Disc Golf is a rapidly growing sport in the United States, and a Sulphur Springs resident is currently working on getting a new course constructed in a local park.
Todd McCoy, a high school math teacher at Sulphur Springs High School, played a game very similar to disc golf when attending Texas A&M University-Commerce. The sport was called "Campus Golf", and involved throwing Frisbees at campus locations in as few throws as possible. While playing this game he heard of disc golf, and ever since he's been hooked.
McCoy was recently praying about what his next focus should be, and felt led to bring a disc golf course to the people of Sulphur Springs. He approached city manager Marc Maxwell, and the process began.
"I reached out and asked the city if they would be interested in having a disc golf course, and they said, 'Well, raise the funds for the baskets and the tee sgins and equipment and we'll install it.,'" McCoy said.
McCoy asked a professional disc golf course developer to submit a quote to the city for the cost of a professionally-developed course, but this proved to be too expensive. So McCoy decided to design the course himself, and the course is now projected to utilize about 4,500 feet of available space at Coleman Park.
"When designing the course I used some of the resources that are published by the PDGA," McCoy said. "As far as course development guidelines, the rule of thumb is 30 acres are needed for a professional championship course, but some courses can be done with as little as 6-10 acres. The course is about 4,500 feet from the first tee box to the 18th hole, which is close to the requirement for the minimum distance for a beginner-level, 18-hole course. A player can expect to walk about two miles playing on this course."
McCoy is convinced that this disc golf course can only be a benefit for the city.
"It adds another opportunity for community members to be outside and enjoy one of the city's great assets, Coleman Park," McCoy said. "The course would be free to use, and anyone who wants to play would only need to bring their own discs to play. There are courses in some of the surrouding area that are world-famous, and we have a culture that would come to the area that would stay in Sulphur Springs just to use this park."
This disc golf course will be free to use, but it wasn't free to develop and construct. To help cover expenses, McCoy raised money by selling sponsorships on the course.
"I sold sponsorships for the various level; a red and white tee sponsor for each hole. Local groups or organizations could purchase sponsorships of their hole, and in return I put the organization or business name on the tee sign," McCoy said. "The white level was a little bit pricier, as the organization could also add a logo or quote or scripture placed on the canopy of the baskets themselves."
The disc golf course has been approved by the city of Sulphur Springs, with approval of the proposal to install the disc golf course and the release of funds to construct the course on August 2. There's currently no clear completion date for the course, but McCoy is hopeful that Hopkins County residents will soon be able to play disc golf without having to drive to another county.
"There’s no clear set construction date at this point or a completion date, as the city reconstruction is going on across Sulphur Springs, but I think we should be able to play disc golf before the winter," McCoy said.
If you'd like to see McCoy's YouTube videos concerning his quest to bring disc golf to Sulphur Springs, click on this link: