BRIDGMAN — After a decade worth of use, Lake Township Clerk Bob Clark thought the municipality’s disc golf course could use some retooling.
This led to the municipality buying 10 acres in 2016, where the course’s renovation and redesigned soon began.
“Because of that (acquisition of property), we were able to move some of the existing holes,” Clark said. “(The 10 acres) used to be a paintball course, so it lent itself well to what we wanted to do because there were existing trails.”
The original 18-hole course at Lake Township Park, which is referred to as the Sand Ridge Disc Golf Course, was developed in 2004. The new course design included the installation of AstroTurf tee pads, improvement of the hole trails and new signs.
Clark said they also chose to redesign the course because some of the holes required disc golfers to throw across adjacent roads. Because of the park’s size, some of the holes were near the parking lots and required passing through soccer fields.
“Buying that land has allowed us to spread it out and keep what works,” Clark said. “If there were ever soccer games going on, players were unable to use the course.”
Larry Leonardi of Essential Discs redesigned the course and plotted what was the best layout. Leonardi has made a name for himself in Southwest Michigan, having also designed the disc golf course at Riverview Park in St. Joseph.
Clark said they’ve gotten positive feedback from disc golfers, especially when it comes to the new tee pads.
“They’re common in Europe,” Clark said. “It requires compacted gravel covered by turf material similar to what’s used on a football field. It’s not as hard on your knees and joints.”
Among those golfers who have taken a liking to the redesigned course is Royalton Township resident Chris Britton.
“It’s a great addition,” he said Thursday while practicing on Hole 18. “The new layout has a good flow to it. The variety of open and tight coursework has made this one of my favorite local courses.”
At 10801 Gast Road, the course was finished in late July in time for a disc golf tournament.
New signs that were added include a map that outlines the length of the fairway and placement of the hole. Each map is at the start of the fairway. Several companies and area organizations have also sponsored a hole, where their name can be seen on their respective sign.
The course has become popular in recent years, as it is free to the public and regularly hosts tournaments.
The Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce and Greater Bridgman Area Chamber of Commerce & Growth Alliance is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony 5-7 p.m. Sept. 26.
There will be disc golf demonstrations and tours of the course at the ribbon cutting.
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski