Toledo's disc golf course might be receiving an expansion and upgrade, in an attempt to increase the local recreation and economy.
Travis Mullen, Toledo City Council Member, brought some information to the council last month about the disc golf course, which is located in the Toledo Heights Park. A couple of local disc golf players talked to Mullen about upgrading the current course and try to attract players from around the state. The upgrades could include an additional nine holes to the existing nine-hole course and making the course more challenging.
"I told them that's something we can look into, but I don't know anything about disc golf," Mullen told the council. "These guys told me that if we have a better course, people will come to play courses in the area, hitting two or three courses. They told me that if our course was good enough, it would definitely bring money to the local economy."
The local disc golf players told Mullen to contact David McCormick, owner of Gateway Discs, which is a company based out of Maryland Heights, Mo., that sells disc golf equipment and designs courses in the Midwest. Mullen contacted McCormick and became more informed about the world of disc golf.
He reported to the council that there is a website, www.pdga.com, that rates disc golf courses around the county. The Toledo course rates as a 2 out of 5, which is average. McCormick told Mullen that players will often play several courses in an area during one day, if those courses are rated well. The current Toledo course doesn't rate high enough to attract many visitors.
"He told me they weren't pulling my leg," Mullen said. "He said if you have a good course, people will come and spend money in your town."
McCormick told Mullen that he could send one of his scouts or friends to come look at the Toledo course and give it a free assessment. That would include finding out if 18 holes are possible and how to improve the course, which migh include crossing Ross Street to the south or Deer Creek to the east.
Mullen said a full turn-key upgrade might cost up to $14,000. He said the City of Toledo could use money in the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund to pay for the project. Mullen also said the city would receive 300 discs that it could sell to make back some of the money spent on the course.
The city council also briefly discussed alternative ways of paying for the upgrade. One idea was to ask local businesses to sponsor a hole, which would allow them to put their business logo and name on their course hole. The city council also wondered if the City of Tama would chip in because some of its residents would use the course, too.
"The only interest I have is that we haven't made a significant recreational improvement to our park in quite some time," Mullen said. "That's why I would get behind this.