BYU Disc Golf Champion - Y Magazine
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Learning Curve

Tailey Rowley, national collegiate disc golf champion, prepares for a toss in the rain
Tailey Rowley, national collegiate disc golf champion, can throw up to 400 feet—that’s longer than a football field. Photo courtesy Tailey Rowley.

Biting wind and cold rain doesn’t make for a pleasant game of disc golf. “It gets very technical—the wind can change your whole throw and mess you up,” says recent family-life grad Tailey A. Rowley (BS ’23). Rowley confronted unexpectedly stormy North Carolina weather at the national collegiate disc golf championships in April 2023. Rain or not, Rowley anticipated placing in the top 10.

“I just stayed very consistent and confident, and I didn’t make many mistakes,” Rowley says. “Then all of a sudden I was in the lead.” She finished at 5 over par, winning the women’s DI singles national championship.

Rowley never would have imagined such a victory a year and a half earlier, when she picked up her first disc—borrowed from her husband, Finnis M. Quick (BA ’22). He comes from a family of competitive disc golfers, and picking up the sport, Rowley jokes, wasn’t optional: “After I got married, it was a family event when we would all go out and play.”

She copied her in-laws’ form and strategies. “She has this ability to learn really fast,” Quick says. “All she has to do is watch someone, then she goes out on the field and does it.”

While playing at a park during her final fall semester, Rowley heard a voice across the field. “Hey! Do you go to BYU?” It was Hannah Hunter Gerber (’23), who waved her over to play with BYU’s disc golf club. In a male-dominated sport, the club was glad to find her. Rowley began training with the women at least once per week and joined the guys for putting practice in the Smith Fieldhouse. “We really pushed each other,” Rowley says.

In the club Rowley found her people at BYU—and her competitive spirit. Club members competed in the Professional Disc Golf Association collegiate national championships in April. Rowley and Gerber placed second in doubles and Rowley came out on top in individuals.

Rowley signed with a sponsor, Discraft, and plays her first pro tournaments this summer. She competes with her husband at her side, coaching her shots and lugging a backpack full of discs as caddy.

“I think it’s so fun to throw a really cool shot and just watch it fly,” Rowley says. “I love competing against myself—it’s really therapeutic for me. I can’t control a lot in life, but I can control this, and it’s super fun.”