It’s been a little more than three years since plans were announced for a disc golf course in the city’s parks. Last week Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins said the course is finally on its way.
While there has long been a set of disc cages in Marcelle Phillips and Veteran’s parks, there has truly never been a completed course. There are no hole markings and no tee boxes, so no real way to determine what a round of play is.
That won’t be the case now.
“I’ve got the Disc Golf Association out of Fort Smith doing it,” Wilkins said. “It’s going to be a certified disc golf course with launching pads, the whole works.”
David Scott, who is overseeing the construction of the course said the course will be directed by the newly created Logan County Booneville Flying Disc Golf Association.
The existing cages will be removed in favor of new, colorful regulation cages — Wilkins said he was told the initial cages would damage discs.
Scott said the cages had multiple problems inluding incorrect sizes and heights.
“The problem is the school just went out there and stuck them up, but they weren’t right and nobody is ever going to play them,” said Wilkins. “So I might as well fix it right.”
The project was initially a combined effort by a Chamber of Commerce committee and the school district with the school district securing a joint use agreement grant for the cages and other aspects of the course and grant money expected to be used to complete the walking trail and bridges between the parks.
The bridges were put in but have not been finished.
That is also about to occur, Wilkins said. He said the Arkansas Highway Department, which approved a grant to complete the bridge work tie-ins and construct sidewalks along Seventh Street from the Boys & Girls Club to McCandless and from McCandless to Eighth Street, has been approved and should be let out for bids in the coming days.
The disc golf course will be a par-57 but, unlike the original design that included Marcelle Phillips, the connecting walkway and Veteran’s Park, the newly designed course will be played completely in Marcelle Phillips City Park and the connecting portion between Marcelle and Veteran’s parks.
“You’ll start at the parking lot by the swimming pool,” Wilkins said. “You’ll play 18 holes and finish up there, like a golf course is supposed to be. The last whole you tee off over by the (school district’s) bus shed and you’ve got to come across the creek to get to (cage) 18.”
Because the course will be certified, Wilkins said, the park can host tournaments.
Scott said the course will host “mini” tournament on Saturdays unless a Professional Disc Golf Association tournament is scheduled. He added the PDGA will approve the park for tournaments.
Wilkins said the revamped plan is costing the city about $8,100, because Scott and his crew of five are providing labor without charge.
“Ordinarily it costs about $20,000 to get (a course) done,” Wilkins said.
Scott said the course will be ready for play soon. Tee box frame were constructed and holes were drilled for the hole signs last week.
There will also be sign beside the pool to inform users how to play the course.