Disc golf could be heading to Hillsboro

A disc golf course could be in Hillsboro’s future if organizers can get the necessary funding, according to information presented at the city council meeting Jan. 22.

Hillsboro Mayor Lou Thurston asked Jerry Schwilling, who along with Doug Sisk, recreation director, hope to launch the project.

Schwilling said: “I am a disc golfer, and when we moved here last summer, I liked playing disc golf every day and there’s not a disc golf in Hillsboro.

“I designed a disc golf course in our previous city, and (without a course here) I’m traveling to play in other towns most days. But, I would rather just do that right here.”

Sisk said Schwilling has already designed a course and is using it at the sports complex and park.

“Right now, he’s using trees as targets,” Sisk said.

Schwilling met with the recreation commission, too, and board member Clint Corby talked about an association with the Hillsboro schools, he said.

According to Sisk, the conversation with Schwilling and the rec commission board was about a partnership of sorts in which the school would be interested in a disc golf club.

“College students are also looking for something to do that’s not destructive,” Sisk added.

Mayor likes idea

Thurston said he thought the idea of a disc golf course was good.

“It would meet the needs of a variety of people,” he said, “because not all of us can play softball anymore or swing a golf club.

“And, who is going to maintain the course?” he asked.

Sisk said the maintenance of the course would only require mowing and weed-eating equipment around that area.

Another question Thurston asked was about vandalism.

Schwilling said the “disc catcher” is an elevated metal basket that’s placed in the ground, and in a sleeve, before being locked down.

It’s possible, he added, that someone could vandalize the course by using bolt cutters to steal the baskets.

But, with a lock, Schwilling said he didn’t think this would be a problem in the Hillsboro community.

City councilman Byron McCarty asked Schwilling if he had seen the course at Marion County Lake.

“I have played that course a number of times,” he said, “and it’s good.”

Tournaments were also discussed by the council, and Schwilling said he has been in touch with a person from Discs Unlimited.

“Running a tournament requires more knowledge than what I have,” he said, “but I have participated in tournaments.”

Schwilling also said that if we get a good portion of the grant money he requested, then nine holes could be put in this year, and request again next year the other nine holes.

“It doesn’t have to all go in at once,” he said. “We could get the equipment for the first nine holes.”

Purpose for visit

Thurston asked what Schwilling wants from the city of Hillsboro.

“At this time,” Schwilling said, “we are looking for permission to place the course on city property.

“If the city wanted to put money into it, that would be great, but that’s not what we are asking for.”

Sisk said Schwilling is also being asked to draw up a proposal for the Hillsboro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The CVB is interested in bringing people into our community, and we think the disc golf course is one of those ways to bring people to Hillsboro,” Sisk said.

Other ideas, Thurston said, could include enhancing other events or activities by adding things like disc golf.

Where would it be?

The course would include the area between the Hillsboro Municipal Airport and the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course, and the Marion County fairgrounds and Hillsboro Memorial Park, Schwilling said.

The estimated cost of the initial equipment, which would be the disc-catching baskets, for a nine-hole course with a practice basket, too, would be $2,185-$3,575, he said.

The variation in price would depend on the quality of baskets purchased, he added.

If Schwilling does receive a grant, the nine-hole course could be ordered and installed as early as spring.

The council, in other business:

◼ approved vouchers in the amount of $279,962.

◼ approved a conditional use permit requested by Fred Silhan, who purchased a building north of Grand and Ash streets (104 N. Ash St.) for the purpose of storing and maintaining personal equipment.

Written By
More from Patty Decker
Welding school receives new spark of energy
Hutchinson Community College recently recognized the Hillsboro Welding Center as one of...
Read More