Disc golf course, born out of volunteer effort, proves popular in Gill

  • Amanda Mazzaferro of Leominster plays disc golf at the former Oak Ridge Golf Club in Gill, where she tosses at the fifth hole while playing with her brother, Jason Mazzaferro. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Jason Mazzaferro of Leominster plays disc golf at the former Oak Ridge Golf Club in Gill, where he tosses at the fifth hole while playing with his sister, Amanda Mazzaferro. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 3/3/2021 6:24:00 PM
Modified: 3/3/2021 6:23:56 PM

GILL — Thanks to a group of local disc golf players who volunteered their time, a new disc golf course has opened at the former Oak Ridge Golf Club where West Gill Road meets Center Road.

The course opened in January, after about four months of work, and has proven to be a hit, according to Tyler Mount, who designed the course and organized work days in the fall.

“It’s incredible. I’m sitting in the parking lot, about to play a round, and the parking lot is full,” he said on a phone call Sunday afternoon. “The interest is through the roof.”

The former Oak Ridge Golf Club closed in early 2019, when the owners filed for bankruptcy. The following winter, the property was purchased by Jim and Denise Elwell of Greenfield. They have maintained it, but have not redeveloped it yet.

Mount said he approached the Elwells about building a disc golf course over the summer. They agreed, but only after setting up a smaller, temporary course on the property to demonstrate that there would be interest in a local disc golf course, Mount said.

A volunteer effort to expand the temporary course was coordinated in the fall, mostly through a Facebook page dedicated to the Oak Ridge Disc Golf Club, which can be found at bit.ly/3uTjfz8.

Now that the course has developed into a full 18-hole disc golf course, interest has remained high, Mount said. When the club opened registration for its April tournament, tickets sold out in under a minute, Mount said.

It has not only attracted experienced players, but new ones as well. Mount said the club’s Facebook page is accommodating to newcomers, even to the point of explaining the basic rules of the game.

“Everything is exactly like golf,” he said — the rules, the scoring system, the parts of the course. “It’s really just golf with a different projectile.”

Beginners may be well suited to a Sunday league that Mount said will likely open in April.

The disc golf course is open to the public. Admission is collected in a dropbox by the parking lot, per the honor system, Mount explained. It is $5 for a full day.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-930-4231.

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