May 11, 2018 11:58:27 AM
Rarely will you see a proposal greeted more warmly than that presented by Derrick McEwen at Monday's meeting of the Caledonia Park Commission.
McEwen's request to build a nine-hole disc golf course at Caledonia's Ola J. Pickett Park had both commissioners and Caledonia Parks Director Chris Clardy gushing with approval.
"It was one of those things, when they pitched it to us, that everybody immediately thought was a great idea," Clardy said. "It's one more thing we can add to make our park better than the average park. When they came to us with the idea, they were ready to rock-and-roll. They had done all the homework, put together all the plans. All the commission really had to do was say, OK."
While McEwen made the presentation, the man who really got the disc flying, so to speak, was Chad Seagraves, who took up the sport of disc golf a couple of years ago and quickly became hooked, playing regularly at the disc golf course at Lake Lowndes and Propst Park in Columbus.
Seagraves was talking with McEwen at Ola J. Pickett Park where their children play in the town's baseball program, about disc golf and how good it would be to set up a course in Caledonia.
"Derrick and I are friends and he has been heavily involved in the parks here for years," Seagraves said. "I had been asking him to play (disc golf) with me for about a year now. About two months ago, he finally came out and played and he was hooked immediately. He really has spearheaded the whole thing."
Disc golf, said Seagraves, is as addictive as conventional golf with many advantages. Basically, players throw a flying disc at targets from distances of up to several hundred feet, and the game is scored much like traditional golf.
It's cheap to play (all that is required are discs). The disc golf course is virtually maintenance-free and accessible to people of all ages.
The cost of setting up a nine-hole disc golf course runs about $4,000 to $5,000, with the greatest expenses being the baskets (the disc equivalent of the hole in golf). Baskets run about $500 each.
The group hopes to fund the cost through donations, hole sponsorship and a fundraiser, which is set for Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
"We'll have competitions and prizes donated by sponsors," Seagraves said. "We're hoping not just to raise money to finish the course, but to show people how much fun disc golf is. Really, it's a way to introduce people to the sport as much as anything."
Clardy said he thinks disc golf is an idea whose time has come.
"I really think it's going to explode at our park," he said. "It's just another thing we can do at the park that makes our park better."
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]
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