By Mike Lednovich
A disc golf group pitching Simmons Road Park property as the site for an 18-hole disc course got the green light at Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) meeting to explore costs and a preliminary project design.
The committee, as part of a 5-2 vote to proceed, said other locations may also be under consideration.
Officials of 8 Flags Disc Golf Association and NSB Disc Golf Club Inc., are seeking a public/private partnership with the city to build and run the disc course.
Tom Goad, president of 8FDGA, said the disc course would require an acre per hole and would be located on the undeveloped south end of the Simmons Road Park parcel. He said the current park trail and areas would be unaffected by the disc golf course.
Goad’s group would pay the $9,000 required for the 18 disc catch baskets. He asked if the city would pay for the concrete or paver tee boxes. 8FDGA would be responsible for maintenance of the disc golf course, Goad said.
Disc golf is similar to golf, but instead of hitting a ball into a hole, players throw a Frisbee into a basket or target. The objective of the game is to complete each hole in as few throws as possible. The course is typically laid out in a park or other outdoor setting. Each hole consists of a tee area and a basket that is used to catch the disc.
“The club will provide a professionally designed disc golf course layout that will allow for concurrent use by others, namely trail hiking,” a letter to the committee says.
“Further, the club will provide 18 professional disc golf targets. Our partnership will assure the city there will be a point of contact from the club, to maintain the targets, signage and tee pads, and to assist the city employees in installing the course,” the letter says.
“The city would need to provide tee pads and a signage package that includes both the disc golf course and the interpretive and way-finding trail markings. The city would need to assist in the cleaning and selective clearing and grubbing.”
The disc golf course project was not supported by PRAC members Phil Chapman and Shelia Cocchi.
“I have concerns, and one is that you’re going to have to clear the (proposed) area. You have no idea the fight the city had to put Simmons Park there. The goal of Simmons Park was as a passive park. The purpose of that park is going to get lost (if you build this),” Chapman said.
Cocchi said her hope was “that there was not a lot more movement (displacement of habitat) at Simmons Road Park.”
Cocchi asked Goad if his group had approached Nassau County for a site that would be large enough to accommodate a disc golf course. Goad said since much of the county land is owned by Rayonier, that course opportunities in the county are limited.
Member Cheryl Grant favored the proposal.
“My kids played disc golf for many, many years and what I like about disc golf is that you are essentially in the woods. And you can have your entire family out there watching someone play disc golf,” Grant said. “It (a disc golf course) will have the open pathways so you’re not afraid you’re going to step on a rattlesnake or something.”
The next step is for 8FDGA and the Parks and Recreation Department to provide more information to PRAC regarding costs to the city for the proposal.