Committee expects recreational course to attract people to village
Plans for a disc golf course were put back on the front burner by the Village of Fredonia’s Parks Committee last week.
The game uses Frisbee-like discs that are tossed from designated tee areas to mounted chain baskets. The sport has proven highly popular with visitors to Lime Kiln Park in Grafton and Tendick Nature Park in the Town of Saukville.
The Village Board already bought into creating a local course, approving a $3,300 allocation for the project in February.
Since that time, final planning for the installation of nine disc golf holes on a 28-acre section of Marie Kraus Park has moved slowly.
That apparently changed when the committee met with Terry Miller of Lifetime Disc Sport, a company that has helped design 25 courses in Wisconsin and plans tournaments.
Also offering input were Greg and Dan Bertram, local disc golf fanatics who have helped evaluate the proposed site.
The men told the committee that the flat terrain of the parkland may not be ideal for a championship-level course, but it should be adequate to introduce the community to the increasingly popular sport.
“The site is going to have its limitations as a course. Part of it is on the side of a hill and part of the area is a wetland,” said Greg Bertram.
“It should be a solid, nine-hole course, but it isn’t going to be a great course because it doesn’t have a lot of nature features, trees or obstacles.”
Miller said designing a proper disc golf course requires a trained eye familiar with the demands of the sport and its players.
“Course design is more like an art form than a science. There is no right or wrong design, but you can only make it as good as the site presents itself,” he said.
Miller said the course could be enhanced by incorporating multiple tee locations and net posts on each hole, allowing frequent changes in the hole layout.
In order to be a regional attraction, he said at least 18 holes are needed, but the proposed location is not sufficient for that large of a layout. Expansion of the course might be possible if Ozaukee County agrees to offer additional holes on land in the adjacent Waubedonia Park, Miller said.
In addition to making the course challenging to players, he said proper design includes making sure the facility is safe and unobtrusive.
“You’ll want to make sure the course doesn’t bother neighbors, or you’ll be dealing regularly with mad grandmas or whatever,” Miller said.
He said his preference is to design holes that work with existing land features.
“I don’t want any holes that are seen as circusy. I follow the design criteria of the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) based on the land you are looking at,” Miller said.
The disc baskets will be locked onto mounting poles to discourage theft or vandalism.
On the subject of amenities, Miller and the Bertrams said descriptive hole signs, trash cans and benches should be included in the plans, along with an informational kiosk explaining the rules of the game and course restrictions.
Eventually, concrete slabs for tee areas should also be provided.
“We want to do a really good job right away. If it gets better over time, great,” said Trustee Fritz Buchholtz, chairman of the committee.
Committee members also liked the idea of having several sets of discs available for borrowing at Village Hall.
“That would make it accessible to anyone who wants to try the sport without having to spend a lot of money,” said Trustee Scott Ehaney.
Officials said the course could cost as much as $10,000. The money would come from the village’s park reserve fund.
Committee members said they would like to see work begin on the course this fall.