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Berlin approves permanent disc golf for Decatur Park

By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer

Disc golf will become a permanent fixture at Stephen Decatur Park after the minimalist course at the park performed well in the two years since it was built. Making the course permanent will include several enhancements including a kiosk.

(April 27, 2023) The Berlin disc golf experiment is officially a success.

The Berlin Mayor and Town Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve making the disc golf course at Stephen Decatur Park permanent with several enhancements.

At the start of a presentation from Eastbound Disc Golf’s Shawn Johnson, he mentioned that before the meeting he was perusing a popular disc golf app that features a ratings database. He said that, at that time, the Decatur Park course held a 3.7 rating out of 5 from 174 “unique ratings.”

“In my experience for every person that takes the time to do that there are probably 20 or 30 more who just breeze through,” Johnson said.

The proposed disc golf course would feature nine baskets and a permanent kiosk. Also included are 1-foot-by-1-foot pavers, Sakcrete concrete to hold the pavers in place, lumber and tee signs, which Johnson envisioned being about two feet off the ground.

Project estimates come to between $5,674 to $6,474.

“(The baskets) would be owned by the (town),” Johnson said. “The pavers would just be replacing the current ones … Our intent was to just put a set of two pavers to mark each tee pad … The Sakrete below that would … hold them in place.”

Johnson said that the kiosk project could be assumed by the town if it wishes, but regardless of who puts it in he thinks it would be very helpful for first-time players.

“That’s the challenge is directing people around the course without having things that are too much in the way to visibly drawing attention,” Johnson said, adding that not knowing where to go is a frequent critique.

Councilmember Jack Orris asked Johnson if Eastbound Disc Golf has ever enlisted the help of local Boy Scouts for these projects.

Previously, yes, Johnson said. But not here.

“That is definitely an avenue I’ve seen great success from, typically from building larger things than you guys are willing to cater, though,” he said.

Councilmember Jay Knerr voiced his approval of the project.

“(Everyone) seems to be enjoying it,” he said. “It’s a welcome addition.”