Last updated: December 26. 2013 9:45AM - 2708 Views

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Matt Echelberry

Inquirer Reporter

City officials learned about disc golf during the Dec. 19 meeting of the Parks and Streets Committee, as they considered the feasibility of installing a course in Galion.

City Council member Eric Webber, who is an amateur disc golf player, was in attendance. He gave a brief overview of what the sport is.

Disc golf is played much like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc similar to a frisbee. The target is an elevated basket with metal chains. In a typical game, a player throws at 18 “holes,” with the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes.

It provides low impact, outdoor exercise for all ages and skill levels. According to Webber, today there are 2,600 courses in the U.S., which is six times more than there was in 1995.

Committee members later entertained the possibility of installing a course at Amicks Reservoir.

Two professional disc golfers were also on hand during the meeting. They previously walked through the park and mapped out a potential course, which would extend from the area around the soccer fields through the wooded areas deeper into the park.

The course they mapped out would take players through several types of terrain and offer various obstacles, including trees, hills and the reservoir. There would be no interference with private property.

Committee members discussed the benefits to the city: Disc golf could draw more people to Amicks, enhance park activities overall, bring disc golfers into town and activities and clinics could be organized (especially for local youth).

Low maintenance is needed for the course because the park is already being mowed. Disc golfers usually remove sticks and debris from the walking trails of the course as they play.

Webber provided another reason. He said Marion’s Sawyer Park had drug problems at one time. After the city installed a disc golf course there, the additional foot traffic decreased illegal activity.

Installation would include the baskets, concrete pads for each tee-off area and signage. The disc golfers received an $8,000 quote for the baskets. The complete course would cost an estimated $16,000-20,000.

In order to help with the initial costs, the city would have the option to ask for hole sponsors and raise money through disc golf tournaments at nearby courses. Also, the concrete pads could be installed later, in case the course layout needs to be altered.

Several surrounding communities already have courses, including: Bucyrus, Mount Gilead, Marion, Mansfield, Upper Sandusky and Tiffin. However, if the city decides it does want a course, it could consider a newer style of basket that no courses in the area have.

The Parks and Streets Committee passed a motion to request legislation consenting to city property being used for disc golf, with no financial commitment included (pending the possibility of hole sponsors). City Council will make a final decision on the proposal.

For more information about disc golf, visit the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website at www.pdga.com.

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