A push to bring disc golf to the county’s only municipal golf course fell a bit short of the green this week as Burlington’s recreation and parks director recommended against the game’s introduction to the links at the course formerly known at Indian Valley.
Tony Laws, Burlington’s director of recreation and parks, offered this advice to Burlington’s city council on Monday during a monthly work session that took place over the Zoom teleconferencing platform in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In his brief report to the council, Laws assured its members that neither he or his staff has any fundamental objection to disc golf, in which players compete to sink Frisbees or their equivalents into buckets or similar receptacles.
“Certainly, the city supports disc golf,” he assured the council, “and we already have one disc golf course at Springwood Park.”
Laws nevertheless added that he wouldn’t want the Frisbee-based variation of golf to compete with the traditional game, which he insisted is more popular than ever at the city-owned golf course that his department recently rechristened from “Indian Valley,” to simply “the Valley.”
Laws went on to enumerate the existing opportunities for disc golf that already exist in Alamance County. He also contended that disc golf enthusiasts would most likely be put off by the Valley’s current green fees of $29 on weekdays and $37 on weekends. He went on to share his misgivings about the “double standard” that would result if the golf course was to offer a reduced rate for disc golfers.
“At this time, we do not recommend putting a permanent golf course on the regular golf course. We’re suggesting that we don’t need to create any additional distractions that may impact our current success.”
– Tony Laws, Burlington’s director of recreation and parks
Laws also reported that other local recreation directors have generally been “neutral” on the introduction of disc golf to facilities designed for the traditional game. He added, however, that some of his counterparts believe that this union can be achieved “but only in the right circumstances.”
In the end, Laws insisted that disc golf doesn’t strike him as a very good fit for the links at the Valley.
“At this time, we do not recommend putting a permanent golf course on the regular golf course,” he went on to sum up. “We’re suggesting that we don’t need to create any additional distractions that may impact our current success.”
Laws nevertheless proposed periodic tournaments to allow disc golfers to use the facilities that are presently reserved for the traditional game. He added that a specialized disc golf course could be established in a wooded area on the grounds of the grounds course.
In response to the recreation director’s recommendation, Burlington’s mayor pro tem Kathy Hykes admitted she isn’t quite sure how she and her colleagues should play this particular ball.
“I would really like more time to digest this report,” she told the rest of the council.
Meanwhile, disc golf enthusiast Alex Alfonso used the chat feature on Zoom to decry the “misinformation” that he insisted filled the recreation director’s report. Alfonso pleaded for a more balanced discussion at the council’s next regular meeting on Tuesday (tonight, March 2).
Other March 4 edition Burlington news coverage from The Alamance News/alamancenews.com: