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Disc golf

County’s 3 unique courses form a virtual Bermuda Triangle

Staff writer

With the addition of two new courses in the past year, Marion County may have created a “Bermuda Triangle” of disc golf.

Rumors and accounts of flying discs mysteriously vanishing in the whispering prairie grass and babbling waters of the disc golf triangle abound.

Although some golfers may blame paranormal activity, there is no documented scientific evidence that suggests supernatural forces are responsible for the discs’ disappearances.

Looking at a map, courses in Peabody, Florence, and at Marion County Park and Lake form the tips of the triangle.

Peabody

Peabody’s free nine-hole disc golf course, the oldest of the three, rests in the quaint recesses of Peabody City Park at 600 W Division Ave.

Recreational player Becky Tibbetts of rural Peabody knows the course well.

“There are lots of mature trees throughout the course, which are nice for shade in the summer,” Tibbetts said, “but there are some holes where you have to play around them.”

The tree’s barrel-chested trunks and hand-like branches have been known to block shots and snatch discs out of the air. However, these phenomena also might be attributed to a golfer’s aim.

Tibbetts said No. 4 was easily the course’s toughest hole.

“It’s a blind throw from the tee box,” she said. “You can’t see the hole and you can’t see the creek. I would call it a unique hole. I’ve been in the water before.”

Despite the occasional encounter with a tree and dip in the water, she plays there regularly with her husband and dubbed it a “relaxed course.”

County lake

At the upper tip of the disc golf triangle, the county lake’s free 18-hole course wraps around its southeastern side upon undulant hills.

Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said its first nine holes rest among towering trees and has some tee boxes higher than the holes, adding a degree of difficulty for those with a fear of mildly tall places.

Whistling wind can come into play on the back nine. It spans open prairie, which should be a technical dream this summer.

“With all the wildflowers we have there is a lot of color on the course,” Hudson said. “The flowers are really going to pop this year with all the rain we’ve had.”

Throughout the course, one hole goes over a deep, water-filled draw, and lake water comes into play on other holes, too.

Golfers who splash discs in the blue-green lake water may never see their beloved discs again as anglers tell tales of massive flatheads and monstrous catfish lurking below the surface that have no discretion in what they swallow.

Florence

Florence Frisbee Golf Course acts as the eastern tip of the disc golf triangle, where ghosts of past victories and defeats may haunt some local players.

Course manager John Branson said the free nine-hole course rests on what once was a school football field and track. Some landmarks from the school’s history were repurposed during the courses creation.

“We used the old shot put and discus slabs and asphalt pole-vault slab as tee boxes on some holes,” Branson said. “The builds are gone, but we did the same thing with the slab from the old announcers box and crow’s nest.”

Branson said the football field’s scoreboard also was incorporated into a hole.

“The score board sits right in the fairway of hole six,” he said. “The challenge is to try and go through its legs without hitting it.”

Located in north Florence on 8th St. near US-50, the course is situated in an open area, without many trees. Branson said wind challenges players on gusty days.

Tibbetts said the course might be a good place for beginners to learn to play.

Last modified June 2, 2016

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