Practice round...

Ted Sparks of Pounding Mill, Virginia, paused from his work helping to install equipment on the new disc golf course at Princeton City Park this week to take aim at one of the baskets. Princeton residents will soon be able to enjoy the sport close-by, as the 18-hole City Park course opens July 1.

PRINCETON — Thanks to the hard work of disc golf fanatic Greg Bishop and some of the members of his Southern West Virginia Disc Golf League, the city of Princeton now has access to the popular game in its neck of the woods—the woods of Princeton City Park.

Bishop, who designed the course, has been working for months to get the course ready for action. The City Park course is the fourth course Bishop has designed, with the Glenwood Park course being among his creations.

The course, which opens on July 1, will have two sections. The first nine holes will be family oriented.

“It’s called the family loop,” said Bishop, “because it’s not in the woods, and it’s got shorter holes. But it’s still technical enough for the experienced player to enjoy.”

Each of the first nine holes will have two tee pad choices—a short distance and a longer distance—so that players may choose their difficulty level. Families could also potentially play 18 holes on the first nine holes of the course by first playing the short tee pads and then the long.

The second nine holes of the course are more difficult, and several holes are incorporated into the new hillside walking trail that traverses the park. Bishop was careful to design those holes so that hikers won’t interfere with a disc game and vice versa. 

For the first few months of use, the course will have temporary tee boards until the baskets get enough use to determine if the locations are satisfactory, said Bishop. In the fall, he will make tweaks, and permanent tee boxes will be installed, as well as permanent tee signs that include the par and footage of each throw and a diagram of the tee and basket area.

Temporarily, the course is bring-your-own-discs, but Princeton Parks and Recreation Director Amanda McCabe said the department is seeking sponsors to help fund equipment to keep at the city pool office for the public to rent for use on the course.

Bishop said he is planning a tournament at the course shortly after opening, a part of the Trilogy Challenge World Tour. 

“The purpose of the Challenge is to get discs into the hands of new players,” Bishop said.

The tournament, during which only three discs are used, introduce the sport to communities.

For the $25 entry fee, participants get three discs, a putter; a midrange; and a fairway driver, he said. Those are the only discs used in the tournament. Participants also get a t-shirt, a mini marker, a sticker, and a pencil. Though the tournament date has not been set, Bishop said it will take place on a Sunday afternoon in early August. Anyone interested may check the Southern WV Disc Golf Club Facebook page for updates.

Disc golfers are invited to join in weekly doubles matches every Monday at 5 p.m. Players have been meeting at the Glenwood Park course, but will begin using the CIty Park course once it opens.

For more information about the Southern West Virginia Disc Golf Club, the Glenwood Disc Golf League, or to learn more about disc golf, contact Greg Bishop at 304-920-1746 or visit the Facebook page Southern WV Disc Golf Club. To sponsor the purchase of equipment for the public to rent, contact Amanda McCabe at the Princeton Recreation Center at 304-487-5040.

— Contact Jeanie Brown at jbrown@ptonline.net

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