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2019 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships

2019 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships

National Collegiate Disc Golf Champions Ferris State Univerity and Southern Arkansas University take a celebratory plunge in Clarks Hill Lake. Photo: Josh Black

Early Spring means the waters of Clarks Hill Lake, which sits just off the International Disc Golf Center’s “Steady” Ed Headrick Memorial course, haven’t yet relinquished their winter chill. That didn’t stop two new National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship teams from a celebratory swim on Saturday afternoon, cringes and all.

Ferris State University's Ryan Brophy has a chance to become a three-time National Collegiate Disc Golf Champion. Photo: Josh Black

What do Will Schusterick, Paige Pierce, the San Francisco Giants, and the Ferris State Bulldogs have in common?

They’ve all got that win championships every-other-year thing locked down. Schusterick and the Giants have accomplished the feat three times, Pierce four. And now the Bulldogs are trying their best to play catch-up.

Southern Arkansas University junior Madi Chitwood jumped to the top of the individual women's standings Thursday at the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship. Photo: Josh Black

It’s been a mere 363 days since Madi Chitwood played in her first career PDGA-sanctioned tournament.

On day 364 she can win a national championship.

Colorado Mesa University's Landen Fledderjohn tees off at the International Disc Golf Center's W.R. Jackson Memorial course during round one of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships. Photo: Josh Black

When the Colorado Mesa University Mavericks walked out to Blake Rules’ “Bees” during the opening ceremony of the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships -- “It’s a goofy song,” junior Aaron Gossage admitted -- they did so as the 50th-ranked team in College Disc Golf’s most recent update. Only two other teams in attendance in Georgia this week -- Purdue and Arizona State -- clocked in lower.

The PDGA's International Disc Golf Center plays host to this week's National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships. Photo: Dalton Slantis

When nearly 300 student-athletes representing 41 schools descend upon the South for this week’s National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, they’ll be doing so at a new venue for the first time in the PDGA Major’s 13-year history.

Fortunately, that new venue is a proven stomping ground for disc golf, with three championship-level courses, a bustling staff, and several professional events on its resume.