Fundraiser started for Northfield disc golf course

  • In this file photo, Jeff Fleury, of Hatfield, drives his disc while playing disc golf in 2016 at the Meadows Golf Course in Greenfield. If fundraising goes according to plan, Northfield Mountain Recreation Area could be getting its own course in the not so distant future. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/3/2020 11:49:38 AM
Modified: 7/3/2020 11:49:26 AM

The Northfield Mountain Recreation Area could soon be the location of an 18-hole disc golf course following a recent fundraising campaign.

A GoFundMe, which can be found at https://bit.ly/31drslh, was started by Tyler Mount, a Northfield resident. According to Mount, he is having discussions with FirstLight’s environmental and legal departments to discuss the plans for the 18-hole disc golf course, which Mount hopes to have in place for the fall. It would be named the Northfield Farms Disc Golf Course.

“There’s just some red tape that we need to cross now,” Mount said.

The goal, Mount said, is to create a challenging, championship-level course available to all ages and abilities, and to inspire healthy, active lifestyles. The GoFundMe marks the first phase of fundraising for the course, which will ultimately include 18 permanent baskets, turf tee pads and a practice basket.

“The project started this spring,” Mount said. “One day I said, ‘Why isn’t there a course here?’ So I went and asked, and they said ‘Go for it.’” 

If fundraising continues steadily, Mount said they could be ready to order equipment and begin installing the course by the fall. Much of the mapping and planning of the course has already been taken care of, and Mount said they are looking into setting up a temporary course at some point in early July through the company Fly By Disc Golf, so people can get a sense of the course and play before the permanent installation.

Once the plan is approved with FirstLight, Mount said how quickly the project will be completed depends on how many volunteers he can get together on a given day. All the labor will be done by volunteers from the disc golf community. According to Mount, the sport has a large community base despite the fact there are only a few disc golf courses in the area.

“There’s a few in Western Mass., but they’re out of the way and they’re not the challenge people are looking for,” Mount said.

Courses in the area include the Northampton State Hospital Disc Golf Course, Highlands Disc Golf Course in Conway, and the Tully Lake Disc Golf Course in Royalston. In addition to creating a “competitive course,” Mount wanted to offer another option as the sport continues to grow in popularity. During the lasting COVID-19 pandemic, Mount estimated there has been a 10 to 15 percent increase in people on the courses as they look to get outdoors.

“It’s hiking with a purpose, that’s what a lot of disc golfers say,” Mount said. “If you like being outside, having fun and seeing beautiful properties, disc golf is for you. You can’t have a bad time playing disc golf.”

Mount said he got into the sport through a friend. He has played “competitively” for a little more than five years now, traveling around New England and the country to participate in anywhere from 15 to 20 sanctioned tournaments in a normal year. He has played over 80 different courses across the United States.

After one week, the campaign had already raised over $3,000. With additional donations made outside of the GoFundMe, Mount said the project is well on its way to meeting the $8,500 goal. According to the GoFundMe page, the steady stream of donations range from $20 to $500 per donor.

Disc golf is a sport continuing to grow in popularity across New England, and the nation. The game shares many similarities to golf. Players use different discs for different purposes. Some fly farther, while some are more stable for up-close accuracy. A throw off the tee pad is a “drive,” and close-up tosses are “putts.” A hole-in-one is called an “ace” in disc golf. If someone were to play a regular 18-basket course, it could take about two hours to complete the game.

Mount said the course will offer sponsorship opportunities for those interested. Each hole on the course can be sponsored, and will be adorned with a plaque featuring the name or company name of the sponsor on the basket of their choice. Sponsorships for holes are available on a first come, first serve basis. Anyone with hole sponsorship inquiries can email Mount at tm665@rocketmail.com.


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