If you've been to Saint Meinrad recently or are planning a trip
soon, you might notice several metal baskets attached to poles
scattered around the grounds. These aren't fancy bird feeders;
they're disc golf goals.
"That basket is way more satisfying than regular golf, because
you get the nice cha-ching accomplishment sound when you get your
disc in," explains Deacon Kelly Edwards, a Fourth Theology
seminarian who helped lead the disc golf course project.
Disc golf is a lot like regular golf, except players throw
discs, like Frisbees, instead of hit balls. The goal is to get your
disc to the basket in the fewest number of throws.
Edwards came up with the idea of installing a course at Saint
Meinrad about six years ago, but it wasn't until recently that the
project was set in motion.
He thought Saint Meinrad was a beautiful place, but rarely saw
anyone walking the grounds. He knows a lot of seminarians would
never just go for a walk, but they would play disc golf. Having a
course on campus would be a good way to get people outside to enjoy
the grounds, get a little exercise and have fellowship.
Edwards eventually brought the idea to Fr. Tobias Colgan, OSB,
vice rector in our Seminary and School of Theology. Fr. Tobias was
excited, but he didn't know if there was funding or what kind of
timeline this project would involve.
Deacon Colby Elbert joined the project and they began to discuss
how to make the idea a reality. They were attempting to build
something they could leave behind after they graduate this
"There really isn't precedent for seminarians proposing a
construction project," says Edwards.
At their first meeting, they decided they needed a patron saint.
They chose St. Joseph Cupertino, who is the patron of students and
flying things because he levitated during prayer. When the meeting
was over, Edwards received an email notifying him that day was the
feast of St. Joseph Cupertino. After that, things just seemed to
fall into place.
"It was very much a step-by-step process," explains Elbert.
"Kelly had the idea, saw the opportunity, asked the formation
staff, the monks were open to it and Kelly started drawing up plans
for the course. There was also a chance meeting with not only
saints in heaven."
While playing disc golf in Louisville, KY, Elbert met a guy who
had helped design some disc golf courses. He got Elbert in touch
with David Greenwell, a professional disc golf player.
Greenwell actually had ties to Saint Meinrad. His dad was a
friend of a monk and they would come to campus to hunt and fish
when he was a child. So Greenwell volunteered his time and came to
Saint Meinrad to help design the course.
Although the course was designed, they figured they still would
have to wait another year to fund the project. Then, Fr. Tobias
found out there was no seminary project scheduled for the fiscal
year and funds were available to order the baskets.
The baskets were assembled and installed at the beginning of the
fall semester, and students, monks and co-workers began to hit
A typical course is made up of 18 holes. Saint Meinrad has a
half course of nine holes that covers 1.5 miles if you walk it. The
course was designed to be expanded, if more funding becomes
"It really does help get you out into creation and nature," says
Edwards. "It puts you in places on the Hill that you wouldn't
normally go. When you're at Saint Meinrad every day, you kind of
forget you're here."
The course gives people a different view of the seminary and
helps get the students away from their routine. It's also a way for
the seminarians to build community.
"Men bond through common activity," says Elbert. "It's a way
where they can do something together and build those fraternal
bonds that are important not just for seminary formation."