In and Around Fitchburg, Massachusetts

This blog was created to discuss some of the positive aspects of living in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, that are often overlooked by outsiders and residents alike.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Frisbee Golf

At last night’s Park Board meeting, I learned that efforts are underway to bring a disc golf course to Fitchburg’s Coggshall Park. For those not familiar with the game, the idea is to land your Frisbee in a basket using as few throws as possible. Just like with traditional golf, each “hole” features a different par, distance, and terrain. The New England Flying Disc Association (NEFA) offers a lot more details about the intricacies of the game; in addition to the many people who just play occasionally for fun, there are some pretty hardcore players out there!

This Friday, July 10, at 4:30 p.m., a trial run of the proposed Coggshall course will take place. The event is free and open to anyone, and a big crowd would be great to show support for developing a permanent course. Late-comers are welcome, as the organizers realize that not everyone can make such an early start on a weekday. Discs will be provided, unless you happen to be an experienced player who would prefer to bring your own. Being a spectator is fine if you’d rather watch a bit before trying yourself.

The 18-hole course will begin and end at the South Street entrance to Coggshall Park. This area of the park was chosen because the road in this section has been closed for a number of years, and there are few hiking trails around. Therefore, other park visitors are unlikely to be disturbed by the Frisbee golfers, and the players will be able to enjoy a course free of vehicular and pedestrian obstacles.

Friday’s game will be played using a portable basket, but if feedback from the community is positive, fundraising efforts will begin to install permanent baskets along the course. (Course maintenance is done by volunteers, but baskets cost several hundred dollars each – generally local businesses are asked to consider sponsoring a basket.) The installation will not require modifying the natural landscape in any way, as the purpose of disc golf is to make use of the existing terrain. And perhaps the best part? The plan is to make the Fitchburg course free. This is exactly the kind of activity that would be a great fit for our city, something individuals and families can choose to do at any time, outdoors and at no cost. If you can, stop by Friday to check it out!

[9/4/09 addendum: The 7/10 trial run was lots of fun, and the city has given approval to move forward with development of an 18-hole course. There's a dedicated group of volunteers who are working hard to get the baskets set up and to begin fund-raising efforts - as of early September, several holes are already cleared. For the most up-to-date info about the status of the course, the Coggshall NEFA forum thread is the best source of info...or you can head to Coggshall and check things out for yourself!]

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9 Comments:

At September 03, 2009 2:58 PM, Blogger arty said...

Thank you Erica! My name is Arty and I'm a longtime resident of Fitchburg (over 40 years, yikes). I've been reading your blog here and there for some time now and want to say that you do a very good job promoting and informing readers about things "in and around Fitchburg." The title for your blog is quite fitting and refreshing to read. I was pleasantly surprised to see you do a write up on the disc golf course in Fitchburg (although I really shouldn't have been - you don't miss a beat). I must say I am quite pleased that you covered this event given the fact that I have been an avid player of disc golf for about 6 years now.
I was also very happy when the City of Fitchburg approved this project as I can see it being a huge recreational benefit for residents of all ages in this city and the surrounding towns. It will take a good bit of volunteer effort and a little financial help to complete, but once finished the rewards will be many. I highly encourage people interested to check out the NEFA site (as you suggested)and also to check out some nearby courses at Devens or Barre Falls Dam to get a good idea of what disc golf is all about. If anyone wants to get involved or learn more go to the Coggshall Park listing under the Courses thread in the Forum section at www.nefa.com. It is frequently updated with information about workdays and such.

 
At September 04, 2009 4:27 AM, Blogger Megan said...

That sounds great! How was it? I sure wish I was still in Fitchburg!

Thanks for highlighting some good parts about Fitchburg. Anything good happen in the past two months?

 
At September 04, 2009 8:06 AM, Blogger Erica said...

Arty, thanks for the feedback and for offering the perspective of a disc golf player! You'll definitely have to post again with your impressions once the course is ready and you've had a chance to play. Also, any tips for the minimum type of disc(s) you think a novice should pick up to casually try out the course?

Megan, I know, I've slacked on keeping up the blog. I've been meaning to at least write up the fabulous Riverfront Park Farmers Market, so hopefully I'll get to that soon. As for the disc golf trial run, I had a wonderful time! I'm truly terrible at the game, but the great thing about it is that it's OK to just play for fun. The experienced players who were at the event were so friendly and helpful, and also totally non-judgmental of the pathetic performance of us newbies. :)

 
At September 04, 2009 1:48 PM, Blogger arty said...

Erica, to answer your question, to get started one is all you really need, but I highly recommend getting more in case you lose one. It happens more than you would think.
The closest vendor in the area is Dick's Sporting Goods in Leominster(at the Target Mall off rte 2). They sell individual discs and Innova starter sets which I highly recommend. The starter sets consist of a driver, a mid range for approach shots and a putter. It is also cheaper to buy in bulk than individually so its the smart way to go. Last time I looked a set goes for around $25. Get the dx plastic sets to start out with. The downside of dx plastic is it is a little less durable than other plastics, but the upside is it is much easier to get used to and control the flight path, which is important for a beginner. Don't worry they last a long time.
Oh and you were correct in your assessment. The majority of disc golfers are some of the nicest people out there. Always eager to welcome new players to the sport and show them the ropes. If have any questions I will be more than happy to answer them if I can.
Also, I have been out at Coggshall a few nights this week helping to work on the course. The fairways for Holes 1, 2 and 3 are just about complete. I will keep you updated on progress from time to time as you requested. Next Thursday the United Way has volunteered their services and targeted the Coggshall course as one of the places in Fitchburg they will lend a hand to doing a civic cleanup day.

 
At November 02, 2010 12:20 PM, Blogger arty said...

Okay its been a while since I last posted, but the course at Coggshall is still progressing, albeit at a slow pace. However, a huge step was taken this past weekend with the installation of 7 permanent baskets. More are on the way. I encourage people interested in the course to get out and start playing it. The best place to start is at the gated South Street entrance. Parking is very limited until a true parking lot gets completed. You can also enter by the Electric Ave entrance and park near the path to the Gazebo, but hole one is a long walk from there and almost impossible to find if you don't know the park very well. If you park at the South Street entrance please remember not to block the gate with your vehicle. Hole 1's tee is about 75 feet up the road on the left. There should be some course maps behind the concrete jersey barrier in plastic bag. Use if needed and please return when finished so others can use them. Right now I believe the playable holes are 1,2,14,15,16,17 and 18.

 
At November 03, 2010 8:15 AM, Blogger Erica said...

Thanks so much for the update, Arty! I had checked out the course shortly before the permanent baskets went in (it looked wonderful), and I'm looking forward to seeing it now and perhaps trying a few holes. Many thanks to you and the other volunteers who have put so much work into this great project!

 
At November 03, 2010 4:20 PM, Blogger arty said...

Thanks for the kudos Erica, but I am no where near deserving of any such praise. Honestly, I am ashamed of myself for how little time I have put into the construction of the Coggshall Disc Golf Course. The true makers and shakers of this project are Angelo Bisol for getting it off the ground by having good contacts within the City of Fitchburg. Jeff Cooper and Rick Hobbs should also be praised for volunteering countless hours of physical labor. In my opinion though the most thanks should be given to Rob Anderson who had the vision to design the course and who has literally sacrificed blood, sweat and tears to get it to where it is now. Many other volunteers have been involved too and are certainly deserving of any accolades bestowed upon them. There is still much to be done, but it is very rewarding to see it all starting come together. I promise to make more of an effort to help get it completed.

 
At November 22, 2010 11:17 AM, Blogger arty said...

Here is a link to article about the course that was published in the Fitchburg Sentinel yesterday: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci_16673333
Good stuff.

 
At January 04, 2011 1:53 PM, Blogger Friends of Coggshall said...

Hi Arty, if you're still following this comment thread, would you mind contacting me at coggshallpark [at] gmail [dot] com? I'm the webmaster for the Friends of Coggshall website, and I'd love to chat with you about possibly putting together a course overview to add to the site.

Thanks!
Erica

 

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