Belding approves SMASH disc golf park

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 6:40 pm on Friday, April 05, 2013

BELDING — With warmer weather tends to comes more plentiful outdoor activities to enjoy, and disc golfing is no exception.

And it will only be a matter of weeks now before residents of Belding and avid disc golfers from across the state will be able to enjoy a new nine-hole course at Lightning Bend Park after members of Belding City Council voted unanimously 5-0 on Tuesday evening to approve the construction of SMASH Park.

According to Keven Krieger, who has helped spearhead the effort the create the disc golf park in memory of the late Cody Moore who died unexpectedly June 9, 2012, at the age of 25, construction of the course may begin as early as today and is expected to be completed by the beginning of June.

“We’re going to start (today) or Saturday with construction, we’ve been around and ready,” Krieger said. “We would like to get it done before summer starts. My whole goal was to get it done before June. We will see how the weather and other factors work out.”

The course will feature nine holes, to be located immediately south of the current parking lot.

Nine metal disc golf baskets will be installed throughout the course and the course paths themselves will be created by volunteers who will clear brush and remove just a few smaller trees.

The tee pads will likely be made of dirt or artificial turf, as concrete is more expensive and less fitting with the natural park setting.

Krieger said he and his fellow volunteers will be as respectful to the surrounding natural elements as possible.

“We didn’t want to take away from the nature aspect that is out there,” he said. “We want to use all of the elements that are already out there. As far as the bigger more historic trees, we are going to use those in the course and only be trimming some of the trees.”

According to Krieger, close to $4,000 has been raised since last October to cover the costs of the project, which comes at no cost to the city, and he said he hopes to see the new course bring in disc golfers from throughout Michigan.

“I think people can expect a unique level of difficulty,” he said. “Our holes are not exceptionally long, but what they can expect is a good level of difficulty as far as being able to work your way through some of the hazards that we’ve created with trees and one of the ponds. We’re going to make it fun, enjoyable, yet difficult.”

Belding Mayor Ron Gunderson said he believes the park will be of great value to the community members.

“I personally think that it’s another great asset to enhance the availability of the park,” he said. “It’s going to be left natural and people will be able to use that part of the park without destroying that natural park setting. It’s going to make more people use the park, which is always good.”

Krieger said the park will not interfere with the current cross country or mountain bike trails that currently exist within the park.

He added that one day he hopes to see the park extended to 18 holes.

“I never really anticipated it to go this fast,” he said. “We want to show everyone that this will be successful.”

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