- Michael Cooper Staff Writer
A disc golf course could be completed at Snyder Park this summer, and one local business owner believes it can help grow the game in Springfield and Clark County.
The National Trail Parks and Recreation District and a local business, Hazy Shade Disc Golf and More, are teaming up to construct a disc golf course south of Buck Creek at Snyder Park, NTPRD Director Leann Castillo said.
Clark County currently has disc golf courses at Buck Creek State Park and Wittenberg University. However, the city still needs a course to help grow the popularity of the game, Hazy Shade owner Jeremy Pennucci said. The course will be paid for entirely through fundraisers, he said.
“We need a ‘grow the sport’ course,” he said. “Buck Creek is an amazing course, but it would be tough to take your 10-year-old kid there. … We need a course that’s fun and you could get off work and play in two hours, catch a round and not have to hunt for your disc or worry about a lot of the other things that come with the level of skill that Buck Creek brings.”
At least $1.9 million has been spent at Snyder Park since the golf course closed in 2014, including a $1.3 million bridge project and the new playground, sprayground and dog park.
The business at 2113 Park Road recently completed fundraisers to begin construction on a 19-hole course that may use portions of the former golf course, Pennucci said. He hopes to have it completed by the end of July, he said.
Pennucci and other local disc golfers will design the course in the coming weeks, he said. They’ll hold a temporary event with a portable course before finalizing the design and get feedback from the Springfield Disc Golf Crew, a local disc golf group, he said.
“My goal is to get a couple large maps and sit down with a couple different people and make rough sketch the course, walk it and get an eye on it,” Pennucci said. “The biggest thing is where are we going to start and stop?”
After it’s approved by NTPRD, construction will begin. Pennucci hopes to have it completed by the end of July, he said.
All three courses would be united by the Buck Creek Trail, meaning people could ride their bikes to the courses, as well as play all three courses in one day, Castillo said.
“It’s a unique opportunity for our community, but also visitors from the outside,” she said. “They could spend the entire day exploring those three courses. It’s a neat thing.”
The store worked with disc makers Innova and Dynamic Discs to operate fundraisers to the build the course, Pennucci said.
NTPRD doesn’t have money to build a course, but was able to work with an outside partner to complete the project. They’ve been discussing the possible course for a few years, Castillo said.
The Snyder Park course will include 18 holes and a practice hole, as well as concrete baskets and temporary signage and tee signs. The business hopes to have other local companies purchase sponsorships for permanent signage and concrete tee boxes, Pennucci said. The course will be designed to provide safety to players while not disrupting neighbors, meaning the course may be altered if any issues arrive, he said.
They’re also planning to have a main kiosk area with a course map, he said.
“The course is no good if its not navigable,” Pennucci said.
The disc golf business hosts a 400-player Bring Your Own Partner event annually in August, the largest event in the state, Pennucci said. It could be held in Springfield in the future, using both the Buck Creek and Snyder Park courses, he said.
Once completed, leagues will likely begin there later this year, Pennucci said.
“It will get a bunch of play as long as we can get the course in,” he said.