August 04, 2021

New SWCC disc golf course is a hole in one

Term papers are not the only thing at Southwestern Community College that get redone. College officials have reopened the remodeled disc golf course on campus.

The college course is one of three in town. The other two are at Cedar and McKinley parks.

The course at Southwestern Community College was redesigned this year and finished in May by Joel Wires, the college’s marketing coordinator and designer. It’s not quite Augusta National but it is an attraction Creston can be proud of.

“This last winter we were kind of talking things over and had heard a lot of feedback from people who just didn’t really enjoy playing the course anymore,” he said. “We moved basically all but three holes. Either the tee location, the basket, or both, changed.”

The course was originally designed by former head basketball coach Mike Holmes in 2010. Each hole had a local sponsor to pay for the baskets and signage. Some of the sponsors included Adams Street Expresso and Hy-Vee in Creston.

In 2012 a tornado wreaked havoc on the course and took out many of the trees that made it challenging. Then SWCC built a dorm building that got in the way of a hole.

Wires said the softball field was on the flight path to another hole, and he didn’t want disc golfers accidentally interfering. This year he decided it was time for a redesigned course.

The new course is 18 holes, par 55 with 5,752 feet of total distance from start to finish. Wires said playing the course involves about a mile and a half to two miles, depending on how well a player can throw.

Creston Disc Golf League member Dylan VerHelst said the old course left a lot to be desired.

“They kind of just shoehorned holes in like, ‘Hey, we have these baskets, we might as well have 18 holes.’ So it didn’t flow very well, I feel. And I never went out of my way to play it,” VerHelst said.

He said the new course has more variations of shot types.

“It’s the new thing and it’s fun. It feels like it flows and it makes sense,” VerHelst said.

Wires said the redesign effort was funded by the SWCC Disc Golf Club, comprised of students and faculty who play the sport.

“For the most part, the only real expense that we had was for concrete for placing all the baskets. We did have some expenditures for the signs, but that was pretty minimal overall,” he said.

Wires said setting up and maintaining a disc golf course is relatively inexpensive.

“The bulk of the cost would’ve been in the initial setup with the baskets,” Wires said. “Baskets now are anywhere from $250 to $450 per basket.”

“There’s no extra costs for maintenance. It’s basically people who are mowing around an extra few trees… unless something gets hit by a tractor or mower, we have to do some repairs,” he said.

“We play Thursday evenings at around six o’clock. We do random doubles, best shot. Any and all skill levels are welcome. We’ve ages ranging from 13 through 60s. So you could show up for one week or you could come every week,” he said, adding that this week they’re going to the new course in Mount Ayr. “So Cedar Park, McKinley and SWCC, those are the ones we’ve played the most. But we’ll usually go up to Greenfield a couple times, the other ones maybe once or twice.”

Wires said disc golf players can get involved by joining the league’s Facebook group and that a map of the SWCC course can be found on Google Maps.