MOUNT MORRIS – “The fastest growing sport in America” has grown a little more, and landed in a village park.
Dillehay Park is now home to a disc golf course.
Mount Morris native Denny Garkey, who now lives in Freeport, designed the nine-hole course, which was completed a few weeks ago on the east side of the park between Stenger and Weller drives on the village’s south side.
“It’s the fastest growing sport in America for the last 10 years,” Garkey, a disc golfer himself, said. “It’s very easy to learn – basically if you can throw a Frisbee you can play.”
The game is similar to golf, with flying discs replacing golf balls and elevated baskets standing in for the holes.
Garkey, a member of Mount Morris High School’s Class of 1967, also designed disc golf courses at Highland Community College and Krape Park in Freeport. He said he approached Jan Hough, a former village trustee and Parks Committee chairman, at a class reunion about building the course.
Village trustee Jim Hopkins recommended the plan to the village board last summer, members unanimously approved it in August, and it was installed the following month by village employees and volunteers.
The course came with a $3,500 price tag, but some of that cost was offset by local businesses that sponsored holes.
Garkey said the course should attract players from around the area because the next closest courses are in Freeport, Rockford, Rochelle, and Sterling.
The course is especially suited to “safari golf,” he said, meaning players can aim from a tee for a different basket than intended.
“It’s set up very well to do that because you can see several baskets from one tee,” he said. “You can set up your own course.”
As for his target audience? Well, just about anyone and everyone.
“Anyone from 8 to 80 can do it,” he said. “It’s inexpensive and fun. There’s really no downside.”