Like a scene from Jurassic Park, huge prehistoric trees line the fairway of the Redwood Curtain Disc Golf Course, and getting lost in the thick forest was inevitable for Connor Evans and his dad on their first visit.
“We didn’t have a map. We didn’t know the course at all. First time for him playing disc golf probably,” Evans said. “It was a shit show. It was a lot of fun. We got so lost, but that’s how The Curtain goes.”
Evans is the president of the Disc Golf Club at Humboldt State University. Unlike most other universities, there is a disc golf course located right in the back of campus among the redwoods.
“We’re a pretty diverse club,” Evans said. “We get a lot of different students, and The Curtain is our home course.”
The Redwood Curtain, as it’s named, has been around for more than 30 years and is known for holes that thread their way through redwoods and ferns. With many narrow fairways and lots of trees for obstacles, many disc golfers agree that it is one of the more difficult courses to master in the world.
The club tends to the course and makes sure it stays clean. HSU alum Wyatt Bettis is the team’s coach.
“This course is unlike anything in the world,” Bettis said. “Its huge redwoods, trying to navigate through them, just the beauty, the ferns, it’s more of a beautiful course than anything. Whenever I think about playing disc golf, I imagine playing through the redwoods.”
Disc golf, also referred to as frisbee golf, is rapidly evolving and becoming one of the most-played sports locally. There’s the Redwood Curtain course as well as College of the Redwoods, Manila, Mad River and Cooper’s Gulch.
According to the HSU club team, The Curtain ranks above all others. It offers a high level of difficulty along with beautiful scenery that is unmatched.
Dennis Hanson is the Disc Golf Club’s safety officer and has been playing the sport for eight years. He enjoys the local aspect of the Redwood Curtain and not having to go far to play a round.
“We feel like its part of the school,” Hanson said. “We feel like it’s our course. So we try to take care of it, feel pride for it and keep it up to date.”
For a course that is loved so much throughout the disc golf community, the Redwood Curtain remains a lesser-known accommodation that HSU provides for their students. Also, it’s good just to get out in nature to lower that end-of-semester stress.
The disc golf team starts playing competitively against other universities this spring. Students interested in showing off their skills can contact Bettis or check out their practices on Sunday mornings at the Redwood Bowl.
“It’s something that’s here in Arcata,” Hanson said. “You don’t have to go too far to play and it’s really local, which is why it’s so special to me.”