COLUMBIA, Mo. — A dedication and grand opening ceremony was held Thursday for the Strawn Park and Harmony Bends Championship Disc Golf Course in Columbia.
This is now the fourth disc golf course in the Columbia area.
Premier disc golf course designer John Houck designed the 18-hole course.
Houck said the city of Columbia wanted this course to be something which would host great tournaments that bring people into town.
“This is kind of what we call a championship destination type course with the higher par and more intricate fairways,” Houck said. “There’s three things that we always look for on a great property for disc golf and that is, interesting topography, nice, big trees and good water features and usually we’re happy if we have two, this course has all three in spades It was a great place for disc golf.”
Houck has designed nearly 100 disc golf courses throughout the country.
Harmony Bends will open officially with the Mid-America Open Disc Golf Tournament, which starts Friday and runs through the weekend.
Gabe Wilkerson is the president of the Columbia Disc Golf Club.
He said this course will attract professional and touring players from around the country.
“It’s going to make all of us better players in general, we’re learning new things,” Wilkerson said. “The features on this course they don’t exist anywhere else.” “The fact that the greens have been terraced in with boulders, there’s landing zones cut into the sides of hills, there’s t-pads that have been straightened out and flattened out on hill sides and built up so there’s no other disk golf course like it.” “We think that’s going to do a lot to bring in traveling disc golfers that want to play something that’s either unique or challenging or just plain easily accessible like a lot of things in Columbia.”
Robert Sotta has been playing disc golf since 1996 and will be playing in the tournament this weekend.
“It’s a true family sport,” Sotta said. “I started my son playing when he was six-years-old and he’s been playing ever since, he doesn’t play professionally or anything, he just loves the sport.”
Columbia Parks and Recreation officials say funding for Strawn Park came from the 2010 Park Sales Tax in the amount of $125,000.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Development Fund also donated $30,000.
The park is not complete though. Columbia Parks and Recreation officials said the next phase of construction at the park will include another 18-hole disc golf course. The 2015 Park Sales Tax will fund that phase.
For ways to get involved with disc golf in Columbia, you can visit the Columbia Disc Golf Club’s website for more information.