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Riverview Disc Golf course grand opening held May 15

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Player Gaige Accardi throws the disc as he joins a group playing the course.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Player Gaige Accardi throws the disc as he joins a group playing the course.
Published May 19. 2010 05:00PM

A project envisioned in the fall of 2009 became reality on May 15 when the Riverview Disc Golf Club course held its grand opening on a day coinciding with Armed Forces Day.

With the concept in mind, Michael Solt said he came down before Christmas and walked the course. As soon as snow let up they got the baskets. Solt describes himself as a supporter of the sport who has a course design and consulting-services business out of Jim Thorpe.

It is a combination hobby-business and he said all courses he has installed are free of charge.

Solt said people came from 1-1/2 hours away to participate in the opening day. There were people on the course at 8 a.m.

Twelve to 15 local disc golf players volunteered to help make the trail, though people from the Carbon County prison made the large cuts, said Solt.

He said the auger used to dig holes to place the baskets weighed 300 pounds but "We dragged it through there."

A practice basket was brought from Solt's backyard. It has a stand instead of being in the ground and was near the registration table for anyone to use.

Currently there are nine baskets, but plans are to create another nine across the street. "We have to check the property borders before planning," he said.

Playing the nine in both directions (18) covers 3,636 feet at par 54.

East Penn Park Commission director William Schwab said, "These people have been working hard. They were out and cleared up wind damage this morning. They are tremendous volunteers."

A soccer field at the far end of the parking lot and a pavilion near the beginning of the disc golf course are waiting for permits.

He stressed that everything in the park will be free since it is a public park.

The East Penn Fire Department was on hand with its mobile snack bar and Alice Berger brought students from the Carbon County Technical Institute to sell water and beef jerky. Most of the CCTI profits will support the yearbook. Students will get community service hours for participating.

Berger is a phys ed teacher and adviser for the yearbook. She said all the organizations at the school do fundraising. A running record is kept of student participation and the money is used to lower the cost of activities.

Solt said they were calling the grand opening event a Jamboree so people can see what disc golf is all about. Also, players are invited to suggest ways to improve the course.

Jeff Kistler said the group that was playing with him helped design the course so they have to like it. "We've played 50 rounds or so already," he said. The course was open for play in mid-April but they were playing before the baskets were up.

The Great Pocono Open disc golf tournament will be held June 12-13 at Hickory Run Park and is cosponsored by Francis E. Walter Dam. It will be capped at 160 people. There are already registrants from Illinois, Tennessee and Missouri.

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