Work on disc golf course continues

ESCANABA — Efforts to complete a new disc golf course at the John and Melissa Besse Sports Park in Gladstone are continuing.

“We’re shooting to have the course officially opened in June,” Jon Harris, co-chair of Noc Bay Flyers Disc Golf Club — the club that has been spearheading the project — said.

Work on the course, which has been dubbed the North Bluff Disc Golf Course, started again in late April after being put on hold during the winter months. Recent weather conditions kept people involved with the project from resuming work on it earlier.

“That’s why it’s been taking so long, is the weather hasn’t been cooperating,” Harris said.

A work bee for the course took place Saturday. Between 15 and 20 people were involved with the event.

“We raked and cleaned the fairways on the disc golf holes, we installed the hole signs on six of the holes … they also got up the framework for the two kiosks where the course maps are going to go,” Harris said.

Two practice baskets were installed during the work bee, as well.

According to Harris, the North Bluff Disc Golf Course has been in the works for a while.

“The Noc Bay Flyers have been working on this project for the past two years,” he said.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new course took place in November 2017.

Harris said Noc Bay Flyers’ goal has been to bring a championship-level disc golf course to Delta County. To this end, the club brought in a prominent figure in the disc golf world to contribute to the project.

“We hired Eric McCabe to design the course,” Harris said.

McCabe — the winner of the Professional Disc Golf Association World Championships in 2010 and a professional disc golf course designer — designed a 27-hole layout with two tee pads and two baskets at each hole meant to be enjoyable for disc golfers of all skill levels.

A large amount of work has gone into the design and construction of the North Bluff Disc Golf Course, Harris noted.

“We’re going above and beyond with this course,” he said.

As an example of the project’s attention to detail, Harris cited the use of rocks as a decorative element throughout the course in reference to Gladstone’s name. Hole signs for the course are being attached to rocks, large rocks will serve as benches for disc golfers and a nine-foot boulder at the start of the North Bluff Disc Golf Course will display the name of the course.

To fund the establishment of the North Bluff Disc Golf 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 their support, the disc golf course project was awarded a matching grant through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s “Public Spaces, Community Places” program.

For more information, find “North Bluff Disc Golf Course” on Facebook.

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