By Katie Gager, Student Reporter
The Department of Exercise Science and Health will celebrate the grand opening of the ACU Wildcat Disc Golf Course at 3 p.m. on April 28 at the Sherrod Park property. The course will be the third disc golf course located in the Abilene area. The other courses in town are at Cal Young and Will Hair parks.
Project director and manager Deonna Shake, instructor of exercise science and health, began work on the project in August 2008. For the last eight months, she has strived to raise funds and bring the community together to build the course.
“It takes a village to make a park, and there have been a lot of people that have helped,” Shake said. “People have provided different sources of encouragement, whether it’s prayer, a pat on the back or a word of encouragement.”
The course will include nine holes with room to expand, as well as the longest hole at least 650 feet long. It will be open to both the ACU community and the Abilene community. ACU will become one of seven universities in Texas that includes a disc golf course.
Jay and Des Reading, world champion disc golf professionals, will be arriving on campus Monday to design and plan the course. The Reading’s, while playing disc golf in the professional PDGA league, also help run a non-profit organization called Education Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) that provides “educators and youth organization leaders the tools for teaching a fun, easy-to-learn lifetime sport to young people,” according to its Web site.
“Our goal is to create a course geared to the college student that is both very beginner and recreation friendly and has some par four and fives that will challenge the more advanced players,” Jay said.
The Reading’s also will be back on campus for the grand opening April 28 to teach a beginners clinic, sign discs and participate in the official ribbon cutting.
“It’s going to be a nice thing for ACU as far as campus recruitment,” Jay said. “Disc golf has been around for quite a long time, but we are just getting to the point of main stream exposure where a lot more folks have heard of the game.”
More than 30 local businesses, as well as individual donors, sponsored the course. Shake said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“Things have been amazing how they have fallen into place,” Shake said. “I am excited about the quality of the course and how great it’s going to be.”