PORTSMOUTH – Deputy Mayor Joanna Kelley believes that part of the city recently purchased land at community campus could be used to create a disc golf course.

“There’s a good part of the community campus that’s really impossible to build, and I think we could incorporate the footpath system that already exists for a disc golf course,” Kelley said Monday.

“I know that as a board we constantly say that we need low cost, high impact ideas,” she said. “It’s something that would be focused on outdoor recreation.”

Kelley was to request a report at Monday’s city council meeting from the Public Works Department and the Recreation Department on the idea.

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She has previously played disc golf in Dover and Hampton. However, Kelley said she submitted the idea due to “requests from a few residents.”

“My hope is to walk through the community campus and get a bird’s eye view is that it’s really doable there,” Kelley said. “This is very fun.”

What is disc golf?

The Professional Disc Golf Association states that “disc golf is played much like golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a Frisbee or Frisbee.

“The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with golf the goal of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, the fewest shots),” according to the association. Like in golf, players start off at a tee, where they toss the disc or Frisbee towards the hole, which in disc golf is most often “an elevated wire basket”, the association said.

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“Disc golf is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, gender identity and economic status, making it an excellent lifelong fitness activity,” the association said. “Because disc golf is so easy to learn, no one is left out; players simply adapt their pace to their abilities and proceed from there.

Existing locations for playing disc golf around the coastline include the Bellamy Park Disc Golf course in Dover and the course at the Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton.

Low cost and low impact on nature make the disc golf course attractive

A proposal Kelley included in the City Council brief explains that “few recreational activities offer the high benefit-to-cost ratio of disc golf.

“A disc golf course has relatively low initial costs compared to other recreational facilities; a full 18-hole disc golf course that can accommodate up to 75 players at a time can be built for less than a tennis court, which can only accommodate a maximum of 4 players,” Kelley’s proposal states. “Disc golf also has little to no impact on the environment. Disc golf courses are designed to work with existing space, using trees and shrubs as part of the course. … Unlike a traditional golf course, disc golf requires only occasional maintenance and requires little or no clearing.”

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Town resident Andrew Paquette, with whom Kelley worked on the initiative, drew up a detailed budget, which estimates the course could be created for $24,255.

This includes, depending on his budget, $7,125 for 19 baskets, $7,500 for a course designer, $1,600 for rules boards, $3,400 to secure baskets and build tees and $1,500 for rental. of tools and equipment.

Mayor Deaglan McEachern called Kelley’s proposal a “realistic request” and a “fantastic idea that I really support. It’s something that doesn’t disturb nature, it actually allows us to preserve nature, while encouraging recreation and outdoor activities.”

The cost of creating a disc golf course “seems really modest,” McEachern noted, and even if the city decides to use the land for something else in the future, “it’s not something we would prevent you from doing so”.

“I commend the deputy mayor for thinking of this, and I can’t wait to play some disc golf,” McEachern said. “I’m very supportive of things that create community at a reasonable cost and get us outside.”

He also hopes that if a course is built at Community Campus, it will be free for everyone.