to help you find your quarry if you miss the path. Expect calf-high verdure with few thorns, unless you tread off-course into the underbrush (which a friend did, yielding some nasty stings).
Each hole presents a legitimate birdie opportunity, but they are not overly short, with most holes being well over 200 feet. The sixth hole is the longest at 310 feet, the fourth the shortest at 175 feet. A pond is present, but it only threatens on the curving eighth if your attempt at a hyzer drive straightens out on you.
Speaking of birdies, the Aerobie Sharpshooter #3 and Wham-O Touchline Putter can help you in that scoring category. I was extremely satisfied with the straight flight of both. The Sharpshooter demonstrates Aerobie's penchant for new technological design. The top is extremely flat, with edge ridges for better grip and airflow. It flies very straight with little fade and makes a great long putter and a good midrange disc for strong arms. Compare it favorably to the Discraft Wasp, but with less distance and the added utility of a putter.
The Touchline Putter features this brand's handy thumb groove, which really helps in adding spin to your toss. I wish the disc showed its weight, but Wham-O states that each putter ranges between 170-175 grams. Mine was definitely on the light side, but it still performed well as a chain catcher and would do good duty for short approach shots.
Hopefully WSU will consider extending this course to eighteen holes. The university property runs all the way down the hill to Salmon Creek Avenue and could feature far longer challenges. There's only one hole position right now for each basket, but there's plenty of room to change that too. Tee signs are present and readily visible. Wood chip tee boxes with railroad tie fronts give you a stable throwing ground. Check out the campus at www.vancouver.wsu.edu and the scorecard at http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/ca/pdf/discgolfscorecard.pdf.