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New Harvest Bible Church frisbee golf course

Excited yet intimidated, Jr. Josh White stepped up to the tee box on hole number seven.  His first throw had to be accurate because the cage was located around sixty yards across a pond.  If he wanted to play it safe, he would aim for the left side of the pond, where he had a path roughly ten feet wide to land on.  

  If not, he could risk a throw over the lake.  Anything worse than a perfect throw would almost undoubtedly send his beloved Luster Roc 3 directly into the pond, with little chance of recovery.  

  With this in mind, he took three steps forward and unleashed what was indeed a perfect backhand.  It soared easily over the pond, and looked like it was going to be close to a hole in one. The longer it hung in the air, the more likely it seemed to go crashing into the chains.

  And then it hit the ground.  It barely touched the rightmost chain with just enough power to send a ripple through it.  Although disappointed, Josh had an easy birdie putt to send his score one lower going into hole eight.

  Due to White’s love for the game of frisbee golf, he was able to take part in designing part of a new course (which includes hole seven over the pond) at Harvest Bible Church.  Located off of US-31, the course circles the church grounds, winding in and out of the woods. The course has been open for only a month, and is now open to the public.

  Out of the eighteen holes, White was able to aid in designing numbers nine through thirteen.  His contributions included deciding where the tee boxes would be placed, where the holes would be placed, and where trees and other obstacles should be removed or strategically placed.  “I was able to look over the holes from a player perspective,” White said.

  An important change that White claimed made the course stick out was the inclusion of two tee boxes on every hole.  He was able to shift the position of some tees to help beginners and challenge veterans. White believes that this allows “it (the course) to be played at all levels.”  

  For example, hole seven isn’t the most beginner friendly hole.  A factor of water on a hole can scare off beginners and even some intermediates.  However, the Harvest Bible Church course includes a second tee box roughly thirty to forty yards closer to the hole that dramatically reduces the chances of a lost disc.  With this in mind, he advises players to “do stuff you are comfortable with,” and don’t force yourself to do anything you aren’t confident doing.

  On top of all this, White made a key change that Jr. Zach Boggs definitely agreed with.  The largest hole at the course, hole eleven, features a tee box facing north that heads from an open field straight into woods.  However, at the end of the straightaway, the fairway takes a left turn through more woods. The reason that the second part of the fairway can’t be seen is due to a large dirt pile that White decided to keep rather than flatten out.      

  “Josh made a really good decision keeping the mound,” Boggs said.  He noted that it added an additional challenge to an already difficult hole, which he liked.  Boggs observed that the course was “wide and yet narrow, challenging, and yet still wooded.”

  Not only does Boggs play, but he watches professional frisbee golf as well.  He claimed the Harvest Bible Church course to look similar to one that might be designed by a professional, or even be on the professional tour.  “With some adjustments, it could possibly hold pro tournaments” Boggs said.

  Ironically enough, behind the development of the course was not only White, but semi professional player Jim Shultz.  He and his team from Eagles Wings were provided an opportunity to develop their own course on Harvest Bible Church property.  “As a pro, I have played at around 60 different courses, and have kept a mental record of my favorite holes.” He explained that at the new course and the other twenty or so courses that he has designed, he designs holes after his favorites or ones that he finds challenging.

  “What makes this course unique,” Shultz said, “is the fact that a local church … was willing to open up their property to the community.”  The presence of the public within the design and construction of the course is something that is rarely found anywhere else.

  Shultz has very high hopes for the course.  He hopes that “the community will embrace this course and contribute man power on work days and respect the property…”

  Due to the generosity of Harvest Bible Church, he insists that everyone adheres to the no smoking and no drinking policy.  This would make the course “a safe place for kids and families to enjoy” Shultz says. “I am excited about the future of this course.”

 

  For further information, contact Josh White at 20wjw01@westottawa.net for further information regarding the West Ottawa Frisbee Golf Club

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