Troy Recreation’s plans to stay on par

Published 9:30 am Friday, March 24, 2023

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By Caleb Thomas

Before Daniel Samac started playing disc golf competitively, he would play “object golf” – throwing discs at trees or benches – around the Troy University campus after it cleared out at night.

The 2017 TROY graduate, who is now the captain of a disc golf team in Crestview, Fla., talked about the difficulty of playing the rapidly-growing sport in Troy.

A disc golf course is on the way to Troy. (Photo by Caleb Thomas)

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“A reason why I was a casual player for so long is because I could only really play disc golf in the summers,” said Samac, who started playing tournaments in 2020. “With the lack of courses in the area, it would be almost impossible for a serious player to keep up.”

However, Troy Parks and Recreation has plans to add a 27-basket disc golf course and other amenities such as pickleball courts, pending funding approval. Disc golf players in Troy would no longer have to drive to Enterprise or Montgomery in order to play on a real course.

“We’re trying to make sure we meet all the needs of the youth, the adults and the seniors of Troy,” said Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation. “We realize the demand and the need (for the proposed additions) and we want to continue to enhance the quality of life.”

A 27-basket course would be one of the largest in the state, providing plenty of room for casual and competitive players alike. Disc golf is an affordable, beginner-friendly sport, making it a solid addition to any city.

“There’s no fee to play like at a golf course, and the only equipment you need is your discs and a good pair of tennis shoes.” said Smith. “It’s also a family sport that both parents and children can play together.”

Because of the wide variety of people who can play disc golf, it has been one of the fastest growing sports in the world. In 2020 and 2021, there were over 7,500 U.S. courses opened, according to the Professional Disk Golf Association.

Photo by Caleb Thomas

“Coming out of a pandemic, disc golf allowed you to be outside in smaller groups, while still being active,” said Samac. “The growth has been essentially exponential.”

Along with the rapid growth of the sport comes economic benefits for the towns that have courses. Tournaments can bring in revenue, along with the money spent by people traveling to play at a course.

“People travel to other cities for mountain bike trails, pickleball and disc golf,” said Smith. “If the demand is there, people will find the facilities, even if they have to drive an hour.”

While the disc golf course and other expansions planned by Troy Parks and Recreation are just concepts at the moment, the hope is to get word on them soon.

“Our goal is to have the project approved to move forward in the next six months,” Smith said. “We just ask everyone to be patient and supportive.”