Stanford Night Disc Golf

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About

A friend of mine from Stanford told me about some Stanford traditions and one that stood out was: night disc golf using glow-in-the dark Frisbees. I've never even played regular disc golf before, but she sent me an article buried in the 2011 Stanford Axe Committee's Handbook of Stanford University on page 23 and I decided I wanted to copy to its own page (hope that's okay Stanford people!) to (a) get it better attention, (b) make a nice printable version and (c) make sure I would do it once winter was over!  :)

If you want to try, I recommend you buy a set of 2 light-up discs for ~$20 each by searching for "Light Up Flying Disc" on Amazon - I recommend the "Nite Ize Flashflight" brand - with green and blue being easy to see colors! You could also try the cheaper "glow in the dark disc golf" sets, but unless it is pitch dark (and Stanford is pretty well lit) these discs are hard to see, especially in foliage, and also require you to bring a couple of strong LED flashlights to "recharge" the glow. I'm really bad at frisbees, but this is the type of game where no one is expected to be good.... unless they play ultimate - then it will be a little skewed!

Half the fun of the game is looking at the map and working out where to go next.  :) I've provided a small map below, but you may at least want the "starting point on Google maps".

Frisbee Golf

The Stanford frisbee golf course was preserved in oral tradition for twenty years, but it is available now here and on the web. A great group activity previously limited only to the players entrusted with knowledge of the course, it provides a tour of the campus that can be enjoyed day or night (as well as in various states of intoxication). Players are strongly urged to scout each hole when playing the course for the first time. Honesty is essential as it is often difficult to ascertain if the hole was really hit. Good driving is more important than good putting. Interesting course hazards include frisbees landing in moving trucks and hitting bikers.

The Seven Cardinal Rules

  1. Tee off from anywhere behind the imaginary line drawn between two objects which represent the tee off area.
  2. Each shot should be played with one foot remaining where the frisbee landed, including water hazards and obstacles, but not trees.
  3. You are permitted to move anything physically blocking play, provided that it can be moved (short of dynamiting).
  4. If an unwary spectator moves the frisbee, scold the culprit profusely, then replace the frisbee and continue play.24
  5. Completion of a hole occurs when the frisbee makes contact with the hole, with the exception of an archway, in which case it must pass through. For holes on the ground, the frisbee must land completely within the border described (holes 6, 8,13, & 15).
  6. Any type of non-motorized frisbee and throwing technique is permitted.
  7. In any dispute, the scorekeeper's decision is considered final.


The unofficial Stanford disc golf course!


The Course

The best place to park is the small parking lot at 565 Salvatierra Walk, Palo Alto (just off Campus Drive) where they allow you to park for free after 6pm. From there walk 6 minutes to to the grassy Canfield Court at the end of O'Connor Ln, between the Stanford Law School and J. Henry Meyer Memorial Library. Here's a good place to have a few practice throws! Your first hole target will be the totem pole.  :)

First 9

Hole Par Tee off and Hole Description P1 P2 P3 P4
1. 3 Tee off within the brick area around the main center planter in the Law School courtyard. Hole is hitting the huge Totem Pole you can see on the left hand side of Canfield Court. (ne)
2. 4 Tee off with one foot touching the totem pole. Hole is hitting the doors of the Meyer Memorial Library from outside ascending staircase. (n)
3. 5 Tee off anywhere on balcony of Meyer's grand staircase. Hole is corner archway to Pigott Hall (Language Corner / Bldg. 260). (nnw)
4. 3 Tee off from Language Corner and nearest lamp. Hole is first thick palm tree (roots and leaves don't count) on grass behind Memorial Church. (nww)
5. 4 Tee off from road next to palm tree. Hole is cylindrical message board on corner of Braun Corner. (nww).
6. 3 Tee off from the downstairs landing next to Branner Earth Sciences Library. Hole is the around the corner in the left-most sunken planters with a tree in it (large brick square). Frisbee must go inside the sunken planter. (sw)
7. 5 Tee off from the nearest lamp on Panama Mall. Hole is around the corner then the third lamp post on the left (next to the three big rocks) near the Green Earth Science Building, near the booth. (nw)
8. 3 Tee off from start of the metal bridge. Hole is the first sunken planter on the right past the bridge. If the Frisbee falls down, you may take a 2-stroke penalty but play from the end of the bridge. Optional: kiss someone on cheek each time you land in a bush. (nne)
9. 2 Tee off from the second lamp post on the left after the bridge. Hole is trunk (below the branches) of the tree on the first hill to the right. (nne) Check scores, relax on hill and mentally prepare for second half.
- TOTAL: Par 32 for first nine.

Back 9

Hole Par Tee off and Hole Description P1 P2 P3 P4
10. 3 Tee off from the apex of the same hill. Hole is the trunk of the tree in the large sunken pit next to the Nanotechnology Building. If you hit the white fire hydrant on the tee shot, take an automatic hole in one.
11. 5 Tee off from base of the tree (must within arm's reach of tree). You then must shoot through the fourth arch from the corner of the nanotechnology building, after that, you must throw directly past the small fountain at the corner. The hole is the moving bollard between the Varian physics building and Moore building.
12. 3 Tee off from previous hole. Hole is passing the Frisbee straight through the gates of the Quad.25
13. 5 Back up outside of the gates, and tee off between the two tall palms guarding the entrance to the quad. Hole is the center stone of the Rosette in the middle of the quad (must be entirely within circle). A tee shot that lands entirely within the Centennial Plaque at the entrance to the Quad counts as an automatic hole in one.
14. 4 Tee off from the Rosette. Hole is the lower bowl of the fountain facing Green library.
15. 4 Tee off between the Quad and the 100 Years plaque on the wall surrounding Green fountain. Hole is landing the Frisbee within the Circle of Death (being on shrubbery does not count).
16. 5 Tee off between Clock Tower and Building 500. Hole is the Birdcage, the large metal sculpture in White Plaza (that thing with the posters all over it). Must strike metal.
17. 4 Tee off between the bottom of the Bookstore stairs and the Claw fountain. One stroke may be deducted from your score if you are willing to tee off from on top of the Claw fountain structure (not allowed to take any clothes off-including shoes or socks). Hole is either bollard between the back corners of the bookstore and the Post Office.
18. 5 Tee off from behind Post Office flagpole in sunken part (must be able to touch Fed-Ex box). First send frisbee to land on concrete in the Birdcage. If you hit White Plaza Plaque, count an automatic hole in one. Then must shoot through part of Birdcage towards the Row. Hole is within the planter at the beginning of the Row.
- TOTAL: Par 38 for back nine.
- GRAND TOTAL: Par 70 for all 18 holes.


Optional Rules

If you know your competitors well, here's some extra rules you might consider including:

  1. For unintentionally hitting a lamp, perform brief, embarrassing dance.
  2. Each time Frisbee lands in a tree/bush, thrower gets a patronizing hug for being clumsy.
  3. Each time you land in a bush, any team mate can smack your butt with the Frisbee (not hard though).
  4. If you hit a bicycle (even a parked one), you must kiss someone on the cheek and apologize.
  5. Whomever gets a hole in one gets to "Frisbee five" everyone and feel self righteous the rest of the game.  :)

Feel free to invent your own - that's half the fun!


Links


Acknowledgements: My friend Preethi for telling me about this tradition, and the 2011 Stanford Axe Committee who wrote this original article. The text I have here is almost unchanged, except for me adding a place for players to write their scores.