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MetroParks considers disc golf course

Andy Ouriel • Jun 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Narrow fairways and winding greens provide problems when people play at the inclusive Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters Tournament.

But a newly proposed golfing layout in Erie County offers even trickier hazards, including soccer goal posts and playground equipment players must avoid to strike the green.

Erie MetroParks officials want to install a nine-hole disc golf course on the Osborn MetroPark premises, off Perkins Avenue near Cleveland Road.

The Professional Disc Golf Association equates the recreational sport to traditional golf, except players use a flying disc or Frisbee instead of balls, and fling the objects rather than swing clubs.

Disc golfers do start from teeing areas and eventually wind up on putting greens.

Players strive to complete each hole in the fewest number of strokes, or throws, possible into an elevated metal basket substituting for a hole.

Park officials recently reassessed what community members want from the district.

The answer: More free activities showcasing the park’s outdoor venues.

The sport is popular. There are 2,500 organized leagues across the U.S. with 10 million people playing at least once, according to the Disc Golf Association.

“We think of it as responding to the community’s desire to have more programs and more recreational activities across the park district,” Erie MetroParks commissioner Kurt Landefeld said.

MetroParks officials expect to spend roughly $5,000 to install a disc golf setup.

The 10-acre course should open sometime in late 2012.

The park district, however, plans to offset any disc golf-related expanses by soliciting sponsors for the holes.

Also, the course requires little maintenance, with mowing and trimming, as opposed to daily upkeep on a traditional golf course.

“With disc golf being a growing sport and becoming very popular for all age groups, it would be a fun, recreational activity to add to our park system,” Erie MetroParks employee Adam Saylor wrote in a report submitted to park commissioners.

Saylor brainstormed the idea and executed the details, including the course layout.

“With everything costing money in society these days, a free, recreational activity that can be played year-round will be a big draw to Osborn MetroPark,” Saylor wrote in his report.

For more local recreation news, including a story on improvements to Mills Creek Golf Course, pick up a copy of Friday's Register.

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