Hilliard opens 18-hole disc-golf course at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
Kyle Mihok of Hilliard lets a disc fly while playing a round of disc golf with friends Oct. 5 on the new 18-hole course at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park in Hilliard.

Expert disc-golf players might find a more challenging course at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park in Hilliard after an 18-hole disc golf course officially opened Oct. 1.

“It’s a great addition to our park,” said Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department director Ed Merritt.

Meritt credited the Columbus Flyers Disc Golf Club with making the 18-hole course a reality.

“The amount of hours it took to design and plan this, we couldn’t afford,” he said.

The 18-hole course replaces a 9-hole course that opened at the park in 2012, said Anna Subler, communications administrator for Hilliard.

The buckets and chains that were used for the 9-hole course have been removed and will be stored until the city adds them to another park as a beginner’s course, Merritt said.

Dean Barbo, a Hilliard resident and member of the Columbus Flyers Disc Golf Club, said he approached Merritt in 2018 with an idea to improve the 9-hole course, which was not used often.

“I presented my ideas about what we could do to make a better and a more challenging course, the benefits of having one (and) how popular disc golf is becoming,” said Barbo, who moved to Hilliard in 2017.

The city invested $23,000 in the construction, and most of the cost involved the pouring of concrete pads for the pole, chains and buckets at each of the 18 holes, Subler said.

According to the website for the Professional Disc Golf Association, disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with golf the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes or, in the case of disc golf, the fewest throws.

A disc is thrown from a tee area to the hole, which usually is an elevated metal basket.

As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed. Trees, shrubs and terrain changes in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for the golfer.

When the "putt" lands in the basket, the hole is completed, according to the PDGA website.

The course, which is at the west end of Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive, and adjacent to the soccer fields for the Hilliard Ohio Soccer Association, is free and open to the public, but players must bring their own discs, Subler said.

Among those who teed off during after a formal dedication of the park by city officials was Hilliard resident Jerry Black, 41.

Black, who also plays traditional golf, said he began playing disc golf about five years ago and enjoys the challenge.

He said he first picked up a disc “out of boredom” but then “got addicted.”

Jerry Black, 41, of Hilliard watches his disc sail after teeing off Oct. 1 on the first hole of the new 18-hole disc-golf course at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park in Hilliard.

Merritt said next year, city officials plan to organize leagues and tournaments.

“We’re excited about that," he said.

Meanwhile, Merritt said, the new course provides a recreational opportunity for residents.

“Anyone can bring a disc and play," he said. "A kid with a Frisbee can walk the course, and it’s good family fun."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo