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Mendon disc golf course proposed on town-owned land

Sep 08, 2023 10:02AM ● By Chuck Tashjian

Request to be presented to special town meeting in November

By Theresa Knapp

The Community Preservation Committee is entertaining a request for funding for an 18-hole disc golf course on a parcel of town-owned land, yet to be determined. 

The details will be finalized at the CPC’s meeting on Oct. 3 and presented to special town meeting on Nov. 6. 

At a Sept. 5 meeting of the CPC, Ellen Agro asked the CPC to consider a funding request that would cover the cost of the equipment and the professional course design. 

Agro is an avid disc golfer and described the sport as “basically like golf but you’re throwing a frisbee and it’s more like hiking with the frisbee…It’s a nice exercise in the woods, it’s fairly easy to learn, and it’s fun.” 

She said there is a 9-hole course in Milford but there are no 18-hole courses nearby. 

Agro proposed the course on the town-owned Paddock property as a form of passive recreation. She had considered Inman Hill but said that land is often used by horseback riders. “Disc golf and horses don’t really go together; it will spook the horses to see random people throwing - discs would be flying; for horses, they would be unprepared for that.” 

The pros and cons of various town-owned properties were discussed. A parcel will be selected before the warrant article is finalized. The layout of the specific parcel will affect the cost of the course design though, typically, the course is designed to fit within the existing landscape. 

Agro said, “They try to preserve the land as much as possible, you still have to make pathways to each tee box, and to each hole, but the rest of the forest (or pasture or whatever it is), would stay the way it normally is…You’re definitely not clear-cutting, you’re clearing maybe nuisance trees and underbrush, things like that.” 

As for the actual game, Agro said if other people are enjoying the property while disc golfers are playing, the game stops until the others have passed by. “It’s not like a golf ball where you can’t see where your thing is going. You can always see the basket, you can always see what you’re shooting at, and you can see people - you just don’t throw [frisbees] if somebody’s in the way.” 

Agro said the disc baskets and tee boxes would be permanently installed (and secured) on the property. She expects the course would be maintained by volunteers, and proposes a “Lost and Found” for found frisbees, etc., could be located at the Town Clerk’s office (Agro serves as Mendon Town Clerk). 

CPC member and Director of Parks & Recreation Daniel Byer said he liked the project. 

“I think we need to iron out some issues but I think that’s one of the things that came up in the Open Space & Rec Plan and the Master Plan. I think people are looking for these amenities and it kind of ties into trail use so I think, for $60,000, you’re going to get a whole new recreational activity for people.” 

CPC member and selectman Michael Goddard said the course could bring eco-tourism to Mendon and encourage visitors to fuel the local economy.