Frolf disc

Pictured is the disc given to the runners at the 2019 Blazin' Thru Bertram run.

Frolf.

It looks like such a funny word.

To hear it spoken, it seems even funnier- or so I thought back when my three boys used to wander out to the local disc golf course and throw Frisbees at chain-linked baskets.

But the word frolf took on a new meaning for me Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Blazin’ thru Bertram Phillip LaVallee Memorial Run.

Frolf is a term for disc golf, Its a combination of the words Frisbee and golf.

On Saturday, I also learned that frolfing was the reason behind the fact that shirts were not provided to runners at the 7th annual Blazin’ thru Bertram run.

The past six years, runners received a shirt with a race logo emblazoned on it. This year, runners received a bright orange disc with the race logo and a picture of the Bertram Chain of Lakes.

Why?

Because Phillip LaVallee enjoyed frolfing, said his father Greg LaVallee prior to the starting gun of the 2019 Blazin’ thru Bertram Phillip LaVallee Memorial Run.

Frolfing is another way the LaVallee family remembers Phillip.

Phillip liked to compete, his father said.

And being the competitor that Phillip was, heading out on a course to throw colored discs was a perfect competitive outlet.

Frolfing was something he enjoyed, Greg LaVallee said.

As a matter of fact, some of the favorite LaVallee family moments centered around the disc-throwing sport.

Some of the last LaVallee family memories centered around the sport, as well.

Take for example, the family trip to Glacier National Park the summer before Phillip was to start his sophomore year at South Dakota State University.

It was the last LaVallee family trip before Phillip was killed by a distracted driver on Aug. 8, 2013, Greg LaVallee recalled.

Every single day on the drive to Glacier National Park, the LaVallee family had to stop so Phillip could go for a run.

It was kind of a pain for the rest of the family, Greg LaVallee said with a smile.

One day, in a state park in Montana, Phillip went for a run. Greg LaVallee joined his son, for no other reason than he said he didn’t have anything else to do.

It was there in the Montana Badlands that they saw a Frisbee golf course- or frolf course.

The LaVallee family joined together that day to play a friendly- albeit competitive game of frolf.

It was the kind of game that memories are made from.

“That’s why you now have discs,” Greg LaVallee said to the 180 or so people gathered to run, walk or just observe the Blazin’ thru Bertram run.

With nearly 200 discs now in the hands of potential new frolfers, Greg LaVallee offered up a simple but meaningful request.

“I’m asking you to go out and try the sport.”

He also noted that Montissippi County Park along County Road 75 on the outskirts of Monticello was now the home of a new disc golf course.

As I recall the words of Greg LaVallee as he stood before 180 runners and walkers about to hit the trail to honor the memory of his son, I encourage you to “Go out, try frolfing, and remember Phil” 

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. Reach him by email at jeff.hage@ecm-inc.com.

 

Editor

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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