Nine-hole campus course for students, staff, faculty and community
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn., Oct. 21, 2013—Inver Hills Community College just opened a nine-hole disc golf course on its campus in Inver Grove Heights. According to the latest numbers on the Disc Golf Courses website, only Iowa and Texas have more disc golf links than Minnesota, which has 139 and is tied with California.
“Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in outdoor recreation,” said IHCC President Tim Wynes, who came up with the idea of creating a disc golf course on campus a couple years ago. “Our students can enjoy the course—and we welcome casual disc golfers from the community.
Matt Simoneau, a former dean at Inver Hills, was instrumental in the course’s development. Simoneau, whose background is in construction management, contacted the Construction Management program at Minnesota State University Moorhead for help in designing the course. MSUM partners with the Inver Hills Construction Management program.
“Since students at Moorhead State are required to complete a real-world construction project, their advisor thought the disc golf course would be a good opportunity for the students,” said Simoneau.
The Moorhead students researched, consulted with disc golf professionals, designed and laid out the course. They also did a presentation to “sell” their plan to the client, in this case IHCC. Once the Moorhead students had completed the course’s planning phase, the project was handed off to IHCC Construction Management students for the construction phase.
Because of the difficult terrain, the college decided to go with an outside contractor to dig the holes and pour the cement. While the course is not certified, it does conform to PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) guidelines. The holes are all par threes. Money for the project came from the president’s budget with some funds coming from the facilities budget for wellness. Inver Hills students can rent a set of discs for free in the Activities building; IHCC staff and faculty can, too, with ID/name badge or keys. Non-students have to bring their own discs. The course is open sunup to sunset.
A Guide to Disc Golf from the PDGA: What is disc golf?
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970s, and shares with “ball golf” the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest number of throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target that is the “hole.” The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole®, an elevated metal basket. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw has landed.
The trees, shrubs and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole is completed. Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. There are few differences, though. Disc golf rarely requires a greens fee, you probably won’t need to rent a cart and you never get stuck with a bad “tee time.” Disc golf is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, regardless of economic status.
For more information about the new disc golf course on the Inver Hills Community College campus, contact:
Tom “Bo” Johnson
Director of Recreational Sports