The Evergreen State College (Evergreen) brings the broader community to its verdant campus in many ways. One of those is with outdoor recreational opportunities like the college’s disc golf course in Olympia which is open to students, non-students, casual players, serious competitors and even pros.
The Evergreen State College disc golf course is a product of a community partnership with the South Puget Sound Disc Golf Association (SPSDGA). “It started out as nine holes,” says John Anderson, SPSDGA president and the local staff pro at Olympia’s PackEx Disc Golf store, which sells discs. The SPSDGA promotes the sport of disc golf as well as builds and supports courses. The SPSDGA and the college established the Evergreen disc golf course, and SPSDGA maintains it. “It became 18 holes about four years ago and it took a long time to get it into playing shape,” Anderson says. “It’s been a long process.”
“The community built this,” Anderson adds. “And it’s been a good thing for the college. It’s another thing for students to do.”
Disc golf is like traditional golf, but a player throws plastic discs down the course into elevated chain link baskets, rather than using a club to hit balls into holes in the ground. Typically, players must also maneuver the discs through trees. In fact, the reported motto for disc golf is: “That was perfect! Except for that tree.”
Evergreen’s 18-hole intermediate-to-advanced course is more than 7,000 feet in length and is located near the college’s athletic fields. The par-57 course leads through old-growth forests and open fields with some long fairways, and some have slight elevation changes. This course has three par-4 holes, and the remainder are par-3 holes.
The Evergreen course offers several other features, too. One is the ability for players to use the UDisc app, an application that not only finds courses, leagues and scores but also tracks stats and measures throws. Another bonus is a lost and found box conveniently located on the course with a concrete walk leading to it. Golfers can drop other players’ lost discs into the box. Players looking for their missing discs can contact PackEx Disc Golf, which is where the lost discs are stored for a period.
The course is open for free – no fee – casual play. Ryan Harp and Mary-Charlotte Grayson recently moved to Olympia. As new community members, one of the recreational activity locations they say they wanted to check out was Evergreen’s disc golf course because they played the sport while living in New Mexico. And occasional player and Washington State University graduate student Alexander Johnson of Olympia also enjoy the course for recreational breaks when he is back home. He agrees that the Evergreen disc golf course’s designation as intermediate-to-advanced is accurate, particularly with the surrounding forest. “As a casual player, I would say that while it is certainly a pretty course and the grounds are well-maintained, it is challenging, to be sure,” Johnson says.
The Evergreen course is also the home of varying levels of disc golf competitions, which generally have a fee to participate. These events bring in competitors and even pros. SPSDGA sponsors weekly Evergreen Doubles there. Those doubles are scheduled year-round on Sundays at 9 a.m. Events sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association such as the Summertime Fling at Evergreen for women, the Evergreen Equinox and the South Sound Classic are also held at the college’s course. And the PackEx Cup’s disc golf championship utilizes Evergreen’s course as well.
If you want to preview the Evergreen disc golf course’s 18 holes, watch this video. A course map is also available online.
To drive to the course, from U.S. 101, take the Evergreen Parkway exit. Go 1.8 miles to a left on Overhulse Road, followed by a left onto Fireweed Drive. There is a gravel parking lot to the left. The course is across the street from the gravel lot and a few hundred yards down the path to the right side of the field. The first tee pad is near the soccer field grandstand.
Parking is free on the weekends and college observed holidays. For all other days, pay to park. You can pay through a portal or an app on your phone. Some campus lots have payment kiosks or short-term coin-operated meters. More details are on the college’s parking website.
For more information on Evergreen’s multiple recreational opportunities, check out The Evergreen State College website.