Disc golf fans anticipate larger tournaments with construction of new courseBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Northsiders like Mark Sandefur are excited for the newest recreation addition coming to the city of Ridgeland this spring because of the new opportunities it brings, like the chance to expand tournaments.
Sandefur, a Jackson resident and disc golf enthusiast, is looking forward to Saturdays spent on the course with friends and newcomers alike.
A new 18-hole disc golf course is set to open in the city of Ridgeland this spring thanks to the city’s Healthiest Hometown recognition and $50,000 grant from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation.
The city’s Healthiest Hometown Committee unveiled plans for the course last week at Old Trace Park. The project will take about a month to build, depending on the weather.
The course will include 18 holes, each with a single tee location, along with a course map at the beginning, hole signage at each tee box, number plates on each corresponding basket, multiple benches throughout the course and additional trash receptacles.
The average distance for holes on the course is approximately 330 feet, with the longest hole being approximately 480 feet.
Sandefur, who played ultimate Frisbee for years, began playing disc golf last summer and has quickly grown to love the sport and the community it inspires.
He is now part of the local disc golf club, which is called the Judges, meaning the Jackson Union of Disc Golf Enthusiasts. He now serves on the board.
“It’s just like golf as far as the rules,” Sandefur said. “There are pars, you tee off from a similar box, except you’re throwing at a basket with a disc instead of hitting a ball into a hole.”
The Judges host tournaments and serve all of central Mississippi. Their Facebook group is now up to 720 members all over the area.
“Our membership spreads wide throughout the state,” Sandefur said. “People come from all over to play in events that we put on here.”
The main season for the pro tour is underway and will run through October, according to Sandefur. But tournaments are held locally year-round.
The group’s most recent tournament was full with 90 players taking part. There were 22 people on the waiting list.
Up to five people can play on each hole on the course, which allows for 90 people to participate. The new course opening will mean they can accommodate more people at a time.
Sandefur said their plan for the summer is to have people playing on both the new course and the course at Pelahatchie Bay Park at the Reservoir.
“I commend the Healthy Hometown Committee on all the hard work they have done in adding another family friendly recreation opportunity to the city of Ridgeland,” said Mayor Gene McGee. “This will enhance our healthy quality of life in the city.”
The course layout and individual holes were designed in accordance with the PDGA recommendations and have been designed to allow multiple configurations in the future.
It is designed to accommodate all skill levels and uses existing features and topography to create a fun and challenging experience.