Disc golf coming back for another season

Liberty University has provided not one but two disc golf courses for students and non-students to utilize.

Coach Steve Bowman has been with Liberty since the beginning of the disc golf program seven years ago when he designed the first Liberty course.

Liberty features two disc golf courses, both on Liberty Mountain. (Photo by Kevin Manguiob)

“I built both of the courses here at liberty, both the Hideaway course and the East campus course,” Bowman said. “It was great when I came to Liberty. All I had to do was design and then they have these great teams. I’d go in, mark what I wanted taken down, then I’d come back the next day and it’d be done.”

Bowman started playing in the late 1970s in his California neighborhood.

“I began probably as a 13 or 14 year-old kid,” Bowman said. “I remember never really playing on a course. Instead our neighborhood had makeshift baskets on the light posts.” 

After Bowman moved to Lynchburg in 1987 he gave the sport up because there were no courses nearby until Peaks View Park took initiative in 1998.

“That was when I really started getting into the sport,” Bowman said. “I would ride my bike to work, stop on my way in, play the course, go to work, bike home and stop and play it again.”

Bowman was asked by Bedford County to build a disc golf course in Falling Creek Park. When Liberty was interested in building a course on campus they reached out to Bedford County and asked if they could refer the same person who did theirs.

Bowman designed and helped build the course here at Liberty and was later asked to help start the disc golf club team. He has been the head coach ever since.

“I really want to build community into our team because you get on this campus and there are 13,000 students and it can make you feel small,” Bowman said. “I want this team to feel like a family.” 

Last year Bowman helped lead the women’s disc golf team to their first national championship. Hannah Trotz is the only player from that team who is still playing this year.

“A lot of the girls this year on the team are brand new, but they all seem like they’re going to be a great fit,” Trotz said. “We always want to be building each other up.”

Although the men’s team did not finish the season as well as the women’s team, they have a large group of men who came out for the team this year. The men’s team will have 16 players for this season. 

Jeremy Miekley turned to disc golf after he suffered an injury that sidelined him from the track and field team.

The disc golf team begins its season in just a few weeks. (Photo by Kevin Manguiob)

“Club sports has been great to us,” Miekley said. “They are continually supporting us and pushing us to a national championship.”

At the end of the day, to Bowman, the results on the course are less important than the character he wants to build in his players.

“I want our players to be servant leaders because I think that there is very little else like that out there,” Bowman said. “If I am serving you and loving you, it’s going to open up the door to share Christ with you.”

The team will be traveling to Georgia October 27, for tournament competition.

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