The disc golf movement will soon make its way to New Whiteland.
Grassy Creek disc golf course is a soon-to-be-completed 18-hole layout unique in its ability to twice bridge two parks — holes 1-9 in East Park, 10-17 in West Park and the final hole back at East Park.
According to course designer Bob Carver, the course will measure 5,150 feet and play to a par 60.
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf except that a flying disc is used instead of a ball. A golf disc is thrown in as few attempts as possible from a tee area to a target — or the hole — which is usually an elevated metal basket.
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Carver, 69, of Franklin, helped develop the popular Blue Heron disc golf course in Franklin in the fall of 2011. He said Grassy Creek offers its own challenges.
“My son-in-law (Darrin Hinton), who is an excellent player, said this course is more difficult. I like to build a course that has holes in the woods and holes that are open,” Carver said. “There are actually three or four difficult holes.”
Carver mentions the 12th hole, which is daunting not because of length but for temptation and potential risk.
“It’s in the West Park. You’re standing at the top of a hill on a ridge above a creek. You have to decide whether to lay up and take a ‘2’ or try to make the ace because it’s a reachable hole,” he said. “An overthrow means you either go across the creek or in the creek.”
The completion of the Grassy Creek course hinges largely on the weather. New Whiteland town manager Terry Spencer originally targeted the opening for April 24.
“From the feedback we’ve heard, it will be received very well. (Carver) said the West Park has a lot of challenges, and people are excited to have a course this challenging in Johnson County,” Spencer said.
“All we need to do is put some holes in the ground and pour the concrete to hold the poles that hold the baskets. After that we’re ready to go. Bob already has it all marked, so weather permitting we should be able to do it all in two days.”
Carver estimates the cost of an 18-hole disc golf courses to be in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.
Roughly 70 percent of the cost is the baskets, which can be priced from $129 to $425 apiece depending on size, make and durability. The other primary cost associated with disc golf is cement, tee signs and markers.
Once open, Grassy Creek raises the state’s number of disc golf courses to 114 and Johnson County’s total to three.
Aside from Blue Heron, there is also Indian Springs in Trafalgar.
Blue Heron’s popularity is such that there could soon be another six holes added, which would make it one of the state’s lengthier disc golf layouts with 24 holes.
Camp Cullom disc golf course in Frankfort and Mississinewa State Park in Peru are among four Indiana courses with 24-hole layout designs; Crawfordsville’s Milligan Park course has 22 holes.
But for now, the spotlight is focused on Grassy Creek.
“It’s a lot of work, but there are players waiting in the wings wanting to play,” Carver said. “This has largely been funded by the town of New Whiteland. They do have some sponsors, but it’s been minimal. We may have more next year.”
For more information about disc golf, call Carver at 317-695-6490.
RULES OF DISC GOLF
- A disc that has been modified after production such that its original flight characteristics have been altered is illegal, excepting wear from usage during play and the moderate sanding of discs to smooth molding imperfections or scrapes. Discs excessively sanded or painted with a material of detectable thickness are illegal.
- A disc that is cracked or perforated is illegal.
- A player who throws an illegal disc during play shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning. A player who repeatedly throws an illegal disc during the round may be subject to disqualification in accordance with Section 3.3 of the PDGA Competition Manual.
- All discs used in play, except mini marker discs, must be uniquely marked. A player shall receive a warning for the first instance of throwing an unmarked disc. Each subsequent throw by the player with an unmarked disc shall incur one penalty throw.
Play begins on each hole with the player throwing from within the teeing area. When the disc is released, the player must have at least one supporting point in contact with the surface of the teeing area, and all supporting points must be in contact only with the surface of the teeing area. Supporting point contact outside the teeing area is allowed if it comes before or after, and not at, the moment the disc is released.
- Basket targets: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must come to rest supported by the chains and/or the inner cylinder (bottom and inside wall) of the tray. It may be additionally supported by the pole. A disc that enters the target below the top of the tray or above the bottom of the chain support is not holed out.
- Object targets: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must strike the marked target area on the object as specified by the Director.
- Players should not throw until they are certain the thrown disc will not distract another player or potentially injure anyone present.
- Players should take care not to produce any auditory or visual distractions while other players are throwing.
- Courtesy dictates players who smoke should not allow their smoke to disturb other players. Disposing of a cigarette butt by dropping it on the ground is littering.