Throwing brightly colored Frisbees hundreds of feet past the greens, trees and water, about 74 experienced disc-golfers helped christen the new 18-hole Sherman course Saturday during the grand opening tournament.
The course at Pecan Grove West Park was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in between the two rounds of the tournament for the experienced players and a round for beginners. Sherman Parks and Recreation Manager Theresa Hutchinson said the idea to build a course in the city was conceived about three years ago, and the design process began this past spring. She said this sport can be played by all ages, and it’s easy to get started.
“It’s pretty cheap to get into — unlike regular golf where you have to buy a real expensive set of clubs,” Hutchinson said. “And you get out in nature — it’s just more people out in our parks.”
The 18-hole course, constructed along the southwest section of the park, has a combined throwing distance of about 7,800 feet and par is 65. H.B. Clark, who has designed about 80 courses in southern states, designed the Sherman course. Clark said he put in hundreds of hours in creating this course, and it’s designed to provoke thinking — to encourage players to take different shot and approaches to the holes.
“You got to have a nice piece of property and this property had it all,” Clark said. “It had some elevation, it had some open and some water. So I had all those elements to use, and I had enough acreage to make it exciting. From there, what I try to do is design a course where it’s challenging all the way through.”
And it is challenging.
Disc-golfers Dakota Gray, of Fort Worth, and Michael Stapleford, of Bonham, both said this course was tough and not built for beginners. Gray and Stapleford were joined by Jason Riefler, of Sanger, and JC Steed, of McKinney, and the group was about to start throwing at hole 10. The group agreed that they see this course becoming highly rated, and Steed said he would like to see the Disc Golf Pro Tour come to this course.
Stapleford said for those thinking about joining the sport, it’s not too expensive or difficult to get started.
“Everybody improves at this sport at their own level,” Stapleford said. “Some take it on pretty quick, some take a long time to really get the hang of it. Don’t give up too early.”
Clark said the best way to get started is to purchase two golf discs, which are available at most sporting good stores, and go to a course. He noted disc-golfers should play to their abilities, and the rules are posted on the back of the Sherman course map at the park.
“Just come out and try it; it’s free to the public and the park,” Clark said. “It’s just like going to the park, playing on a swing set although this swing set will hold 74 adults.”
The most challenging hole, Clark said, is the one on top the dam. Hole 15 starts on the dam hill and it runs along the waterside. He said players have to figure out how to throw in a way to keep the disc from going in the water. The overall combination of water, open space and wooded areas make this course something special.
“For this region of the country, it’s very challenging because you have such a mix of tight wooded holes, then some open holes where you can really stretch out and throw long,” Clark said.
The course is free to play and is open during regular park hours. Pecan Grove West Park is at 3200 Canyon Creek Dr. in west Sherman
“On occasion when we have a tournament, we may have to close it or something like that, but it will primarily be open whenever the park is open,” Hutchinson said.