It’s fair to say that Batavia is a sports-minded town. From the Battlin’ Bulldogs to the multitude of sports options for all ages, there’s no shortage of recreational opportunities in Batavia. A growing sport soon will be coming to the area to give people an additional source of fun.
Disc golf has been around for decades and recently has seen a rise in popularity. Disc golf courses have popped up throughout the suburbs and are seeing resounding success. Because of the growing popularity of the sport, there is a large demand for additional courses, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.
In fall 2011, the Batavia Park District’s intern, Elizabeth Carsi, was asked to put together a proposal for a disc golf course as her final project. As a resident of Batavia, Carsi was excited about the opportunity.
“Growing up in Batavia, my friends and I had to travel to other towns to play disc golf,” Carsi said, “When I became the park district intern in fall 2011, I spent my time developing a plan for the first Batavia disc golf course. I’ve always thought it would be a great addition to the park district, and I’m so excited to see this becoming a reality.”
After consulting with Midwest Disc Golf in Lombard, a potential site was chosen. A preliminary layout was established for an 18-hole course at West Main Community Park, and at the end of the semester, Carsi submitted her proposal to the Batavia Park Board.
Senior projects don’t always come to fruition, but bringing a new recreational opportunity to Batavia aligned perfectly with the mission of the Batavia Parks Foundation, and the Foundation board quickly became interested in turning the proposal into reality.
“The Batavia Parks Foundation was created to enhance and expand recreation in the community,” said Matt Ellmann, Foundation board member. “A disc golf course will be a unique addition to the system and will help serve a new population of both teens and young adults.”
Disc golf is a sport that can be played by all ages and ability levels, which is part of the attraction of the sport. The cost, or lack thereof, is another contributing factor to its popularity. Disc golf courses rarely charge fees, there are no cart rental fees, and discs are inexpensive.
Kevin DiVerde, an avid disc golf player from Batavia, had the opportunity to walk the course this summer with his father, a member of the Foundation board. DiVerde has been playing disc golf for 10 years and has played more than 20 courses across six states, including Hawaii.
“Disc golf is a sport that is constantly challenging you, yet is enjoyable at nearly every skill level,” DiVerde said, “I’m very happy with the location of the new course at West Main Community Park, and I’m excited to play the course once it’s complete. It’s a good use of the land, and the course should attract a wide variety of players.”
As with traditional golf courses, each disc golf course offers its own unique layout and obstacles. The course at West Main Community Park will offer a challenge for golfers that few other courses in the area provide.
This fall, park district staff and Foundation members worked with Midwest Disc Golf to begin staking the holes and preparing the course.
Parks crews mowed brush, trimmed low-hanging branches, filled holes and seeded bare areas. They also have begun digging and installing the ground holes for the disc baskets and tee markers. The work is on schedule, and all major infrastructure should be completed by the end of December.
The Batavia Park District and Batavia Parks Foundation will plan a dedication and grand-opening event for the spring. Be on the lookout for information in the spring park district brochure, due out in February 2013.
For information, visit www.bataviaparks.org or call 630-879-5235.
• Kari Miller is director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. Contact her at email@example.com.