In the basket: Disc Golf at Duncan Park ready to play, near completion
Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022
NATCHEZ — Former Natchez Rotary President Tate Hobdy first suggested an idea for a disc golf course in Natchez in July 2020. Two years later the project finished with a full 18-hole disc golf course at Duncan Park. Signs for the tee pads and the main sign will be the final cherry on top.
He said the course was originally going to be a nine-hole course. Natchez Rotary club, Rotary International, and Community Alliance raised funds to complete the $32,000 project.
The signage should be finished and installed in about a month. Acting Rotary President Russ Butts said the signs are coming from Southern Design. Concrete tee pads are installed, and Community Alliance helped with the nets, Hobdy said. Doug Williams was the course designer and incorporated some tight and technical holes. Additionally, there are open holes perfect for “bombing,” a drive, Hobdy said.
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“It is a great way to get exercise, and there is less stress than real golf,” Hobdy said. “Hopefully, we can develop a disc golf tournament out here. Currently, there is a disc golf club in Natchez on Facebook. It is a game anyone can play. My stepson started when he was four-years-old, and now he can outdrive me.”
Rotary Club has a motto “Service above Self.” It was the driving force behind the disc golf course project. They completed projects in the past to get people outside. The projects included for a fountain on the bluff and a new bandstand.
A disc golf course in Natchez is a service to the public because it is free to play, and anyone can play regardless of capability or socioeconomic status. Any frisbee works, Butts said, although it is only about $25 for a pack of three disc golf discs.
These usually include a long-range driver, a mid-range iron and a short-range putter. Putter discs are designed to stop and fall in the basket once they hit the netting, Hobdy said.
Last summer, the first basket went into the ground, but now the course is completed with concrete tee pads. It blends in with the natural splendor of the back nine at Duncan Park and fits nicely with the actual golf course.
Natchez once had disc golfers meet as a group in random places. They would then pick a tree and throw it there, Butts said. Now, the finished disc golf course can be played by anyone and tourists can find it on a phone app called UDisc.
“It is fun to drive down here and see people play that you have never seen out here before. Word is spreading,” Butts said. “Natchez is a tourist town. When people travel, they can pack their disc bag and come out to play and enjoy nature.”
His hope is for Rotary to introduce disc golf to people who have never played before through workshops. He said disc golf is a game where if someone wanted to expand their equipment, they could, but they do not have to.
The City of Natchez helped with the project by clearing out some areas. Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent Greg Brooking has made sure flowers add another layer of natural beauty, Hobdy said. Duncan Park’s disc golf course has not cost the city anything.
People do need to be aware of a few things. Traditional golfers and users of the walking paths have the right of way. Fairways and walking paths are also out of bounds, Hobdy said.
According to UDisc, the course is a par 58 and is 5,926 feet long.
Butts said the community would have to stay tuned for Rotary’s next project.
“We wanted to get this project completed first,” he said.
“If someone has an idea for a new project or wants to present it to the rotary club, they can contact Russ,” Hobdy added.