Resident tosses out idea of disc golf

Ann Gill

As disc golf continues to gain popularity,  a Coal City resident is tossing around the idea for a community course.
    Matt McClenning pitched his idea to the Village Board earlier this month and trustees expressed an interest in bringing the sport to town.
    Disc golf, also know as Frisbee golf, is similar to traditional golf. The big difference being the use of discs rather than clubs and a ball. It also follows the same general rules with players trying to complete a select number of holes in the least number of  throws.
    McClenning, a member of the Southland Rivals Disc Golf Club, told town officials he and a few other members of the group have taken it upon themselves to talk to area communities about the sport and to gauge interest as to potential course locations.
    “We are looking to get in the area to help grow the sport,” McClenning said.
    He initially presented his idea for a course to the Coal City Park Board and they directed him to the Village Board with the hope of determining a public space for a course to be established.
    Trustees proposed a few locations including an undeveloped lot at the south end of Marguerite Street, the Tippleway Bike Path and pledged park land within the Richards Crossing Subdivision.    
    “I’m certainly not opposed to it, so really it’s a matter of finding the space and how we get it done,” Mayor Terry Halliday said.
    Trustee Dan Greggain, who oversees the Park Committee, said he would be happy to work with McClenning who has proposed a nine hole course.
    It’s anticipated that the construction of a course that size would come with a price tag of around $4,250. The funds would cover the purchase and installation of the holes which in disc golf are elevated metal baskets, as well as signage.
    A number of courses are located in the area including Braidwood, Minooka, Channahon and Rivals Lookout Park in Wilmington.
    McClenning informed the board he often stops to play at one of the course on his way home from work.
    “I would love to play here at home,” he said, noting he’s not the only disc golfer in town.
    McClenning noted that disc golf appeals to individuals of all ages. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) statistics indicate the average player age ranges from 10 to 60-plus.
    PDGA reports the number of courses have tripled in the past eight years and membership in the association has gone up 97 percent in since 2012.
    PDGA had 35,662 active members in 2016 and 6,976 registered courses. Illinois ranks in the top five states for both players and courses.
    “I think its a good idea, it’s something different than baseball and soccer,” Greggain said.
    After a detailed discussion on the proposal, the board directed Greggain and McClenning to find a space and further develop a plan for its consideration.