If all goes according to plan, this weekend there will be a friendly competition of disc golf at Marcelle Philips and the so-called Raney Park.
The first cage was installed at Marcelle Phillips Thursday morning completing a project several months in the making in its current stage, and several years in the making since its initial inception.
Unsatisfied with the course as it was, Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins accepted help from David Scott of Booneville in creating a playable course a few months ago.
Since then, Scott and his crew of about six have mapped out a new course, removed the rusted cages in place. Those Scott said, had problems including incorrect sizes and heights as well as being hazardous to discs.
Scott’s crew also created concrete tee boxes, installed signage for the course as a whole and the individual holes, installed anchor sleeves and installed the regulation cages.
As with traditional golf, there are 18 holes on the course. Nine are located within Marcelle Phillips and nine more are located in the connection between Marcelle Phillips and Veteran’s Park, which Wilkins has dubbed Raney Park in recognition of the city’s land purchase from the previous owners.
The course is a par-54, with each hole being a par-3, with holes ranging from 155 feet to a little more than 500 feet, Scott said last week.
The walking trail of the parks are out of bounds, as is the creek in the park, each resulting in a one-shot penalty. There is one hole, number 9, which is set up as an island as well as another Scott calls the “Hope hole,” as in you hope it doesn’t land in the creek.
While there are 18 holes, there are actually 36 hole possibilities as the course can be set up to play a shorter and longer length for each hole.
Scott said he hopes to have a “mini” this weekend for the novice and or players who want to play for fun. A $7 entry fee is necessary with $3 kept for the newly formed Booneville Flying Disc Golf Association and fees, and the remaining $4 used for prize payout.
Scott, who is an experienced player, said his plans now are to sell hole sponsorships and to host a doubles tournament in the near future.
A doubles tournament, he explained, consists of four rounds — two on both Saturday and Sunday — where players play rounds of best disc, worst disc, best score and an alternating shot.
Scott said he would also like to see a school team formed to compete as a club sport with other school teams in Greenwood, Fort Smith, Van Buren and others.
The project was initially a combined effort by a Chamber of Commerce committee and the Booneville School District with the school district securing a joint use agreement grant for the cages and other aspects of the course and grant money expected to be used to complete the walking trail and bridges between Marcelle and Veteran’s parks.
The bridges were put in but have not been finished.
The Arkansas Highway Department has approved a grant to complete the bridge work tie-ins and construct sidewalks along Seventh Street from the Boys & Girls Club to McCandless and from McCandless to Eighth Street, has been approved but hasn’t been started.