By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — A disc golf course may be in Greenville’s future.
Local resident Jasan LaSasso is a member of the Capital Region Disc Golf Club and presented a proposal to install a disc golf course along the nature trail at Vanderbilt Park on Route 32.
“Disc golf is like traditional golf but instead of a club and a ball, you throw a Frisbee at a target and basket,” LaSasso told the town board at its July meeting. “Score is kept in the same way — you keep strokes, and you want as few strokes as possible. It’s played in the woods and fields — in the woods you use the trees and stone walls as obstacles and there’s a lot of hiking. It’s like going for a walk with a purpose.”
Disc golf was formalized in the 1970s, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.
“A disc golf hole begins from a tee area and ends at a target, the most common of which is an elevated metal basket,” according to the group’s website. “As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive throw from the spot where the previous throw landed… When the ‘putt’ lands in the basket, the hole is complete.”
LaSasso said the town park’s nature trails would be a good place to install a small disc golf course. The game can be played with either an 18-hole course or a 9-hole course. LaSasso’s proposal is for a 9-hole course.
“I think there are all sorts of good opportunities at Vanderbilt Park to put in 9-hole loops,” he said. “There’s underutilized parts of the park that are overgrown along stone walls, parts that don’t have any trails, and the disc golf course could bring people in. It would also give locals another activity to do at Vanderbilt Park.”
The sport is low impact, LaSasso said.
“The targets are baskets that are essentially on fence posts,” he said. “It doesn’t require any trees to be cut, only brush and trees that are in danger of falling. It’s low cost — the targets are about $400 each.”
The course would be installed and maintained by volunteers. LaSasso’s club has over a hundred members and they travel around the Capital Region sprucing up disc golf courses and spreading awareness of the sport.
Disc golf can be played year-round, he added.
Town Supervisor Paul Macko asked if there are other courses in Greene County.
There was a course at Hunter Mountain but it is currently closed, LaSasso said. The next nearest course is at Joralemon Park in Coeymans Hollow, and there are several others around neighboring Albany County.
Town attorney Tal Rappleyea said there is also a disc golf course in Columbia County.
“There’s one across the river in Chatham near the town hall,” Rappleyea said. “A lot of people were not very receptive of it and they were quite skeptical, and now, five or six years later, it’s really very popular and they’ve done a beautiful job with it.”
LaSasso has also been in talks with the local group Community Partners of Greenville, which agreed to fund half the cost of installing the disc golf course. The club would also hold fundraising events to help fund the project.
A 9-hole course would cost about $5,000 in total, and Community Partners agreed to put up half of the funding, or $2,500, Community Partners President Bill Von Atzingen said.
Macko asked if the course could be installed by the end of this year.
“If we had approval, we could start cleaning up the brush and easily get it in this year,” LaSasso responded.
The town council voted unanimously to support the project.