Clayton News-Star

Clayton’s first disc golf course to target all skill levels

This rendering shows the proposed disc golf course located in the northwest portion of East Clayton Community Park on Glen Laurel Road.
This rendering shows the proposed disc golf course located in the northwest portion of East Clayton Community Park on Glen Laurel Road. TOWN OF CLAYTON

The architect of Clayton’s first disc golf course wants to design something both beginners and advanced players can enjoy.

The course, which would be the second in Johnston County, will likely be a nine-hole layout, compared to the traditional 18-hole format. However, local disc golf pro Robert Leonard, who will design the course for the town, said each hole will have two sets of tees, one more challenging than the other.

Leonard said it’s ideal to have about one acre of space per hole, or at least 18 acres on a traditional 18-hole course. The town has about 12.7 acres of available space in the northwest corner of East Clayton Community Park, where the planned course will be located.

“That’s a lot of land for a nine-hole course,” Leonard said during an informational meeting at The Clayton Center last Wednesday.

During the meeting, a small group of disc golf players gave feedback on the proposed course to Leonard and Parks and Recreation Director Larry Bailey. Bailey asked the local enthusiasts to help recruit more players and possibly volunteer at demos for beginners in the run-up to the course’s development.

“I love the concept, and I think it’s great for the town,” said Clayton resident Mike Koppen, who said he helped design a disc golf course in Colorado.

Relatively inexpensive disc golf baskets and cement “tees” will make up most of the cost of the new course. However, the town will have to clear space in a forested area at the park.

Bailey said the town might start this winter.

“We hope that when the vegetation dies, we can go out and lay out potential holes,” Bailey said.

The town is talking to Caterpillar about using some of the company’s equipment to clear trees for the course. Bailey said the town could also hold organized work days, where volunteers could lend a helping hand.

The current fiscal year budget earmarks no money for the course, but Clayton Town Council did respond favorably to a presentation Leonard made during a March meeting.

Councilman Butch Lawter attended the informational meeting on Wednesday.

“We want it to be the best it can be,” Lawter said. “We don’t just want to do something to say, ‘We’ve got one.’ We want it to be really challenging.”

East Clayton Community Park is located off of Glen Laurel Road and is currently home to sports fields, a greenway and a dog park. A group is also raising money to build a universal playground at the 66-acre park.

The Town of Smithfield built a nine-hole disc golf course at Smithfield Community Park in the mid-2000s.

Bailey said Clayton will have opportunities to build more courses in the future, including on the 67 acres the town purchased last month on Little Creek Church Road.