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January 17, 2014

Central State looking into disc golf course

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Milledgeville and Baldwin County currently have 36 holes of disc golf.

Central State Hospital’s Pecan Grove could soon harbor nine more.

Recent graduate of the Georgia College Environmental Science program Andrew Davis mapped the course for a senior capstone project. Dr. Doug Oetter, chair of the geography department, assisted as well.

“I saw an opportunity to bring something to help the community,” Davis said during Wednesday’s Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) board meeting.

Other disc golf courses exist on GC’s West Campus (Myrtle Ridge) and Rolling Hills around a local elementary school.

“To have multiple courses in a town is something that would bring people from Columbus, Augusta, South and North Carolina,” Davis said. “We travel all around the state just to play tournaments.”

The CSH course design features all par-3s. Holes vary from 194 to 309 feet in length.

Davis said players would walk three-fourths of a mile during a round.

A proposed budget is just under $6,000. The figure includes baskets, optional tee pads, signs, design fees and sign posts.

CSHLRA executive director Mike Couch likes the concept.

“We’ve always used the Pecan Orchard as a gathering place. Andy came to us and said we could create some non-obtrusive activity out there by bringing a recreational disc golf course,” Couch said. “The thing I like about this is that it’s portable and can be moved for other events.”

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) website, the sport was formalized in the 1970s.

Players use a flying disc thrown from a tee area to a target, which is usually an elevated metal basket. 

As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed. The holes are complete when the disc reaches the basket. 

“It is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status,” the PDGA says on its site.

A nine-hole disc golf course can coexist with existing park facilities and activity areas on as little as five or as much as 40 acres. The CSH Pecan Grove fits nicely with as ideal locations combine wooded and open terrains.

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