Henryetta’s disc golf course at Nichols Park is becoming a regional attraction.
It is going to get more attention as soon as the state starts issuing specialized car tags with a view of the lake used as the artwork.disc golf tag
Course developer Joshua Craig made that announcement Wednesday as guest speaker at the Henryetta Rotary Club meeting.
The tag shows a photo of the bright yellow basket on the rock ledge above the lake. A part of the proceeds from the specialty tag will be sent to the Oklahoma Disc Golf Foundation.
Rotarians were looking for information about the course and disc golf in general since they are considering hosting a tournament fundraiser.
Craig said Nichols Park has three courses. One is a nine-hole course designed to appeal to youngsters and people just getting into the game. The two other courses, an 18-hole and one 24-hole are rated the third and fourth best courses in the state. A person playing the entire course layout at Nichols will walk over time miles.
“We are getting players driving from Dallas on a weekend to play here,” he said.
In the process now is a master layout showing the entire course that will be placed on a platform at the parking lot. The layout is being paid for through a donation by American Exchange Bank.
The course has large sandstone boulders with metal plates attached that show the layout for that particular hole. Each hole has been mapped for GPS by local surveyor Jason Lilly. By using the UDISC app, players can not only find the nearest course but also see within six feet where a particular hole is on the course.Craig, a native of Dewar, said he started playing with his brother on a course in Okmulgee. They built their own baskets and brought them to Nichols Park for a day of play then took them home. Now he spends at least a couple of weekends maintaining the course with weeding and tree trimming.
The discs are not the typical Frisbee-style found in discount stores. “They are plastic weigh between 150 to 180 grams and have a hard ridge on them. You don’t play catch with them.”
Throwing the discs is a matter of skill and practice. Some of the players can throw the discs between 600 and 700 feet at speeds approaching 90 miles per hour.
He said the sport is growing, especially with the covid pandemic. “The number of players has tripled across the United States and the number of courses have doubled. A lot of high schools in the northern states have started putting disc golf as part of their curriculum.” The cost is relatively inexpensive to get started. “A three-disc set costs about $30.” That cost can go up as players add to their collection. Craig told the club he normally carries around 24 discs in his bag when he plays.
The park hosted the state championship tournament last fall. Craig said that brought in 168 players and booked 65 motel rooms. “There were 400 people at the park that weekend,” he said.
Next month the Oklahoma Masters tournament for disc golf players 40 and above will be held at Nichols. Craig said he is in the running for the state title.