Reed City Disc Golf "sneak peek" draws a crowd

Official grand opening set for later this year

REED CITY — After three years in the making, the Reed City Disc Golf Course offered a “sneak peek” for disc golfers during the Great American Crossroads Celebration last weekend.

City council member Dan Burchette, who has been instrumental in getting the disc golf course at Rambadt Park and has put in many man-hours preparing the course, told the Pioneer the sneak-peek event was a great success.

“It went really great,” Burchette said. “We had about 40 participants — men, women and children — that showed up. Everybody was excited to be out there, to participate in something new. They truly can’t wait to get this thing up and going with the permanent baskets and tee pads.”

He added they even had some people from Texas show up to the event.

“They happened to be in the area, and they are disc golfers,” he said. “They saw that this was a new course going in and decided to check it out. They said they loved it,"

Burchette said most of the feedback from the participants was positive, with most players saying they like that the course is short, but very technical.

Most courses are long, and it is a long and strong throw in wide open areas from the tee pad to the basket, he explained. This course is anywhere from 105 feet to 250 feet, with the shorter courses of 105 feet to 170 feet being very technical.

“They have trees in front of them, or are up or down hill,” Burchette said. “The people seemed to like that. It is nice for those that can’t throw real far, with the shorter distances.”

The only negative feedback received, he said, was that there are some “angle twisters” and “toe stumpers.”

“We didn’t really have a lot of that (negative feedback), and what we did get is stuff we already knew about that needed to be taken care of,” he said. “Things like that you will find in any new course and that is something we will work on over time.”

Three rounds of 18 holes were played, with prizes handed out to those that participated.  Several local business owners donated food vouchers, gift cards and other freebies, Burchette said.

“I had about 40 donations from different businesses in town, so for the most part, everybody won something,” he said. “Everybody that paid the $20 entry fee received a free disc.”

Awards were given for closest to the pin, furthest putt and holes-in-one.

“We had three holes-in-one,” Burchette said. “For those that didn’t win on the course, we had a putting contest, so they had a chance to win.”

Burchette said he was very pleased with the turn out, and the next step will be to install the permanent baskets, tee pads and signage, which he hopes can be completed by the end of September or early October.

“I would like to have an official grand opening and ribbon cutting this year and would like to have everything in by that time,” he said. “The money is there; it is just a matter of having the time and getting the volunteers to help.”

Originally approved by city council in 2019, the project was temporarily halted when questions emerged as to whether proper procedures were followed in contracting for the work on the course.

Attorney Dave Porteous later informed the city council it was his determination that under city code it would be necessary for the city to bid out for the materials and installation of the course.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns caused further delays and, finally, in 2021 council awarded the bid for design, construction and installation of the course to Steve Hedstrom with Disc Golf Course Design. However, Hedstrom told the council at the time they were too far behind to have the project completed by the end of that summer.

Volunteer groups worked throughout the summer to clear brush from the pathways. The following summer, strong storms in the area caused further delays when trees and limbs were blown down in the course area. When volunteers were finally allowed back into the area, the work to clear the pathways began again.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Burchette said. “Two years of blood, sweat and tear were put into this course, with mother nature kicking us in the face last year. She won the battle, but she didn’t win the war because we are up and running and ready to open.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or purchasing a RCDGC T-shirt can reach out to Burchette on the Reed City Disc Golf Club Facebook page.