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Help needed for new disc golf course

Urbana players won’t have to drive to neighboring cities to compete.

It’s not quite golf and more complicated than just throwing a Frisbee, but the game of disc golf is taking the region by storm. Now, Keith Smith wants to bring a course to Urbana.

“I love it because it’s outside and you’re walking and getting good exercise, and you can take a family. You can have tournaments, too,” Smith said.

He’s been playing with his friends every Friday for years, but driving to Springfield, Bellefontaine, Dayton and Englewood can be a hassle. So he petitioned the city of Urbana to open a course at Melvin Miller Park.

Now, with the help of Tyler Bumbalough, city assistant engineer and game-enthusiast, it’s finally going to happen.

The 18-hole course includes special metal baskets, and players throw small discs from a pad, known as a tee, keeping score of how many throws it takes to weave around trees and obstacles and make it to the basket. Urbana will situate its course near a wooded lot at the park, encompassing existing terrain, trees, playground equipment and trails.

“This area’s suited for a disc golf course nicely,” Bumbalough said. “It’s going to attract a lot of visitors, maybe not on a great scale, but it could still help with economic development here in Champaign County.”

The course will be free and open to the public, but to get it built will cost $10,000. Bumbalough said they’ve already raised about a third of that, but need more businesses and residents to sponsor holes.

They’ll accept smaller donations, but the tiered sponsorship system starts at $250, which funds a partial sponsorship of one hole. A donation of $500 sponsors one hole, and a $1,000 donation will include the business or person’s name on the course welcome sign. Plaques will be placed at each hole to recognize sponsors. They also need volunteers to help build it.

“We need to put in the tees that you tee off of, and we need to put in the baskets that you can throw to,” Smith said. “We need help clearing the trails.”

The hope is to collect the needed donations by the end of May and have the course completed by the end of the summer.

Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation can contact Smith at (937) 631-5119 or Bumbalough at (937) 65204324

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