This article is brought to you by The Bryan Times
By Jonathan Leblanc firstname.lastname@example.org
Sep 11, 2022
Andy Miller, who is an administrator of the Fountain City Flyers Disc Golf Club, tosses a disc that hits the chains to finish the No. 4 hole on Wednesday at the disc golf course in Opdycke Park in Montpelier. Miller also helped design the course.
Photo by Jonathan LeBlanc
MONTPELIER — The disc golf course at Opdycke Park opened on Oct. 30, 2021, with cold temperatures and winter fast approaching.
But now, more than 10 months later, the new trek has gotten plenty of use — and positive reception.
The course has an average 4.5/5 rating with 194 reviews on UDisc.com, an app available to look up locations of over 13,000 disc golf courses with course layouts, leaderboards and the ability to track your shots and scores.
“It’s been really good,” said Andy Miller, one of the three course designers, on the reception of the course Wednesday. “It is a very stark difference from the Bryan course (at Recreation Park) that’s close by. We have a tighter, more wooded (course here) and that’s a more open park-style course.”
“I’ve had people tell me they’ve liked the challenge of the course,” Williams County Engineer Todd Roth said. “The other courses — at least in the county — are relatively flat and we have ... features that really we don’t see a lot of in this area.”
The 18-hole course, which is a par 58 and is more wooded and hilly with narrow areas and some water hazards, has also attracted people from out of Williams County, including disc golfers from the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area, Miller said.
“We had a guy on a cross country trip that was just hitting everything along the turnpike as he goes across. Stopped, played two hours, loved it,” he said. “It’s been very well received.
“A new course, good signs, good tee pads, new baskets and maintained by the county. They do all the mowing and all the maintenance. They installed everything. We helped the design — we did some of the clearing — but county labor, machines and it’s been played a lot,” Miller said.
The course cost about $35,000 and was funded by donations from the Bryan Area Foundation and the Fountain City Flyers Disc Golf Club, of which Miller is an administrator.
The project started when Stan Tipton, another course designer, met with the Williams County Park Board in 2020. The county and volunteers then helped clear the area and route the course.
“You think about it, the idea came from a member of the community in Stan. The volunteers were members of the community — Andy and that group of people — and then obviously the Bryan Area Foundation with their support made it happen,” Roth said. “And the (Williams County) commissioners. I got to include the commissioners there, because (of) putting money in and just (they) were willing to work with us in getting the project done. “It’s definitely a community project and I think a plus for the community.”
Disc golfers aren’t the only people using the course, either. Roth said he’s had people tell him they’ve solely walked the course and came away impressed.
“It’s fantastic,” Roth said. “And I’ve had a few people come in and (walked) it. They really enjoyed it, whether it be taking their dog on a leash or walking the course. It’s a pleasant walk, whether you’re playing disc golf or not.
“For me, that’s a win-win. It gets more people there and using the facilities in general, whether it be disc golf or just walking or whatever it might be.”
The project is also a resounding accomplishment for people who’ve wanted to see a course in the park for a long time, Miller said.
“It’s been a dream of people for 15 years to have a course out here,” he said. “We’ve always had one in (Recreation Park) and there’s soccer and there’s baseball and stuff everywhere. People cramped and then we’re chucking frisbees and there’s kids climbing trees. It’s dangerous.
“So, especially in the past few years through COVID-19, the popularity (of disc golf) has gone through the roof. So now you got new people, and they’re just chucking everywhere and having fun, but you come out here and there’s no one around.”
Even with the harder layout, Miller said people have come to really enjoy the course design and hopes more people come out to try disc golf and the course.
“It’s harder — it’s in the woods — but it’s a new style. And it’s really nice because I thought it would discourage more people than it did,” Miller said. “Because you can throw it in the creek... You could lose a disc, you could be getting ticks running through the rough. It’s hard in some parts, but I think people appreciate the challenge and I’ve been very, very surprised with the reception. “... It’s more than we could ask for.”