PARKS & RECREATION/County partners to build disc golf course
Patrick Prye’s stepson was competitive but small for his age. Consequently, he had trouble playing sports in which size and strength dictate success. Disc golf, which is played with Frisbee-like disks on a modified golf course, would give the boy an outlet for his energy, Prye reasoned.
The problem was that the closest disc golf course was 30 miles from Camden, S.C., where Prye lived. So, Prye asked the Kershaw County Parks Department if it could build a course nearby. He was told that the department could not fund a disc golf course. “I was a little skeptical about putting a course in Camden,” says James Davis, director of the department. “I had seen it in other areas, but I wasn’t sure that it would work here.”
However, while attending a nearby disc golf tournament, Prye met Harold Duvall, president of the eastern division of Innova, a disc golf equipment provider based in Rock Hill, S.C. Duvall offered to set up a portable course during Labor Day weekend to help measure interest in the sport. During the weekend, more than 200 people visited the course. “When we put in the temporary course, I found out that the community was interested,” Davis says.
Despite the fact that the interest was there, the county still did not have the money to purchase the necessary equipment, Prye says. But last fall, Duvall’s company offered to donate used equipment to set up a nine-hole course, and the Parks Department agreed to the installation.
A group of volunteers set up the course, again saving the county money. With a donated backhoe, the volunteers cleared a course path and installed the baskets that are the equivalent of golf holes.
In December, the county opened a nine-hole disc golf course in Scott Park that has drawn long-time fans as well as novices. It costs nothing to play the course, named King Haigler for “the patron saint of Camden,” a Native American who helped settle the area.
The course requires little upkeep. “It’s not a big maintenance problem,” Davis notes. “It really takes care of itself. It’s not like a baseball or soccer field that you have to mow every other week.”
With the success of the course, the department plans to add two nine-hole courses to Scott Park. The Camden Chamber of Commerce is selling business sponsorships for each hole to raise funds for the project. Prye hopes the expansion will be complete by this fall.