BY MAX MCDONALD
GLADWIN – Chris Stronach of Gladwin, his girlfriend Heather Newton, and a group of residents are attempting to set up a disk golf course at the North Park. Disk golf is modeled after the game of golf, but is played with a flying disk rather than balls and clubs. The object is the same in both games; complete the round in the fewest strokes/throws. Stronach hopes to bring the game to Gladwin by next spring.
So far there has been no organized opposition to the project. Stronich and his groups are not asking for any money from the city. They plan to fund the course through donations and hole sponsorships. He also hopes to tie in with the Project Rising Tide plans for North Park, which call for more development/usage of the park.
Stronach made a presentation Monday, Sept. 30 at the park to give stakeholders a better vision of his planned layout. Mayor Dee Jungman, Parks and Recreation Chair Don Kehoe and City Manager Chris Shannon, along with others, were present for the presentation. Kehoe took the lead at the meeting explaining that while he has some concerns he is not against the course. He has contacted various other municipalities to discuss their experiences with this type of development. He also proposed a trip to Au Gres to tour the course there and meet with local officials. He also wants the city to consider a plot of land given to the city along River Rd., as a possible alternate location.
One of the goals Stronach has for the course is that it be 100% accessible. He says that with some brush clearing and one alternate tee pad individuals with mobility issues will be able to use the entire course. The alternate sight would require more extensive work, which would increase the cost of the establishment of the course.
He estimates that about $4,000 will be needed to get the course up and running at the North Park location and envisions most of that coming through donations and sponsorships. His idea is to have signage on the course to publicize the local sponsors and direct visitors to their businesses. He has been actively reaching out and says that there are many businesses that have shown interest.
The current proposal is for a nine-hole course, but he says there is room for an additional nine holes if the project is successful and the city approves. Right now he is content to start small to make sure everyone is satisfied with the result.