Jasper to debut disc golf course

Jasper to debut disc golf course
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - Persistent problems with flooding pushed the city of Jasper to close a municipal golf course. Now city officials are transforming the area into a disc golf course, a change many people in the area are excited to see.

When the Ruxer golf course closed down about three years ago, members of the local disc golf association came forward with an idea to adapt it into something that’s not only cheaper to maintain, but can also be played all year round.

Disc golf has been gaining a lot of popularity in Dubois County.

“It’s a great way to get out with your family, it’s a low-impact sport on your body, and it’s a great way to stay in shape,” said Dubois County Disc Golf Club President Taylor Williams.

The Dubois County Disc Golf Club has grown from about 15 members to over 300 in the past five years. Club officials say when they heard the Ruxer golf course was closing due to flooding problems and maintenance costs, it gave them an idea.

They say they presented their plan to the city to change the course into a disc golf course, which isn’t as affected by flooding or changing weather.

Club officials say they are doing it not only to make the sport more accessible for those who play nearby, but also to host tournaments and competitions. They say people will be drawn to the area because of the quickly growing sport.

“We really wanted Jasper to be able to capitalize on that growth by saying, here’s an area that’s very close to downtown where we know we’ve got restaurants and we know we’ve got shops that people can come to right after they play a round to make it a win-win,” said Dubois County Disc Golf Club Treasurer Chris Lubenow.

City officials say they decided to move forward with the plan, and brought in the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council to help make it a reality.

Each year the council picks a community project, and this year’s project is to repair bridges that connect parts of the course on either side of the floodway.

They say the project has been a learning experience.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that everything takes a lot of time, and a lot of people, and a lot of money,” said Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council Communications Chair Isabella Harmon.

The council has been fundraising every since, including a 1980s-themed fun run. They say it means a lot to contribute something fun to the community.

“It’s actually really gratifying to know that you’re doing something for the community that will benefit them, but you’re also doing something that will benefit you and give you a little fun and build some skills that you usually don’t get from just school or other activities,” said Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council President Brailyn Whaley.

The disc golf club says it’s a sport anyone can play. They say a starter set of discs is about $30, and most courses are free, including the one coming to Jasper. They say it’s simple too.

City officials say they are excited for the course to join their 15 existing parks in town, and they enjoy seeing how important parks are to the community.

“It’s wonderful, again since COVID, get outside, be outside, be active outside; which has been wonderful for us in the parks department,” said Jasper Parks Director Tom Moorman.

They say people got another couple of months to brush up on their disc golf skills before the course is up and running.