There's a new golf course scheduled to open in Greencastle later this year, but you can leave your trusty 5-iron at home.
The Greencastle Parks and Recreation Department is continuing to move ahead with plans for the city's first frisbee golf course.
Current plans are to build at least nine "holes" at the south end of Big Walnut Sports Park. The area was recently deeded to the city parks department and additional plans call for a butterfly garden, children's playground and fitness trail.
Greencastle Parks and Recreation Director Rod Weinschenk told members of the park board this week that he hopes to complete the golf course this year, however, he asked the board for permission to seek help in designing the course.
For that, Weinschenk has called on Steve Battson, from Bloomington, who has experience designing disc golf courses there. For $600, Weinschenk will hire Battson to come to Greencastle to inspect the property and help the city design the course.
Weinschenk hopes to make use of the natural areas already in place at Big Walnut to create a challenging course. There are no plans to charge people to use the golf course.
Park officials believe the course will be a nice feature that is unique to the county. The fact that Greencastle wanted to create a disc golf course helped the city garner $129,000 in state grants to help develop the Big Walnut park land.
While the golf course will be unique to Greencastle and Putnam County, it is not new to many communities across the nation. There's even a national association dedicated to the sport.
The Professional Disc Golf Association, or PDGA, stands at more than 2,000 members and continues to grow. There are currently more than 2,500 disc golf course locations across the country, according to the PDGA website.
Disc golf was formalized in the 1970s, according to the PDGA, and is played much like traditional golf. Instead of holes in the ground, players try to throw a disc, or frisbee, into a basket that is elevated on a pole.
The courses are often challenging, including various obstacles, and like traditional golf, the goal is to complete the course with the fewest throws.
The sport is so popular that there are magazines dedicated to it and even a radio station.
According to the PDGA website, there are several disc golf courses in communities close to Greencastle. They include: Avon (at Avon Town Hall), Brazil (at Forest Park), Crawfordsville (at Milligan Park), and Terre Haute (at Deming Park).
In other business, the Greencastle Park Board:
* Approved a request for the DePauw Bicycle Club to host a race at Big Walnut Sports Park on March 2. The race will run a course around the park, using the newly paved access road through the park, in addition to CR 275 East and CR 150 South, and the west Sports Park Access Road. The estimated 300 participants are projected to be in town, utilizing hotels and restaurants as well. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.