STRAWN PARK ALMOST DONE
COLUMBIA - The fourth disc golf course in Columbia is nearing completion.
Gabe Wilkerson, Columbia disc golf club president, said the club teamed up with Columbia Parks and Recreation because it wanted to bring an expert level disc golf course to the city.
The project costs about $155,000 with about $125,000 of that coming from the park sales tax. Phase one of the Strawn Road Park disc golf course is funded by a 2010 park sales tax. Columbia residents went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether the tax will be renewed. Phase two of the course would be funded that way.
Wilkerson said the club wanted there to be a course in Columbia that would attract more national tournaments. Wilkerson said the best way to do that was by hiring professional disc golf course designer John Houck to construct the course.
Houck said he has designed around 93 courses and assisted on many others around the country.
"We believe every community should have the best course possible," Houck said. "We're doing everything from shaping the fairways, grading the ground, to adding a few special touches here or there and make it safe and fun."
Houck has been in Columbia since October 26 working on the finishing touches for the course, including placing the tee boxes and baskets.
He said the course will be a major benefit to the community.
"We want people to come out here and enjoy it and be part of nature," Houck said.
He said he understands not everyone plays disc golf, but he believes everyone can enjoy the park. He said it is a great place for people to get exercise and just relax.
There are benefits of the course other than just the mental and physical relaxation, he said.
"We wanna use the course to bring in people to town, for them to enjoy it and have an economic impact as well," Houck said.
He said he has a group of followers who love to play his courses and will travel just to play them.
"The city was really committed to having a facility that brings people to town," Houck said. "They'll spend money on food, entertainment, rent cars/hotels, all that stuff. So the course will pay for itself in a short period of time."
He said the expert level course will be a great addition to the other three courses Columbia already has to offer. Two of those are at Albert Oakland Park and the third is at Indian Hills Park.