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City hosts grand opening for new disc golf course

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By Shannon Brock

A crowd of about 30 attended the city's grand opening of its disc golf course Saturday at the city park.

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Lawrenceburg Mayor Edwinna Baker cut the ceremonial ribbon and made the first official throw at the course.

As part of the grand opening events, the city hosted a "closest to the pin" contest. Discs were given away as prizes to the five closest throws and the five furthest away. Baker also gave discs to the oldest person, who was 50, and the youngest person, who was 15, in attendance.

City Clerk Robbie Hume said discs and disc bags will be available for purchase at city hall. Hume is also working to get the concession at the park open on Saturdays to sell discs and bags, he said.

The nine-hole course was designed by Everett Lasley of Nicholasville, who was also in attendance. Lasley, who has designed several other courses throughout the state, demonstrated the proper way to throw a disc and gave those in attendance a brief history of the recreational sport.

According to the website for the Disc Golf Association (www.discgolfassoc.com), modern-day disc golf began in the late 1960s. Early Frisbee golf courses were "object courses," where players aimed at trees, fire hydrants, light poles and anything else that could serve as a target.

"Steady" Ed Headrick is considered the father of disc golf, as he designed the modern-day Frisbee while working for Wham-O Toys in the '60s and invented the first Disc Pole Hole, which is now commonly called "the basket." The basket is a pole extending up from the ground with chains and a basket where the disc lands, according to the DGA website. The first disc golf course was built in what is now Pasadena, Calif.

Most disc golf courses have nine to 18 holes, according to the website.

Disc golf is played similarly to regular or "ball golf." Instead of using golf clubs to aim balls into holes, disc golfers use discs and aim at the basket. Also like regular golf, disc golfers use different discs to drive, make mid-range shots and putt.

However, disc golf is the cheaper of the two sports as golfers do not have to pay to play courses and discs can be purchased for around $10.

Avid disc golfers usually carry 20-25 discs at a time while playing a course.

According to the DGA website, there are over 2,500 disc golf courses in the United States. Between 7 million and 10 million people have played the game. Since 1976, there have been over 24,000 members of the Professional Disc Golf Association. Pro players compete in more than 390 sanctioned tournaments and a Worlds Championship each year.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.