By Linda Dillman
Tucked among the trees and trails along Lockbourne’s Locke Meadow Park is a disc golf course, a wish come to fruition by local resident Seth Collins, with one hole reputed to be the most difficult in the entire state.
Disc golf is played with the same rules and general concepts as regular golf, except with flying discs and on a smaller scale. It was started in the late 1970s by “Steady” Ed Headrick, who is credited as the father of the modern day Frisbee and creating the sport of disc golf.
There are no age restrictions and anyone can play it from young children to Dr. Mamba Don Shinn, a 101-year-old man from California who plays every day. All you need is a disc and space to throw it.
“I’ve just always wanted to build a course,” said Collins, who started playing disc golf 25 years ago. “It’s been a dream of mine for over half my life. I knew that there was space in Lockbourne and always thought it would be a great addition to the village. My wife took a job with the village and talked with the mayor about a course. Low an behold, that was something that they had discussed putting in the park. So, I knew right there that was my chance.”
Collins talked with a group of like-minded disc golf players—now known as the Lockbourne Aces—who pitched the idea of creating a course to Lockbourne Village Council. Their proposal received approval Sept. 27 and then hard work—all at the players expense –began, including tree and brush removal and placement of hole baskets.
They held their first competition on Oct. 1 and are active nearly every day.
“Designing the course is a process and everyone has a different process, so I can only speak for my own, but I just like to go out and I look at the land that’s in front of me,” said Collins. “I try to envision a finished hole, look at the trees or any other obstacles that may be in the way such as fences, creeks, and look for lines that I can throw thru to make it to the basket. Sometimes we have to remove a tree or two, sometimes even plant a few strictly for the challenge that they will add in a few years.”
The club is creating the course from scratch and is incorporating the Magnolia Trail into the design, along with a waterway and part of the nearby Erie Canal system. Collins said the club did not ask the village for anything but an opportunity.
“They allow us to use the land and we use some tools here and there, but not one village penny will be spent on any of this,” said Collins.
To offset costs of constructing the course with a future goal of acquiring permanent baskets set in concrete, the Aces accept donations, but are also looking for sponsors as well, such as companies that would like to have their business promoted on a daily basis throughout the course.
“Our club focus for most of this year has been geared more towards our bag tag event and getting everything in order for the new course,” said Collins. “Every time we play against each other, your tag is up for grabs and the lowest tag goes to the winner. The goal at the end of the year is to have the lowest tag, who becomes that year’s tag champion. Our bag tags have been an awesome time. We had 28 people buy in and everyone received a number from one to 28.”
For information about the Aces, the Lockbourne course, donations or the raffle, call or text Collins 614-928-0898 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit the Lockbourne Aces DGC or Lockbourne Disc Golf Course page on Facebook.