Midvale City Park cuts ribbon on new disc golf courseJul 12, 2021 02:42PM ● By Heather Lawrence
Dave Jessop of Herriman preps his throw on the Midvale Park disc golf course, while his faithful companion Stella looks on. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
Midvale City held a ribbon cutting May 22 for a new nine-hole disc golf course in Midvale Park. But the course is about more than just a hobby. Like the game itself, the more you learn about the story behind the course, the more you appreciate it.
The sport’s basic premise is easy to understand. Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. It’s played much like traditional golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee.
“[The disc] is thrown from a tee to a basket, which is the ‘hole.’ The object is to throw the disc from the tee area to the target basket in the fewest number of throws,” explained Midvale City’s website. The city ran clinics for beginners and gave out free disc starter sets at the ribbon cutting.
The course was several months in the making. At a Nov. 10, 2020 meeting, the Midvale City Council discussed the course as one of the ways to use CARES Act funds. The CARES Act was part of the federal pandemic economic relief plan, and a disc golf course fell within the qualifying projects.
The city worked with Midvale business Grip6, a local manufacturing company which is committed to an entirely U.S.-made product. For the past four years they’ve sold belts, wallets and socks with a disc golf flair. Grip6 made donations to the course in the form of baskets for holes, posts, signage, and guidance on installation, design and labor.
The planning, funding and local collaborations have paid off. Since the ribbon cutting, the growing community of disc golf players has teed up to enjoy the course.
“We heard about it on the Facebook page, SLC Tunnel Runners, which is the local club. We came today because of the chunk of time we had. This was the best available course for us. We play at courses all around the valley,” said Byron McMurtry of Riverton.
McMurtry also plays traditional golf and kayaks. But because it’s inexpensive and courses can be played through in an hour or less, disc golf is nearly an everyday event for him and his friend Dave Jessop of Herriman.
“I’ve played disc golf since 2007. This is a big part of our lives, and we play several times a week. We’ve played here [in Midvale] every couple weeks since it opened. It’s a good, quick turn. It takes about half an hour to play it once, so we can play it twice in an hour,” Jessop said.
The Midvale course is located on the northwest side of the park. There are no fees or reservations, but players need to bring their own discs (Frisbees don’t work as well) and be mindful of others playing through.
Most courses are set up in public parks, so they’re free to play. Courses that charge are reasonable—$3 or $5. And, in many cases, you can bring your canine companion. Jessop brought his dog Stella.
Both McMurtry and Jessop praised disc golf as something that’s fun for beginners and more advanced players. “It’s a good family sport because different skill levels can play on the same course, and both sides will have fun.
“The Midvale course is particularly good for beginners because it’s short. It’s a nice introduction for people, and it’s manicured, where other courses can be rough,” McMurtry said.
McMurtry and Jessop were also excited about the PDGA Pro World Championship competition in Ogden June 22-26. “There are local tournaments every weekend, but this is like the Super Bowl of disc golf, and it’s right here in Utah at Fort Buenaventura. We’ve played that course before—it’s a whole other animal. It’s tough,” Jessop said.
McMurtry and Jessop encourage beginners to go to the SLC Tunnel Runners Facebook page if they have questions or want to find disc golf friends. “Get a disc starter kit, watch some YouTube videos on how to play, and join the fun,” McMurtry said.
When you play the course in Midvale you’ll know that you’re benefitting from pandemic relief funds and supporting local business Grip6 which helped make the course a reality.