University plans new disc golf course

A new disc golf course will be constructed at John Brown University.

Disc golf “provides upper and lower body conditioning, aerobic exercise and promotes a combination of physical and mental abilities that allow very little risk of physical injury,” according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.

“It is the first step to create a course that meets the standards of the U.S. Disc Golf Association,” Scott Marksberry, men’s soccer coach, said.

“Developing a new course from the ground up is a major undertaking that involves not only local disc golfer volunteers but help from design experts and support from others in the community for approval, equipment, labor and finances,” according to the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website.

Marksberry explained that the old course that students have been playing on for years is excellent. He said he would have liked for the University to use that course as the permanent one, but it presented safety concerns because it goes through the quad and other high traffic areas. He said the new course’s first hole is actually one designed by University students several years ago; however, it will be located on the north side of campus, close to the athletic facilities.

Jefferson Williams, senior accounting major, said that he had never played on the old disc golf course because he either did not get around to it or because of the lack of publicity the course received.

“I’m excited that there are people who are serious about making the course legit and are willing to invest in making it public,” Williams said. “One of the things I love about the sport is that disc golf courses tend to show off the beauty of the nature around them. John Brown  University is a beautiful campus and I think that a disc golf course will show that off.”

Williams also added that he thinks the course will attract the community because it will be the first official disc golf course in Siloam Springs.

“Playing a game of disc golf used to mean blocking off several hours, driving at least 15  minutes and sometimes even paying money to park,” Williams said.

Williams mentioned that the new golf course will allow for him to get in a fast game and  quickly head back to class.

“Right now, the trial course is in place to see if it fits both the interests of students and the needs of our Facilities Services crew,” Marksberry said. “If we find that students are interested in continuing the process of formalizing a course, then we will move toward more permanent targets. The long-term goal is to have 18 holes on campus with proper disc golf cages.”