A disc golf player, ambassador and course designer credits the creation of his new course in Ridgedale with inspiring him to win his battle with cancer.
Russ “Allright” Rosencrans, best known in the community as one half of the dynamic disc duo known as Russ and Diskey the Wonder Dog, has been a longtime ambassador for disc golf in Taney County. In addition, Rosencrans has participated in the creation of several disc golf courses in the region.
“The sport of disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. For those unfamiliar with disc golf, it started with what they call the pluto board, frisbee, which everyone knows, likes and launched,” Rosencrans said. “So a guy invented and changed the profile on it. He drove a pole into the ground and he wanted to do what they call a pole hole or a target, so you throw the disc at something so there’s an object in play.”
Over the past few years, Rosencrans has been designated an ambassador of pleasure in several attractions in the region. However, these days you’ll find him, alongside a now-retired Diskey, inside the Treehouz Disc Golf Pro Shop at the Branson Cedars Resort in Ridgedale. Rosencrans said he was brought in by Branson Cedars Resort to run the pro shop in 2020 due to the sudden surge in disc golf players due to the pandemic.
“It exploded overnight due to COVID and everyone was going out to play. Well, it literally blew up the sport to the point where manufacturers couldn’t make records fast enough to sell them. Each of the manufacturers was achieving a more than 100% increase in sales in 2020,” Rosencrans said. “So they got me to take that to the next level. I started working with the manufacturers and getting as much plastic as possible and creating a pro shop.
After the shop was set up for the already existing 19-hole disc golf course that was on the property, Rosencrans began work on a new, updated course design, just weeks before learning he had a cancer.
“In November, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. So let’s move through this recovering from surgery and in January I dove head first into course design, equipment rental, course construction and I had a deadline to meet in July . I had a tournament,” Rosencrans said. “In March I received another phone call and was diagnosed that I still had prostate cancer. One in a million. I should have had a lottery ticket. I had to undergo seven weeks of radiotherapy.
Even with the diagnoses back, Rosecrans said it inspired him to continue his work on the new disc golf course.
“I stayed motivated by this disc golf course and this deadline to complete it, because I am a do-it-all guy. If I am in charge of a project, I will carry it out to the best of my abilities,” Rosencrans said. “I was going to radiotherapy at 6:30 in the morning and I was here at 8 in the morning and I was working until 6 or 7 in the evening and I did it. I finished the course in time for this tournament.
In the months that followed, Rosencrans shared that he received a clear test and has remained cancer-free ever since.
“I say it was basically the disc golf course that killed the cancer in the sense that it gave me the motivation and the determination to not only persevere on the course and finish it, but with every hole was every challenge, just like cancer, to overcome it,” Rosencrans said. “It allowed me to use this course to bring attention to prostate cancer and awareness to make sure you’re controlled early.”
When he started working on the Treehouz Golf Course, Rosencrans said his goal was for the course to become a premier course. After completing the course last year, Rosencrans said he learned he had achieved his goal.
“It was published that we were ranked No. 2 in the state of Missouri and I believe that’s out of 1,500 courses. It’s listed next to someone who has Harmony Bends, which is in Columba, Missouri,” Rosencrans said. “These are the disc golf academy awards for your course to be listed in UDisk’s top five. Then it only gets better because it’s over 1,500. It’s amazing, but they do another blog about a month later and that’s when they feature the top 100 courses in the world. We made the top 100 in the world course at #93.”
Rosencrans added their rank of 93 in the world, is on around 40,000 disc golf courses. As top courses, Rosencrans explained what sets them apart from thousands of others.
“A golfer pulls over and it’s green grass and they put a tee in the ground and hit a ball. Here, a starting area goes from Astroturf to dirt and gravel,” Rosencrans said. “You want it to be as safe as possible, so we put in concrete tees and they’re surrounded by base rock, and then they’ve been toned down with a lot of additional limestone rock features. Basically, we’re saying we are the disc golf course that has the moving tee pads, which is what we really enjoy.
Additionally, Rosencrans assigns each of the holes special characteristics as another element that disc golfers seek out and appreciate.
“The spectacular comes when you start from the first hole on the nine-hole course, as the first holes are about 607 feet long with about 250 feet of drop and it ends on a green; the basket actually ends up on a putting green,” Rosencrans said. “That makes it unique. No one has ever seen this before. That’s what really makes us pop.
Regarding the rest of the course, Rosencrans has high expectations.
“My dream for this course in the future is to take it to the next level and be the No. 1 course in Missouri,” Rosencrans said. “I just wanted to be top rated when I started that goal and to achieve that in year one, now I’m really confident that I know we can be the #1 course in the world. I know we can now without a shadow of a doubt.
The cost to play the course at Branson Cedars Resort is $10 per person to play all day on the course or $40 for a year of unlimited play with their “Loyalty Card”.
For more information about the course, call Rosencrans at 417-332-7203 or visit bransoncedarresort.com/discgolf.