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The Springfield Parks and Recreation department opened its full 18-hole disc golf course this year at Travis Price Park.

Two years ago, the conversation of putting a disc golf course in Travis Price Park got started, and now there is a full 18-hole public disc golf course in the heart of Springfield.

A member of the community called Springfield Parks and Recreation Director Terry Martin and told him they needed a disc golf course. They began an effort to fund and build a course in 2019. That year, they had a temporary course with temporary baskets and held their first tournament to help fundraise for a full, permanent course.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Their progress on a full course stalled, but once restrictions began to be lifted, Martin saw the need for a course even more.

“Once COVID started to gradually ease up and outside activities became popular again, that’s when we really knew we needed to get this done,” Martin said. “This is something that will give folks something to come out and do where they can stay socially distanced, and it’s an outside event.”

They put in the work with help from community members and donations from organizations. In May 2021, they had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and held their second tournament soon after.

Disc golf is similar to golf. Players throw the disc to get closer to the basket and tally how many attempts it takes to reach each hole. The objective is to complete the course in as few throws or shots as possible.

Martin described it as “exercise with some fun behind it.”

“You’re not just sitting there on a bicycle, or (standing) there on a treadmill,” Martin said. “You’re actually engaging in a sport, and because of the distance of the course, it makes it where you’re going uphill, downhill, through the woods. It’s a great exercise.

“I’ve had one or two of our folks who are out there using the course now, they’ve had open-heart surgery. One of the things they were told was they needed to get more exercise, and they picked up disc golf.”

Outside of reserved, buy-in tournaments, the course is completely free and open to the public. Despite the lack of direct revenue, Martin sees the course as a way for the city to earn “unseen revenue.” He said people come from outside of the community to play at the course and possibly spend more money while here.

“There’s revenue coming into the city, and it’s because of something the parks department has put on, but we don’t actually see it come through our department,” Martin said. “I try to stop and talk to as many people as I can out there while they’re playing…

“You would be amazed at how many people that we’re getting out there from Kentucky, Nashville, Mt. Juliet. They’re from all over the place, not just Robertson County.”

Anyone can pick up a disc and go play during park hours from dawn till dusk, but fair warning, you should refrain from calling it a “frisbee” or “frisbee golf,” according to Martin, or you may be corrected.

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