New disc golf course opens in Michigan
By BILL BRODERICK
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — More than ever, golfers will head to Springbrook Golf Course. The only question is, will they be bringing their clubs or their discs?
Springbrook Golf Course has opened an 18-hole disc golf course, intertwined with its long-running 9-hole golf course.
According to owner Matt Hibbert, it's a combination that fits his customers.
"What we are seeing, in general, millennials and younger are golfing 25 percent less than people were 20 years ago. And at the same time, where people thought disc golf was just a fad, we have found out that is not," Hibbert told the Battle Creek Enquirer . "We have plenty of people playing golf out here who are regulars, but we aren't getting any younger people and we think disc golf will bring them in. And in utilizing our land the way we are, it will diversify our demographics."
The disc golf course is already open and Springbrook had a grand opening celebration earlier this month.
"We put up a few holes last year on a temporary basis, and they were so well received it made sense to do this," Hibbert said.
So will golfers need to be on the lookout for discs, or will disc golfers need to keep their head up for people yelling, 'Fore!'?
"We put most of the disc golf holes on the outskirts of the nine holes we have here. They don't overlap too much, because they can't for safety reasons, and we are using parts of the course that haven't been utilized much," Hibbert said. "We will also have tee times, 10 minutes apart. They won't be hitting or throwing at the same time, if we do it correctly."
In that way, the Springbrook Disc Golf Course is much like a regular golf course. Also, disc golfers can use golf carts, and probably should, based on the length of the course. And there is a $10 fee for 18 holes with cart — compared to other area disc golf courses, which are free.
Hibbert said the cost comes about because he sees his course as a higher-end option, with the carts, with 18 holes and because of the challenging aspect of it.
Jeff Carter, who will run the disc golf pro shop and designed the course, agrees that Springbrook could quickly become the go-to place for disc golfers in the area as there are also plans for disc golf leagues and tournaments the rest of this summer and into the fall.
"The nice thing about the course is it is made for everybody," Carter said. "It is challenging enough for your expert, but it is fun for the younger golfers, too. We are really out here to try to grow the sport with this new course."
Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com