The St. Olaf Student Senate recently passed $12,500 in funding for a new nine-hole disc golf course designed by professional disc golf player Cale Leiviska. For those unfamiliar with disc golf, mix your favorite beach throwing activity (frisbees) with a golf-style play while enjoying a walk in the park and you get disc golf. The current campus course is currently long overdue for renovations. The current course has unplayable conditions from lacking tee pads, poor course flow in layout, outdated baskets, and lacking signage. In 2022 nearly 600 rounds of disc golf were logged on our current course. With the new renovations to the course contracted through Leiviska Disc Golf Design the St. Olaf Disc Golf Club and other dedicated disc golfers will now have the opportunity for year-round play while maintaining bystander safety with proper signage.
Cale Leiviska has been playing disc golf professionally since 2004. He has a background in wildlife preservation and aims to embrace and utilize natural surroundings while minimizing environmental impact. Leiviska has designed two of the top 50 courses rated by Udisc in the world. Leiviska shared some of his plans and excitement regarding the property. Leiviska is most excited about the change of elevations and variety of trees that the St. Olaf landscape provides for the new course. “This is such a beautiful, picturesque property that is well suited for disc golf.” Leiviska said, “Some of the courses that I work on are extremely flat and there are features that you just can’t accomplish. With this property, the landscape allows for everything that a disc golfer hopes for when it comes to the variety of throws and shapes.”
Leiviska also shared with The Olaf Messenger that he enjoys the people and the travel that comes with his career as a professional disc golfer. As Leiviska approaches 40 years old, he is thankful to have such a competitive outlet within his life. “I have met some of my best friends through this game and traveled to the ends of the earth for my tournaments. I know most disc golfers will never travel overseas to compete, but you just might meet a lifelong friend the next time you’re on the course,” Leviska said.
Advice Leiviska gave for any uprising or potential disc golfers in taking their career to the professional level is to start playing competitive leagues within the area. Leiviska encourages players to explore their passion for the game beyond just playing recreationally. Routines and practice are key to any professional career. “All of the best players in the state will be practicing multiple times a week,” Leiviska said. Cale Leiviska has been playing disc golf for 20 years and still loves the game, while still believing the most important rule of the game is keeping it fun.
“Every once in a while, I like to take a break for a couple of months in the winter and reset,” Leiviska said. “It helps me remember why I began playing in the first place. Because I enjoy the flight of the disc, and bettering myself.”