Disc golf coming to Kelley Park

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Want to have a little fun and get some exercise in the process? Then you may be interested in playing Disc Golf, a sport which enthusiasts hope will soon make its debut in McCook.

Developed in California in the 1960s -- soon after the introduction of the Frisbee -- Disc Golf has since grown into a worldwide sport with thousands of courses and extensive tournament competition.

While several McCook residents had played Disc Golf in other cities, it was not until recently that friends started talking about the possibility of a course in McCook.

"Tor Olson first mentioned the idea to me," said Doyle Wineland, McCook's building inspector. "His daughter, Chantel, had learned of the game on a visit to Kearney. She mentioned it to her dad, and he and I agreed it sounded like fun."

So Doyle researched Disc Golf on the internet, and found that the game was spreading rapidly throughout the world.

As discussions continued, Doyle and Tor found there were a number of people in the McCook area with an interest in Disc Golf , including Dr. Richard Tubbs, vice president of McCook College. Dr. Tubbs had played the game in Denver before coming to McCook, but found little interest in the sport when he first moved here.

That's changing. A big step was taken Monday night when the McCook City Council authorized the use of Kelley Park for a Disc (or Frisbee) Golf Course.

"No city money will be involved," Wineland said. "We will be seeking business sponsors for each of the 18 holes for play, plus one practice hole."

The course will be set up much as a regular golf course is, except the distances will be much different. "Where a par four hole on a regular golf course might be 350 yards long, a par four on a Disc Golf course would be 350 feet long," Wineland said. Another difference is that the aim of Disc Golf is to pitch into a basket instead of a hole as in regular golf.

A member of the Kearney Parks Department, who is also an avid Disc Golf player, will be the consultant for McCook's course. "We want to set the course up so it complies with tournament standards," Wineland said. "That way McCook would be eligible to host tournaments, which could bring a number of people to the community."

It sounds as if McCook may have discovered an entertaining sport which will provide fun and exercise for all ages. That was shown Monday night when a standing room only crowd gathered in the council chambers to support the idea.

"We will start seeking sponsorships in March," Wineland said. "Once the money is raised, it shouldn't take long to get the course set up." What that could mean is that McCookites could be playing Disc Golf on a tournament-sanctioned course as soon as late spring or early summer.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: