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Portage Lakes Disc Golf Course seeing rise in popularity

7/4/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Kim Godar is shown putting on hole No. 15 at the Portage Lakes Disc Golf Course at Portage Lakes State Park.
Photo courtesy of Steve Godar
NEW FRANKLIN — Now in its third year, the 18-hole Portage Lakes Disc Golf Course (PLDGC) is “getting more popular all the time,” said Steve Godar, vice president of the Portage Lakes Advisory Council.

“New people show up all the time,” he stated. “People of all ages play this sport, and it is a great way to spend a day walking and enjoying the beautiful Portage Lakes State Park, located on Manchester Road.”

According to Godar, the game of disc golf is “absolutely growing in popularity worldwide.”

“There are a few reasons for that,” he said. “First, the game is very challenging, competitive and very addictive. It can be played alone or with many others. Also, it is very economical to play. All a person needs is a disc or two to get started. They can cost from $10 to $20. Our course and most others are free to play. No reservations or tee times are necessary.”

Godar said disc golf can be played anytime for fun. However, for those interested in getting a little more serious about the sport, there are a couple of events coming up — starting with “Chain Shot” July 20.

“This is a no-entry-fee event in conjunction with Pirates Weekend festivities in the Portage Lakes [area] on July 19 to 21. This event is sponsored by Friess Welding,” Godar said. “The name ‘Chain Shot’ was chosen because a disc, when thrown at a basket, hits the chains and thus falls into the basket. It also refers to a shot pirates used to make from cannons that had two cannonballs attached by a chain that, when fired, could inflict much damage to the opponent’s ship.”

The “Chain Shot” tournament will begin at 9:30 a.m., with sign-ups starting at 9 a.m. In the general division, the winners will take home the following prizes: $75 for first place; $50 for second place; $20 for third place; and a free 2013 Portage Lakes Disc Golf Association (PLDGA) membership for fourth place. In the novice division, the first five places will get a free disc.

On Aug. 10, the course will host the first day of the two-day Summit County Disc Golf Championship.

“On Saturday, Aug. 10, 36 holes will be played at PLDGC. On Sunday, Aug. 11, 36 holes will be played at Hudson Springs Disc Golf Course in Hudson,” Godar said. “The lowest score for these two days combined will be the champion of Summit County. Cash prizes will be given to the winners.”

During the three years the course has been open, a number of improvements have been made to the course, Godar said.

“We have 36 concrete tee pads now, two per hole. This is where a person does his ‘run-up’ when preparing to throw his or her disc,” he said. “We are also in the process of installing alternate basket positions on every hole. Much like moving the pin in ‘ball golf’ on the green from place to place, we will now have the option of moving the basket on each hole to a different location. Holes are generally anywhere from 300 to 700 feet in length. Most are par 3s, with a few par 4s and one par 5.”

In addition, Godar stated, “basket blades” were added to each basket this year.

“These are bright orange metal blades that attach to the top of each basket for visibility and hole numbering,” he explained.

According to Godar, even more improvements are planned for the course in the future.

“We are currently working on permanent metal tee signs for each hole, both long and short tees — 36 signs total,” he said. “We are also considering an additional concrete tee pad on each hole, for a total of three per hole. These new pads will make each hole play a little longer should a person decide to use the longer pad. These pads will be considered ‘professional length’ tee pads for those that can throw a disc farther and straighter than most others.”

For more information about the PLDGC or sponsorship opportunities, call Godar at 330-644-0544 or email him at steve@pldga.com. Other information on the course and PLDGA is available at www.pldga.com.

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