Tournament marks opening of disc golf course

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Disc golf, a sport that has been growing in popularity, now has another venue in the county at Niehaus Park, located at 403 W. Sixth St. in Huntingburg.

The 18-hole course will have its official kickoff Saturday with the Niehaus Park Open, a Professional Disc Golf Association-sanctioned tournament. That designation is equivalent to the PGA for golf.

The course was completed in November. Since then, 10 to 15 people have played on it each week, said Aaron Altstadt, president of the Dubois County Disc Golf Association, which is hosting the tournament.

“The course is a lot more popular than what people thought it would be,” Altstadt said. “We’re seeing people from all over southern Indiana coming there to play already, even from Henderson (Kentucky) and Owensboro (Kentucky).”

Altstadt, who has been playing disc golf for about four years, suggested the idea of the course to his father, Huntingburg Parks Director Larry Altstadt. Last summer, a group of Leadership Academy members — Evelyn Rivas, Brad Riker, Melanie Arehart, Allison Pund and Danika Fleck — approached the park director to discuss having a project for the park that would be their capstone project for the academy.

“Our team had a common goal of creating a project to inspire more members of our community to spend more time outdoors,” Arehart said. “(Larry Aldstadt) shared several projects the department had on their wish list. We felt that building a disc golf course had the most universal impact on the community.”

The Huntingburg Park Board signed off on the project last June.

The leadership academy group, which called themselves the “Flying Discs,” learned as much as they could about disc golf, created a fundraising plan that was completed with the community’s help, and hired Nick Fest and Dave Prevo to design and install the course. The southern Indiana duo has created several courses that rank among the top 10 in the state.

Work started last summer and the course was done and playable in November. The parks department installed bridges over ditches in the last week.

People are enjoying the sport and the new course, Aaron Altstadt said. Not only is it fun, he said, it is fairly inexpensive to play; the different types of discs needed cost between $5 and $18, he said.

“It’s not hard to learn, but it is hard to be good at,” he said. “You can pick up tips from YouTube and [other] videos, but the only way you really learn it is by doing it.”

The Dubois County Disc Golf Club has leagues that play at 10 a.m. every Sunday at various course locations. The club lists its schedule on its Facebook page.

Along with the Niehaus Park course, there is an 18-hole disc golf course at the 4-H Fairgrounds and a 9-hole course at 18th Street Park in Ferdinand. There are also courses at St. Meinrad Archabbey and at Patoka Lake.

The Niehaus Park course will likely rank well on the state listings for disc golf courses, Larry Altstadt said.

“It has woods; it has flat areas,” he said. “It is challenging enough for professionals, but easy enough for beginners. Both can play it and have a good time playing it.”

The Niehaus Park Open starts Saturday with check-in from 8 to 9 a.m. A players meeting will be held at 9:15 a.m. and tee time is set for 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be around noon with tee time for round two starting at 1 p.m.

The fee to register for the tournament is $55 for pro divisions, $45 for all advanced divisions and $35 for all other divisions. Players that are not PDGA members would add an additional $10 to the division fee.

To register for the tournament or become a corporate sponsor, contact Aaron Altstadt at amaltstadt_5@yahoo.com or 812-630-7530. A player can also register online through discgolfscene.com; the Niehaus Park Open is listed under the “Tournaments” tab.




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