- Our Sites
- The News-Gazette
- NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM
- Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS
- 107.9 WKIO
- Community News
By JULIA MARBACH
For the Mahomet Citizen
Passing by Brent Johnson Park, travelers may notice something new. Something that looks a little familiar, with a close resemblance to a golf course, but then, something not quite so everyday: baskets instead of holes.
No, this is no mistake. It is a Disc Golf course, which was installed by the Mahomet Parks and Recreation Department last summer.
To break in the new course and introduce the sport to the community, Parks and Rec will be having a Disc Golf Clinic on Tuesday, July 24 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
“Because it is a relatively new sport, we wanted to do a clinic style so that kids wouldn’t feel intimidated coming in,” Parks and Rec Director Dan Waldinger. “They can learn the basics from somebody that knows what they’re talking about, and just kind of go over the fundamentals. Hopefully that will hook them in and maybe they’ll use the park on their own to go play around.”
Although Disc Golf is similar to ball golf, there are some differences.
“Disc Golf is like ball golf with a Frisbee,” Waldinger said. “It’s played the same way except that you’re throwing a Frisbee from a T, just like golf, towards a basket instead of a hole. But, the rules are pretty much the same. There’s out of bounds, there’s a par that you’re shooting for. It’s very similar.”
Although the clinic is for grades 1-6, the sport and course are for every age and skill level, with no prior experience necessary, Waldinger said. “Disc Golf can be for the whole family,” said clinic instructor Matthew Eberle. “It’s not just limited to one age group. It’s very popular amongst college students who will go out to a golf course and just have a good time. At tournaments you see parents, you see kids, you see groups of all ages. It’s fun for everyone.”
Course sizes can vary from 9 to 18 holes, but the Brent Johnson course is 9 holes long, taking up about 2100 ft, which is relatively short, Waldinger said. It can be completed in about 30 minutes.
“Our course is recreational,” Waldinger said. “It’s not real competitive in terms of a challenge yet, because it’s so wide open. We’re planning to put trees in some strategic places so that we create some challenges.”
The clinic will focus on the fundamentals, Eberle said. “We’re going to be working a lot on how to throw the disc, how to put power into it, or how to put finesse into it,” Eberle said. “We’ll look at a lot of the basic styles to try to get kids interested into what we’re doing.” The registration deadline is July 17, and costs $5. Equipment will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if they have it. Wilbur Wallis will also be instructing.
“Disc Golf is a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Eberle said. “To me, it’s a way to go out and have fun and play with my friends.”
The course cost between $6,000 and $7,000 to install, Waldinger said. “We did what I consider doing it right, in that we put in T-pads,” Waldinger said. “A lot of courses will just have a sign and you go off the grass. What happens, though, is that it wears out and it becomes dirt. So, it’s not esthetically pleasing. Then when it rains it’s a mud pit. So, we put in concrete pads, like, legitimate T-pads, which did add some cost.”
Brent Johnson Park was chosen as the location because the terrain lends itself well, Waldinger said. “That particular park lends well to a passive recreation component, because it has a hill, which we don’t see very often in central Illinois,” Waldinger said. “We didn’t want to fight the terrain, we wanted to use the terrain that was there.”
The course is open to the public. Equipment is not provided.