Local disc golfers welcome news of proposed new course at Santa Fe Trail Park

Hundreds of spectators gathered at Swope Park’s disc golf course last weekend for the “Kansas City Wide Open” Professional Disc Golf Association tournament. (Photo via Kansas City Wide Open).

By Chris Heady

Word that Prairie Village’s Santa Fe Trail Park could be the site of a new nine-hole disc golf course within the next year is welcome news to local proponents of the sport, which has been gaining popularity in Kansas City over the past several years.

The metro area currently has more than two dozen disc golf courses – but just none are in northeast Johnson County. To find a course to play presently, local disc golfers have to make their way from northeast Johnson County to Rosedale Park in Kansas City, Kan., or Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo., the nearest courses.

“I know plenty of people who live in Prairie Village who would play at the [new] course,” said SM East graduate Will Furman, who has played disc golf at Rosedale on and off for a year.

Furman, who graduated in 2012, says disc golf is “definitely growing in popularity” at his old high school, and a new course near SM East would be a great asset to the growing popularity of the sport.

Disc golf has been slowly gaining popularity in KC over the past few years — in fact on June 16 the Professional Disc Golf Association hosted Kansas City Wide Open, a disc golf tournament held at Swope Park

Danielle Dulin, Assistant to the Prairie Village City Adminstrator, says the disc golf course project is included in the proposed budget that will be up for consideration by the city council in the coming months. If the plan is passed, the course would be build in 2014. She says the Parks and Recreation committee would meet in September to find out more details about the project, but the overall consensus is that the course would be extremely beneficial for the area.

“The portion of where the course would be, that’s a very underused portion of the park,” Dulin said. “And a disc golf course isn’t intrusive, it isn’t invasive, it wouldn’t require to remove any trees, in fact you could use the landscaping for the course itself, you wouldn’t have to remove anything.”

Dulin also said the city thinks an active disc golf course could help reduce vandalism of the pavilion near the proposed course area, due to “having more eyes watching it.”

“It is all about finding to use the space and use that space in the most efficient way,” Dulin said.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Johnson County had no disc golf courses.

The site of the proposed disc golf course at Santa Fe Trail Park in Prairie Village is presently underutilized, say Prairie Village parks officials.