A new 18-hole disc golf course is nearing completion on the Dodge City Community College campus. Located mainly around the residence halls and Lake Charles, the new course will be open to students, faculty and staff—as well as members of the community.
The course, which will be known as Conquistador Park Disc Golf Course, has been in development for more than a year, Christina Haselhorst, DCCC Foundation Director, said.
"There is growing interest in the world of disc golf." Haselhorst said. "Last summer, when the Marketing Department approached the Foundation to discuss the possibility of installing a course on campus, I was immediately intrigued. My own son, Matthew, is an avid disc golf player, and he often utilizes the course near his home at college."
After Haselhorst discussed the idea with college administration, potential donors, and DCCC Head Groundskeeper, Jared Stevens, a plan began to take shape, she said.
"We are excited to see that the installation for Conquistador Park is finally happening," she said. "The baskets are being installed first, and signage for each hole will be installed at a later date."
For those unfamiliar with the sport, the object is to successfully throw a plastic disc, which is similar to a Frisbee, into a disc-catching basket, Haselhorst said.
"On a recreational level, disc golf has all of the fun and challenges of traditional golf, but with very minimal expense for individuals," she said.
Like most disc golf courses, DCCC’s new course will be free to use and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, Haselhorst said.
"Disc golf is a sport that can be a lifelong activity for people of all ages and abilities," she said. "And the discs, which are relatively inexpensive, can be purchased practically anywhere."
Haselhorst said she thinks the new course will benefit not only DCCC students, but the community as well.
"For students, it gives them the opportunity to get outside and have a more complete experience of college life," she said. "And for our community college students, who usually just come to campus for class and then leave, it will give them another reason to stay on campus longer."
Conquistador Park will join two other public disc golf courses in the Dodge City area. One being Chilton Park’s Tortilla Chucker, and the other being Dodge City High School’s Demon Disc Golf Course near Demon Lake.
"We already have community members who come to the college to utilize the indoor walking track, the outdoor walking path, Lake Charles, and more," she said. "This is just another added activity that anyone can participate in, including visitors to Dodge City."
Regarding the course layout, Stevens said he would describe Conquistador Park as a typical disc golf course. It will feature railroad tie tee pads, hole signage and disc-catching baskets (with chain deflection assemblies) at the end of each hole.
"I came up with the design, and more than anything, I just used the natural layout of the campus to design it for me," he said. "I designed 99% of the course to be used on areas that we currently mow on a weekly or biweekly basis."
To play the 4,417-foot course, disc golfers will begin with hole No. 1 on the west side of campus near the Lewis Technology Center building, where there is ample public parking. They will then head south, eventually skirting around Lake Charles, and then back to the area where they started for hole No. 18.
Once Conquistador Park is completed, the DCCC grounds department will be responsible for maintaining it, Haselhorst said.
"It’s a relatively cost-free and upkeep-free asset for the college and the community," she said. "The baskets are highly durable and require almost no upkeep. The tee blocks will likely last many years as well before needing any replacement."
Conquistador Park is being sponsored by Dynamic Discs and the Greg and Linda Goff Family, who continue to display extraordinary generosity to DCCC. Although the course is expected to be completed in September, the Foundation is still accepting donations for the project that would allow for later course expansions, such as sponsored benches, additional signage, named holes, and additional shrubs and trees—for beautification and for course obstacles.
"The Conquistador Park Disc Golf Course will provide all age groups an opportunity to enjoy the DCCC campus, to get some exercise and to enjoy the beautiful lake area for years to come," Linda Goff, said.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Haselhorst said she is unsure about whether or not it will be feasible to have a public ribbon-cutting ceremony when the course is finished.
"We will evaluate that possibility after the course is completed to be sure that we would be allowed to have a grand opening," she said. "Regardless, we will have information released to the public and to DCCC students to announce that the course is open when the time comes. We are looking forward to the official ‘first throw’ and to see those discs flying!"