Disc Golf Adds New Spin to Easter Tradition – and Urbana, Ohio, Park

My family enjoyed traditional Easter observances Sunday – a sunrise service and breakfast led by the youth of the Urbana United Methodist Church, followed by contemporary and traditional worship celebrations, a big, delicious family dinner at Kay’s mom’s house, and the egg and candy hunt in her back yard.

Alex watches as Andy makes his approach shot.

Alex watches as Andy makes his approach.

Then we veered off course. That would be to the new 18-hole Urbana Hilltop Disc Golf Course at Urbana’s Melvin Miller Park.

All but our sons, Andy and Alex, were new to the sport. They started playing in college, Andy at Ohio Northern University and Alex at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Another Ohio Northern alum, Tyler Bumbalough, Urbana’s city engineer, oversaw development of the course last year – his project while enrolled in the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Champaign County program.

The Urbana Hilltop Disc Golf Course offered fun, quality family time.

The Urbana Hilltop Disc Golf Course offered fun, quality family time.

A Community Project

Bumbalough, however, never played disc golf until this project. He’s more of an ultimate Frisbee aficionado. Disc golfer Keith Smith of Urbana, tired of having to go out of town for his sport, initially brought the idea for the course to city officials. He and Gene Newcomer assisted Bumbalough.

Construction, with the help of volunteers, started last spring and was mostly complete in the fall. Local businesses and individuals have sponsored the course. They are credited on signs at each of the disc golf tees.

No. 1 Tee sign at Urbana Hilltop Disc Golf Course.

No. 1 Tee sign at Urbana Hilltop Course.

The first tee is downhill from the shelter house on the east end of Melvin Miller Park. A welcome sign will soon be erected there. Other improvements are planned as well.

Disc golf diehards, though, have had no trouble finding the course. You can find details about the par 59, 5,185-foot layout online at DG Course Review.

Library Loans Discs

This card shows the contents of the disc golf sets that can be borrowed from the Champaign County Library.

This card shows the contents of the disc golf sets that can be borrowed from the Champaign County Library.

To help you try out the new course, the Champaign County Library recently purchased two sets of discs. With a library card you can check out a set for two weeks. To give more people a chance to borrow them, the library is not permitting renewals.

Each set includes seven discs, enough for two people to share around the course.

Since Andy and Alex were the only ones with their own discs, we borrowed a set from the library. As luck would have it, one of the discs got stuck high up in a tree. Much of the course is hilly and wooded.

Disc-eating tree on Fairway 8. Two-by-four just missed on this rescue attempt.

Disc-eating tree on Fairway 8. Two-by-four overshot the target on this rescue attempt.

But thanks to Alex, and to the relief of his mother, who works at the library, we returned home with all seven discs.  After several throws, Alex dislodged the disc with a piece of two-by-four found in the woods off the fairway.

Give ’er a Try

Anyway, a fun time was had by all on a beautiful Easter afternoon, on a well-designed and challenging disc golf course – a fantastic addition to a beautiful municipal park that already offers a wealth of recreational opportunities.

My nephew Evan Hall goes for the basket.

My nephew Evan Hall goes for the basket.

My mother-in-law, Sue Markley, tees off.

My mother-in-law, Sue Markley, tees off.

Try it out and report back.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Roberta Yoder says:

    My oldest son started playing disc golf (and Ultimate) in college in Florida, and my youngest and I enjoy playing both as well. Disc golf is a great outdoor recreation that is low cost and a lot of fun. It can be pretty competitive too, depending on who is with you. We love it. Warning though, loosing a disc is fairly common depending on the trees and hazards on the course. Luckily Urbana doesn’t have water hazards. Not the case in some of the other courses on which we’ve played! Thanks for sharing!

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