New disc golf course taking shape

Jordan Beck | Daily Press A tee pad for a new disc golf course at the John and Melissa Besse Sports Park is shown. Jon Harris, co-chair of the Noc Bay Flyers Disc Golf Club, said the course is expected to open for public use in the near future.

GLADSTONE — Work continues on a new disc golf course at the John and Melissa Besse Sports Park. The course is expected to open for public use in the near future.

“A lot of construction has been done, and a lot has yet to be done,” Jon Harris said. Harris is the co-chair of the Noc Bay Flyers Disc Golf Club, the group which is spearheading the project.

The new course was designed to be enjoyable for disc golfers of all skill levels. It will feature a 27-hole layout with two tee pads and two baskets at each hole.

“This disc golf course is (going to) be one of the top free-to-play courses in the country,” Harris said.

To fund the establishment of the course, Noc Bay Flyers organized a crowdfunding campaign in 2017. The campaign, which had a funding goal of $25,000, was run through Michigan-based website “Patronicity.”

About 170 people and groups contributed more than $27,000 to the campaign. Thanks to this support, the disc golf course project was awarded a matching grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s “Public Spaces, Community Places” program.

Harris voiced his appreciation of the people who made this possible.

“We’d like to thank the community and the city of Gladstone,” he said.

Concrete has been poured for the new course’s tee pads. Originally, Noc Bay Flyers had planned to start this work in the second week of April; however, due to lingering winter weather (including late snowstorms), the work did not begin until the first week of May.

“We obviously had a late start,” Harris said.

According to Harris, Noc Bay Flyers is aiming to open the new disc golf course to the public in about a month.

“We’re hoping for the middle of July,” he said. Work that still has to be done at the course includes the installation of signage and baskets, the construction of fencing, and landscaping work.

Later this year, an event will be held to celebrate the course’s completion.

“There is going to be a large grand opening in the fall,” Harris said. Having the grand opening then will allow Noc Bay Flyers to identify and fix any issues with the course before the event takes place.

Harris said scheduling the grand opening for this time should allow some professional disc golfers to attend, as well.

“We’re hoping to have some pro disc golfers come up here for the grand opening,” he said. Noc Bay Flyers is also planning to bring 2010 Disc Golf World Champion Eric McCabe of Dynamic Course Design, who created the layout for the course, to the area for the event.

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