CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Disc-golfers in Southern Indiana are just a few months away from having a new course right in their own backyard.
Construction began Monday on a new 18-hole wooded course in Clarksville’s Lapping Park for disc golf, which is a lot like regular golf except a Frisbee or other disc is used. Ken Conklin, Clarksville Parks Department marketing and programming coordinator, said he expects that the first nine holes will be completed by late spring and the rest by fall.
Since this will be a largely wooded course, much of the work is just clearing the underbrush, which Conklin said is being done in-house by the department’s maintenance crew. After that, the only thing needed to buy is the baskets and the concrete for the spots players will start out on.
He said he won’t know how the project will cost until later this year, but it won’t be much.
“The investment is actually very small - it’s a nice little project,” he said. “It’s a great benefit with very little cost.”
The space will be free and open to the public to use, and Conklin said he thinks it will be a nice addition to the parks system.
“We already have a lot of offerings through the parks department, a lot of different options in terms of outdoor recreation and we’re just hoping that this will be another opportunity for our residents - to get people outside and enjoying Lapping Park,” he said. “The health benefits will be great and give everyone something fun that kids and adults can play and is very affordable - you just need a Frisbee and you’re good to go.”
Adam Embrey, chairman of the Southern Indiana Disc Golf Club, initially brought the idea to the Clarksville Parks Department about a year ago, after seeing that there was a need for more courses in the area.
Embrey hosts the annual Seviren Lang Memorial tournament at the namesake course at Garry E. Cavan Park in Georgetown, and over the past three years has seen enrollment increase, selling out every year even as he adds more holes to accommodate more players.
“And this is just among competitive disc golfers,” he said. “For every one competitive disc golfer that plays tournaments, there are 10 or 20 more people who just play casually.
“I thought, ‘This is really growing - it’s time to find some more places to put a course in.’”
Embrey said he approached Brian Kaluzny, Clarksville Parks Department superintendent, with the idea.
“He was just wonderful and very helpful,” Embrey said. We were able to come up with a good plan on how to do it and where to do it and it’s all coming together very well.”
The new course - which doesn’t yet have a name is being designed by Embrey. He has a preliminary layout, but knows that things could change as construction moves forward. He also helped design the Seviren Lang Disc Golf Course.
He said one of the best things about the Lapping Park course is that it will be more accessible to players of different skill levels.
“Seviren is an excellent course - It’s one of the best courses in Indiana,” he said of the Georgetown course. “The only bad thing you could say about it is its not very beginner-friendly. It’s not that beginners can’t go out there and learn, but it’s a little tough.”
He said there will be a pro and amateur level tee pad at every hole at the Lapping Park course.
“From the professional tee, some of these holes might be 300 or 400 feet long, winding through the woods to a basket, and from the amateur tee, they’re more in the 200- to 250-foot range,” he said. “People can get started and kind of cut their teeth on it if they’re newer players and it also gives them something to work up to.
“It’s a lot more approachable and easy for them to get started and learn the game.”
When the course opens, they plan to have some sort of clinic to get people who may have never played involved. There also are plans to bring competitive tournaments to the course.
Embrey’s passion for the sport has spanned more than 12 years and he’s played more than 250 courses in 16 states plus Canada - and he’s ready to see this course come to fruition.
“It’s just good, quality time spent outside and good exercise - a nice low impact sport,” he said. “What’s not to love?”
Source: News and Tribune, https://bit.ly/1Ld9BhG
Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com
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