Front Row Seat: City shows foresight by installing disc golf course

by MIKE LESKO | REPORTER Published:

Parks-Recreation Director Jim Kraus remembered his college days at Miami of Ohio when he “played disc golf a little bit.” He thought it was an enjoyable activity.
Pete Conces, chairman of the city’s recreation advisory committee, said disc golf is a good time. “You throw the disc. It’s fun,” he said.
The city plans to begin installing an 18-hole disc golf course this year at Sunny Lake Park. It would start at the north end of Sunny Lake and “work its way north and east. It may go as far south as the [Moebius] nature center,” Kraus said.
People throw a disc made out of lightweight material. The goal — similar to regular golf — is to get the disc into a small basket in the least amount of throws. Kraus said he would like to have a minimum of nine holes completed this year, but hopes for the entire 18 holes to be finished.
It is an activity that can appeal to plenty of people, and the city is showing foresight by putting in the course. Kraus believes it is a relatively inexpensive hobby.
“What you can get for the cost is [excellent],” Kraus said. “It’s not expensive, [especially] compared to regular golf. You’re out in nature, and you’re exercising.”
Kraus said participants typically use their own discs, which he said are smaller than Frisbees. He said they cost between about $5 to $15, a price that would be affordable for plenty of people.
“They carry a bag with them, and pick out the disc they want based on the shot they want to throw,” he said. “There are leagues.”
Kraus recalled from his time in college that there was a Greater Cincinnati Disc Golf Association.
“They got the world championship [event] to come to Oxford,” he said. “This guy from Germany threw the disc quite a distance. You can let those things fly.”
That length seems Paul Bunyan-esque, and few participants are expected to launch discs that far, but many are expected to enjoy themselves on the course that will be designed by architect Bill Griffith, who will assist with the layout and handle all the signs.
Kraus said the city has $15,000 in its budget this year for the design and installation. It is a reasonable price tag for a city to pay to help provide entertainment for its residents.
Aesthetically, there are other good reasons to construct a disc golf course. Kraus said Griffith thinks it could be one of the better courses in Ohio because of the natural terrain and different shot challenges.
“Another advantage is you’ve got a lot of tree trunks, but you don’t see a lot of branches and brush. You’ve got much more clearer sight lines,” Kraus said, adding there shouldn’t be a safety issue because signs will be posted, discs are made of lightweight material and the course will be away from most park activities.
It sounds like a lot of fun.
Email: mlesko@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
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Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC

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