You may see them slinking along the side of a building in the shadows late at night, assessing the best vantage points. Always approach with caution and stay very quiet. In most other places, the scene described may prompt thoughts of robbery or vandalism; however, on Hope’s campus, we know these figures to be frolfers. The club sport of frolf was founded more than two decades ago and is continued by members who have turned Hope’s campus into a sort of frolf course under the light of the moon.
Unlike standard golf, ultimate frisbee or disc golf, frolf is not limited by weather, rules or even daylight, as members of the club are not allowed to venture out before 6 p.m. to avoid disturbing students. One of the members, Brian Ellis (’22), spoke on how he got involved in the extreme sport, as some may call it, and a few of its basic rules. He stated, “I started playing frolf after being invited by friends to join. However, I know there is a Groupme where new members can join if they are interested. If they know the course, anyone is welcome to hop in and play. I always enjoy the opportunity to play frolf. Taking an hour out of my day to spend time with friends and play a sport outside is a great way to relax. One of our strict rules, however, is that we must play with normal ultimate frisbee frisbees because other disc golf frisbees run the risk of breaking a window.” Given that their “holes” range anywhere from trees to lampposts, an erratic throw always has the potential to hit something.
Another member and ringleader of the team, Dre Solorzano (’22), revealed, “I got into frolf as I was very into disc golf in high school, and when I came to Hope I wondered if they had anything similar.” The game dynamic is better suited to a campus setup; as Dre explained, the game requires no official equipment and is impromptu in terms of playing time. He confessed, “We don’t typically keep score as it’s mainly friendly competition. The loose structure of the game allows for a more relaxed atmosphere. My favorite ‘hole’ is throwing over the old Kletz and trying to make it land in a corner. The various elevations at play make for some difficulty, but it’s more rewarding than just a straightforward hole. We also usually play at about 10 p.m. on weeknights, so the dark is always an added challenge.” The group’s notoriety has grown as, according to Dre, “there are about 20 members in the group chat, but we usually venture out in groups of two to four; it just depends on the day.”
As is the case with many of Hope’s clubs, new members are always welcome, so interested parties are always encouraged to email an individual of the frolf team if they are looking to get involved. Dre even expressed that “if people don’t have frisbees, team members in the group have extras and are happy to share!”
So beware the next time you are walking outside late at night and see shadowy figures running about throwing frisbees at lampposts, trees and seemingly random corners. Or if you’re in the mood, go join them.