Disc Golfers Descend On Waco's 'Beast'

Aug 21, 2014

This Weekend is the 18th Waco Annual Charity Open—a disc golf tournament with proceeds going to the Baylor Autism Resource Clinic. Part of the tournament takes place in the new and improved Brazos Park East, which has just gone under $2.6 million in renovations. Disc golfers call the course "The Beast."

For those of you who don’t know, disc golf is pretty much like regular golf…but you throw with a hard plastic Frisbee. The objective is the same as golf—try to get it to the hole in as few strokes as possible, but the hole isn’t a hole. It’s a basket.

There are four disc golf courses in the Waco area and today, I’m out at Brazos Park East on Martin Luther King boulevard. The course is affectionately called “The Beast.” Why? Fourth-grader Isaiah Parker knows…

"Because it’s a lot more harder than the others," Parker says.

Wayne Crane is playing the Beast for the second time since it was going through renovations last year. Crane says the holes have gotten a lot harder

"They’re tough I mean they made the courses pretty good," Crane says. "There’s a lot of tough turns and zigzags all in all they made them pretty nice."

This weekend is the new and improved Beast’s debutante ball—the Waco Annual Charity Open, a disc golf tournament that brings in 180 players from around the state and country. Channon Quillen is the president of the Waco Disc Golf Association. He says the new and improved Brazos Park East will challenge even the best players.

"A lot of your top level players they want to come in and they want a good challenge, they want to throw a course that’s going to challenge them," Quillen says. "They want something they can showcase on. And the Beast is a showcase kind of course."

So what makes it so hard? The first nine holes are straight forward enough—long holes with a few water hazards and frustrating out-of-bounds zones. But the reason the Beast gets its nom de guerre is the back nine—a complex maze of holes that snakes through trees and dense thickets.

"That course as it was for the first two years that I started playing disc golf, I wouldn’t go over there and play it. The Beast is gonna eat your lunch," Quillen says.

Over the last year the Waco Disc Golf Association has been working with the city to clean up the course, make new holes and make existing holes more challenging. Quillen says even though it’s been a volunteer effort, it’s been worth it.

"There’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of poison ivy getting cleared out, but it’s definitely worth it when you hear people come from out of town or out of state and they come through Waco just to play the Beast," Quillen says.

There isn’t any designated spectator section for the tournament this weekend, but the public is invited to come out and watch in the park. The tournament runs all day Saturday and Sunday in Brazos Park East and also in Cameron Park West on Herring Avenue.