New Carlton disc golf course is ‘tee-riffic’The object of disc golf – like traditional golf – is to get to the target in the fewest shots. Of course, disc golf players use flying discs (aka Frisbees) in place of clubs and balls and the target is a metal basket, not a hole in the ground marked by a pole.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
The object of disc golf – like traditional golf – is to get to the target in the fewest shots. Of course, disc golf players use flying discs (aka Frisbees) in place of clubs and balls and the target is a metal basket, not a hole in the ground marked by a pole.
At the new Carlton Disc Golf Sanctuary, disc golf players can add one more object to the game: Reach the target without losing the disc in the trees.
Carlton County’s first and only disc golf course uses existing trail segments to wind its way through 40 acres of beautiful woodlands next to South Terrace Elementary, 530 Stein Dr., Carlton. It is a stunning setting for the 9-hole, par 35 course. There is no charge to play, although a person needs the specialized discs to play (those are available to purchase or rent at Carlton’s Hobo Junction, along with score cards) and probably some bug spray.
The Sanctuary was a joint project between the school district – which provided the land – and the Carlton Area Development Corporation (CADC), a non-profit whose purpose is to apply for grants and raise match money for small projects in the Carlton area.
Kirk Johnson, head of maintenance for the school district, estimated the group has approximately $10,000 worth of donated cash and labor into the course, which had its ribbon cutting last Thursday. Existing trails were widened by district staff, and concrete “tee boxes” were poured by the Carlton Fire Department.
Of course, they didn’t embark on this project without some expert guidance.
“We had a gentleman from St. Cloud who works for the Disc Golf Association come up early this spring,” Johnson said. “We walked the course and staked it out. Then he came up again when it was nearly finished and shot the course, so he could figure out the par for each hole.
“He claims everyone coming up this way from the Twin Cities [who’s a fan of disc golf already] will stop here,” he added.
Depending on a person’s level of expertise, players can either use only one “universal” disc or a collection of discs made for specific purposes. Once again as in golf, disc golf players use specialized discs for different functions. For long-distance throws, they use a driver. For shots within 10 feet of the basket, a putter comes in handy. An approach disc, aka mid-range or multi-purpose disc, is designed for second drives, approach shots and long putts.
It helps to be familiar with traditional golf, but actual experience playing traditional golf probably won’t help. The ability to throw a Frisbee in a straight line will.
In addition to raising money and providing help in creating the course, the CADC also purchased three disc packages: one for South Terrace Elementary, one for Carlton High School and one for any visiting school group who would like to borrow it. Each disc package contains 30 universal discs, rather than the more specialized throwing discs.
“What I’m really proud of is this committee,” said Denny Randelin, CADC president. “They are the hardest working group of people you’ll ever run across. They turn ideas into
Wes Vork, a disc golf course sponsor and Carlton City Council member, thinks the new course will be good for Carlton.
“My take is that it’s a lot of bang for the buck,” Vork said, “for only $10,000, when you think of the number of people [it] will draw in.”
Most of the time, folks won’t have to “book” a playing time at this new golf course unless there’s a tournament – something Randelin said he’s been asked about more than once leading up to opening day
As part of Carlton Daze this weekend, there will be a Frisbee golf tournament at the new course on Saturday afternoon. Players don’t have to sign up in advance but can just show up between noon and 4 p.m. and play a round, while keeping an honest scorecard. Prizes will be awarded. Contact Ethan Gamble at 218-213-4123 to find out more.