One man’s hobby becomes a Dalhart city park
By Robin Scott
Tossing a Frisbee around became hugely popular in the 1970s. A fun sport for both man and man’s best friend, Frisbee took off in large part because everybody can toss a Frisbee into the air, and being good or bad at it was all part of the fun. The fun past time with little or no rules has changed however, and remains open to all ages and fitness levels, but now with a “goal” in mind.
Today’s game is called disc golf. Players toss a flying disc into a basket or at a target. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), “The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.” Many disc golf courses are open and free to the public, as is the new disc golf course located at Rita Blanca Lake.
The Rita Blanca Disc Golf Course in Dalhart is having a ribbon cutting celebration on Saturday, November 7th at 11:00 a.m. The 9-hole disc golf course is located west of the Rita Blanca Coliseum on FM 281. Food, prizes and give-a-ways are expected during the celebration from sponsors who include the City of Dalhart, United Supermarket, the ROC (Recreation Outreach Center) of First Baptist Church, First National Bank, Academy Sport and Innova Disc Golf.
Disc golf is a fast growing outdoor activity everyone can enjoy. Similar to golf, the object of disc golf is to complete the course in as few throws as possible. Instead of using golf clubs and a golf ball, disc golfers use a flying disc to traverse the course. Each hole has a teeing area and information on the hole’s distance and shape. Each round is completed once the disc lands in the “hole,” which is a disc-catching target. Just as in golf, different discs are used for varied distances. A novice, or beginner, need not worry about having a full set of discs because disc golf may be played with a single disc of any type.
Kurtis Abla is the man behind the new disc golf course in Dalhart. He noted, “I have had an interest in disc golf for many years, but last year while at a youth conference I met a disc golf vendor. I brought some literature home with me, and the idea really took hold. Almost a year later, I began to really put my idea into motion.” Abla’s idea was to create a disc golf course in Dalhart that would be open to the public free of charge.
Abla contacted David and Joni Foote, who he knew played disc golf over the years, and talked with them about a course. He then approached Dalhart City Manager Greg Duggan about the installation of a disc golf course located at the Rita Blanca Lake area. Abla stated, “Greg encouraged me to layout a course. The Foote’s and my wife, Dana, and I staked and measured out a possible course. I then walked members of the Lake Board through the course. They liked the idea.”
On October 5th, the Lake Board unanimously approved the installation and creation of the Rita Blanca Disc Golf Course. The course is open now and fully functional free of charge to the public. Disc golfers may choose to purchase special discs to play the course. Abla commented, “Academy Sports of Amarillo has donated some discs to be given away at our ribbon cutting ceremony, and Academy is a great place to purchase discs.”
The City of Dalhart will maintain the course, which requires mostly seasonal mowing. Abla stated, “We hope that users of the course will take pride in the care and use of the course.”