Clark State Community College student Joshua Trapp is an avid player of disc golf; his passion for this trendy, growing sport led him to envision a nine-hole disc golf course (DGC) on Clark State’s Springfield campus. Trapp designed a course layout, wrote a proposal and pitched the idea to the Student Senate and executive council; with approval from both, Trapp’s vision is now becoming a reality.
“We are very excited to be working on a project that will bring something new and exciting to campus,” said Trapp. “I've been playing disc golf for 15 years. I've played courses all over the country and am passionate about the game. I’m looking forward to growing our sport and sharing it with others.”
Trapp, who has completed Clark State’s LPN program and is entering the RN program, said the disc golf course will be open to all Clark State students, faculty, staff and the general public. The DGC will wrap and flow around the entire campus. Hole 1 will begin by the tennis courts and hole 9 will be located near the pond behind the LRC. “It will be a beautiful walk around campus,” said Trapp.
Trapp said disc golf is an easy game to learn and play. “The player will start a ‘hole’ by throwing from a tee-pad towards the ‘target’ or ‘basket,’” he said. “The player keeps track of the number of throws much like a ball golfer would keep track of swings.”
Each "hole" will have either a par 3, 4 or 5 option. “We will have mostly par 3 holes with a few longer par-4 options,” said Trapp. “As the new player develops their skill-set, they will be able to throw further and further.”
Trapp said they hope to have the disc golf course installed and ready for play at the beginning of the fall semester. Currently there are flags in place showing a rough layout of the course.
“A few discs are all that is needed,” said Trapp. “Discs come in different shapes that fly differently. As a player develops, they will most likely carry a few drivers, a mid-range and putter.”
The disc golf project is being funded primarily through donations from local businesses and individuals. Clark State is also providing some funds as well. After the course is completed, Trapp hopes for weekly league play, small tournaments with other local colleges, lessons for students and staff and community-based disc golf events.
Trapp believes the DGC perfectly aligns with any health or wellness goals, stating that the sport is low impact and easily played by all ages.
“It will be nice to see faculty, staff and students enjoying the game together,” said Trapp. “The course will be easily accessible for quick play on student breaks throughout the day. It's also exciting that people in the local community can walk over and enjoy the DGC as well which will promote exercise and bring more diversity to campus.”
In addition to the development of the disc golf course, Clark State also features indoor and outdoor walking trails and a free outdoor fitness park – The Clark State Fit Stop - on the main campus in Springfield.
“Health and wellness – and our students, employees and the community’s well-being – are a priority at Clark State,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “Ensuring that we provide these opportunities is part of our mission.”