(Photo by Aaron Rogers for the Daily Press)
Bryce Hemphill attempts a putt on the 9th hole at the Old Hearst Mill golf course during opening festivities on Saturday. In the background are stands set up by Gila Hike and Bike and the Silver City Disc Golf Club.

More than 50 people gathered at the historic Hearst Mill site at the end of Newsham Road in Silver City on Saturday to celebrate the opening of Grant County’s first permanent disc golf course, a result of local momentum in the sport which may result in there will be three courses in the area by the end of this year.
The Old Hearst Mill disc golf course is a nine-hole par-3 course. The first fairway runs parallel to the parking lot, while the next two holes descend into the shallows, where Pinos Altos Creek provides a somewhat cooler under a canopy of poplars. Holes 6, 7, 8 and 9 then zigzag up the hill, ending the course at the start of hole 1.
Forty-nine people entered to win competition discs donated by Ace Hardware in a raffle. Others took part in a competition up close to the pin, where experienced disc golfers were on hand to explain throwing technique.
The Mint Chip had their ice cream truck on hand, and Gila Hike and Bike, which will carry Innova-branded discs and other gear in their downtown store, set up a stall, where they sold a large part of their stock of drivers. , mid-range and putting discs.
The course came about through the cooperation of the Town of Silver City, the town’s Trails and Open Spaces Committee, and a group of disc golfers led by Jeff and Alicia Hamm.
“It transpired at one of our meetings that the city wanted to turn this space into something [people would use]said Martyn Pearson, who was on hand Saturday as owner of Gila Hike and Bike and vice-chairman of the trails committee.
Around the same time, Pearson had had other conversations with people about possible sites for a disc golf course – including his neighbors, the Cramms.
“The city had hired someone to come and clean the area of ​​burned trees and other debris from a recent fire,” Pearson said.
He then brought Cramm in to check it out as a potential site, and the process just kicked off from there. The Cramms designed the course and organized community help to set up baskets and signage. This involved getting businesses in the area to sponsor holes to help offset those costs.
One of the early sponsors was more than happy to come on board.
Gila “Hike and Bike were thrilled to be a sponsor from the start because I’ve lived here since about 2004 and we always hear people say there should be a disc golf course,” Pearson said. “This course is in a great location. There are a fair amount of people who could walk or even climb this course.
“I hope that as word spreads people will use this space more and more,” he added, noting its proximity to schools, the town’s swimming pool and the center. recreation offered.
Also in attendance was retired educator Jerry Boswell, who worked with the Village of Santa Clara to set up a course at Fort Bayard. He took stock of those plans.
“The YCC team is ready to go this week,” he said, struggling to physically set the stage for the baskets and tee boxes. “The baskets should be delivered in about three weeks, and the signage will arrive in over six weeks.”
The hope is that the Fort Bayard course will be ready to play by mid-July at the latest.
After serving as the event’s emcee and taking a lap for himself, Jeff Cramm offered a few words expressing his feelings about the accomplishment.
“I’m just so grateful for the participation,” he said, noting the list of dignitaries who showed up to support the effort and gauge community support, including Silver City Mayor Ken Ladner. , Pro Tem Mayor Guadalupe Cano, Grant County Commissioner Harry Browne. and District 28 State Senator Siah Correa Hemphill.
“I was extremely happy, overall,” Jeff said.
In addition to Gila Hike and Bike, disc golf equipment is now available at Ace Hardware and Morning Star Sports in Silver City.
Aaron Rogers can be reached at aaro[email protected]