Sarasota is working to bring disc golf to Payne Park, thanks to the Florida's Professional Disc Golf Association state coordinator, who happens to live in Sarasota.
The City Commission approved direction for city staff to work with Bryan Moore with the Disc Golf Association to design and develop a 9-hole disc golf course for the park off of Adams Lane. The city's Recreation and Environmental Protection Advisory Board already gave its blessing to the plan, having to OK it since such a course was not in the Payne Park master plan.
First of all, how do you play this game?
Players use a variety of sizes and weights of discs called a putter, approach and driver, and most people play with three to five discs. Serious players use a bag of 10 to 15 discs, according to Moore. You can pick these up at area sporting goods stores for $7 to $15.
Moore also plans to bring Sun King Disc Sports into the mix by partnering with the Payne Park Skate Shop to sell discs.
As you move along the course, you aim for a tee that has a basket around it and try to get the disc into the basket. The player with the fewest throws making it into the tees wins.
DiscGolf.com has much, much more on the finer points of the game.
Moore's vision is a free course that's open to the public attracting all ages and skill. Moore had approached the city in 2011 about the course and told The Herald-Tribune the park would see more use:
"'Payne Park is an underutilized facility,' Moore said. 'This 9-hole will draw more foot traffic to the park. We also plan on using blue and red tees, for beginners and seasoned players, so it will be great for everyone.'"
In a briefing document prepared by Moore, he estimates that a good course could attract 20 to 70 players daily, host 72-90 players in a tournament and the game takes one to three hours to play.
Moore also has the backing of Discraft, which makes those flying discs, a spokesman for the company told The Herald-Tribune:
"'Bryan is a longtime experienced disc golf pro, with a number of courses installed under his belt. He's been playing professional disc golf for many years,' said Brian Sullivan, spokesperson for Discraft, Inc., one of the leading manufacturers in the disc sports world and Moore's corporate sponsor."
Public disc golf course growth has exploded in the last five years, going from 1,000 courses to 3,000 courses, according to a background document prepared by Moore.
It shouldn't be a problem to find these players. Sarasota already has its own club, the Sarasota Sky Pilots that has about 600 members.
And to bring it to Sarasota, it should only cost a tad under $6,000, according to city documents:
"Equipment Cost Estimate
9 baskets $3,150
9 tee signs $450
design fee $450
install fee $0 *(SSP volunteer network)
tee pads $1,800
Moore, a 2003 finalist for the Professional Disc Golf Association Rookie of the Year award, also designed and installed disc golf courses at Peace Lutheran Church and School in Bradenton and designed a temporary course at Bobby Jones Executive Golf Course.
The next step is for Moore to come back to the commissioners and present his design and plan.