After four long years, course designer Andrew Rich and his team of volunteers and supporters played their first official game at the park. Their new course has been a labor of love, which they plan to continue maintaining the course and the park as a whole.
“Today has been the fulfillment of four straight years of work of mentally preparing and going through red tape and every type of road block you can imagine,” Rich said.
That massive struggle is what makes this course such a trophy for Rich and his team.
“We had to get every entity of the park on board, the track community, the Cuthbert, the Whillamut natural people. We had to let them all know what we’re doing, so that took a little while,” Rich said.
After finally signing the contract in January, they began reforming the land for the 18-hole course, and Wednesday they cut the ribbon and played their very first hole. Something the entire Lane County disc golf community say is long overdue.
“Currently, Eugene only had one nine-hole layout they put in back in 1988, and we are way behind the curve of every other major metro in the nation. Portland, Oregon and Des Moines, Iowa have 35-40, 18-hole layouts in a 20-minute drive. We had one 9-hole layout that was covered in mud half the year,” Rich said.
Now golfers have two. The newest addition is a gorgeous one, and Rich plans to keep it that way. As he oversees the golf part of the course, he says maintaining the landscape and natural beauty of this land is as high of a priority for him and his team.
“We’re hoping to be a big community vibe here and to really appreciate what we have and the gem of the park that we have here, and not just the golfers out here, but try and really take care of the park and leave it better than we found it,” Rich said.
There is a fee to play here and help maintain the course. Day passes are $3, and long-term memberships are available, too. The grand opening is on Monday.