Note: This is the second in an occasional series of Common Ground articles that asks park users to share their experiences in Louisville’s Metro Parks. Interested in participating? Send us an e-mail.
Bowman Field Area, off Taylorsville Road
Q: What parks do you most frequently use?
A: Over the years, I have been an avid park user, frequenting several Metro Parks. I discovered disc golf in 1979 at Otter Creek Park. From that moment forward, my park use was mostly centered around disc golf. Iroquois Park disc golf course was installed in 1981, and soon became the disc golf training ground for Louisville disc golf enthusiasts. Being our only city disc golf course, Iroquois was so crowded, another course was deemed necessary.
Q: How did you begin using our parks?
A: I am a disc golf entrepreneur. I have been a touring disc golf pro, since 1979. During my 31 year career, I have won 14 world titles, and was inducted into the disc golf Hall of Fame in 1995. I am the only player to both compete and cash in every disc golf championship [1982-present]. I have been designing disc golf courses for three decades, as well as selling everything pertaining disc golf . To make a living out of something you love doing is truly a blessing.
Q: What contributions have you made to the Metro Parks system you’ve been particularly proud of?
A: In 1999, Charlie Vettiner was chosen by a four-person task force, of which I was a member as the site for Louisville’s next disc golf course. After several thousand volunteer hours from local disc golfers, and Boy Scouts, along with cooperation from Metro Parks, and Mayor Abramson, Charlie Vettiner disc golf course has turned into one of the best courses in the region. We have had several local clubs over the years, who have dedicated their time and money to create disc golf in Louisville. Our current club is the Louisville Disc Golf Club. From running disc golf leagues and clinics, to hosting local and national tournaments, there is always one common thought; we all love disc golf.
Q: Why has disc golf taken off in this area?
A: As one of the most well rounded, fastest growing sports in the world, the benefits of disc golf are many. You get a light aerobic workout, with very little chance of getting hurt, in a beautiful, natural setting, while exercising both your body and your mind. In most instances, disc golf is free to play, with very minimal expense in equipment. Disc golf is almost as much fun to watch as it is to play. Anyone, regardless of age, gender or athletic ability can play. If you throw in the fact that it only takes a couple of hours to play, with very little waiting, how can you not try it at least once? Disc golf courses are popping up in record numbers in cities big and small, rural and inner-city.
Q: What can we look forward to in the future for disc golf in Louisville?
A: Parks directors everywhere are being made aware of disc golf and the many benefits surrounding it. Mike Heitz and Metro Parks are no exception. We are all very grateful to Metro Parks for their support. We are looking forward to working with both Metro Parks, and 21 Century Parks, on future disc golf courses. The residents of the Metro Louisville area are extremely lucky to have the quality of parks that we have. With the addition of the 100-mile loop, the park scene in the Louisville area has never looked better. Neither has the disc golf scene. There is a saying in the disc golf world, ‘when a ball dreams, it dreams of being a disc’. Fly it, you’ll like it.