Another of the ideas floated at our conceptual design session was to create a disc golf course in the old golf course area. The board had no idea what this would look like or how much room this would take when it was suggested, but after a few board members investigated disk golf and visited a couple of courses, we discovered that disk golf does not need a lot of open terrain, but can be run quite effectively on a course built around a trail system.
Disk golf courses do not cost a lot to establish and operate (unlike regular golf courses). Principal costs would be for the targets and the tee areas. The Flint Town Flyerz disc golf club surveyed the recreation area and laid out a proposed 18-hole course. They held a tournament for club members to try out a 9-hole temporary course at the recreation area on Saturday, August 20, 2016. This was a success and they committed financial support to create a permanent disc golf course at the recreation area. This spring, they made good on their promise and gave us a sizable donation toward building a course. Our association committed funds of our own and we received another sizable donation from Kettering University. With these funds in hand, we started work to prepare for construction and broke ground on July 5. We also applied for a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint for the balance of the funds required. We received their approval in early August.
In August and September, we held several work parties to frame and pour the tee pads, dig the holes and set the receivers for the target poles, and assemble and set the targets. We would not have been able to complete this work without the very active participation of Kettering University students on community service days, members of local disc golf clubs, especially the Flyerz and Shattered Chains, and community members from Mott Park, Glendale Hills and around the city of Flint and Genesee County. Hundreds of hours of volunteer labor went into making this course a reality.
The course opened for play on Saturday, October 7, at noon, when we finished installing the targets and our temporary tee signs. The Grand Opening of the course was on the weekend of October 21-22, 2017, when on Saturday we hosted our first sanctioned disc golf tournament for the Flint Town Flyerz with 72 entrants vying for equipment and cash prizes. On Sunday, the Flyerz held a clinic for young disc golfers to learn the sport from experienced golfers and gave discs to all the kids participating.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the course; it has been busy every day, morning tonight, rain or shine. In fact, our biggest problem has been getting golfers out of the parking lot after dark, so we can lock it. Our groundskeepers have commented that even with all the extra traffic in the rec area, our volume of litter has decreased. Apparently, our disc golfers like their course clean.
The course is not yet completely finished. The Flyerz arranged for the donation of permanent signage for the tees which was installed before winter and looks great. This summer, we hope to install additional locations for targets on each hole and some additional long or short tee pads.
While disc golf courses are not too expensive to maintain, we will need funding to keep the course mowed and the trash barrels emptied. We would like to be able to provide a port-a-potty in the parking lot to accommodate our visitors (because we do not have water to operate the restrooms in the clubhouse). If you would like to contribute to the upkeep on our disc golf course, please visit our contributions page and make a donation. They are deductible on your federal and state income taxes as provided by law.