One of the activities at Nichols Park is relatively unknown to many but is becoming an enticement for out of town visitors.
For the past 10 years, Joshua Craig has been busy establishing a disc golf course that has attracted players from five different countries and 27 states to play it.
Craig told city council members Tuesday night that the course has grown from trees marked with ribbons to 24 holes that include both tone poles and chained baskets. “I have invested 12 years of my life in that,” he said, pointing out that all costs to date have been borne by him with no city money used.
He was requesting the city help in the purchase of regulation chain baskets at a cost of $10,402.
Craig said he thought the council meeting was going to be next Tuesday (Jan. 23) and had a former world champion disc golf player as well as 45 people from around the state planning to attend and talk about the sport.
He told the council Oklahoma is becoming known as the disc golf center in the nation. “Tulsa is the Mecca of disc Golf. More players are from there than anywhere else in the world. There are 23 courses in Tulsa.” He went on to say there are two courses in Checotah and one player there is in his 80s and plays regularly
Craig said he envisioned at least two tournaments a year held at Nichols Park including one as part of the Labor Day celebration. An 18-hole course can have up to five players per hold with up to 200 people playing in the tournament. A fee would be charged to the entrants with some of the money going to the state association and more money coming back to the city.
He said the city could benefit through added sales by the out of town contestants.
He is also looking for help establishing launch pads and signage showing the course layout. “That is usually sponsored by an individual or company,” he said. “Nine years ago I had 21 people ready to donate $600 each.”
Unable to act on any requests Tuesday night, council members asked him to return at the Feb. 20 meeting and bring them more information. “We will be able to act on that,” said mayor Jennifer Clason.