A handful of locals and a city councilor from Tahlequah agree that there is a need for an elite-level disc golf course.

The Tahlequah Sports League is requesting to share the area with the Tahlequah Trails Association to set up the course.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, the ideal course includes a range of holding lengths, pars, and a mix of holes that require controlled left, right, and straight shots.

Ward 4 Councilor Trae Ratliff said the city-owned property where the Tahlequah trails are being built would be the perfect location for the course.

“There’s one at college and there’s one at NSU now, and initially the conversation started with using the trail system in front of my office,” he said. “They didn’t like the idea of ​​having to go through traffic, and it wasn’t ideal.”

Ratliff got in touch with professional disc golf athlete Matt House of the Cherokee County Disc Golf Association, and a group went to the property to take a look.

“What we’re trying to incorporate into the Tahlequah Trails property was something that would be a draw. To my knowledge, the more difficult the course – the more trees and obstacles and the narrower the fairways – the greater the draw,” Ratliff said.

Ratliff said the idea of ​​co-existing the course with Tahlequah Trials would be to attract more tourism and hold two professional tournaments a year.

The band pitched the idea to the TTA at a forum, and Ratliff said it was a gracious request.

“We think the two are very similar when it comes to their goals: to be outdoors, to be active, to do something with the family, and to enjoy nature,” he said. “Our intention is to do it right and do something that’s good for the community, good for tourism.”

The intention was to apply for a grant through the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners for American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“Personally, I struggle to find the downside. If there are any negatives, do the negatives outweigh the positives and I struggle to find a lot of negatives,” Ratliff said.

The city partnered with the commissioners to create the park on 200 acres.

In 2018, city councilors accepted a lease offer from Tahlequah Trails Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship to lead work on a trail system on 65 acres of city-owned surplus land adjacent to Diedrick Lane. The council also voted to purchase an additional 40 acres to the west of the proposed area for the cycle path.

However, at a city council meeting in 2019, council unanimously agreed to settle three lawsuits against the city over bike lanes and the purchase of property. The area is between South 550 Road and South 540 Road and is landlocked.

The trailhead – parking lot and entrance – is owned by the Tahlequah Trails Association. This acre was donated by City Administrator Alan Chapman.

Ratliff asked if the request was denied, if that meant she would die – and he hopes that won’t be the case.

“The intention is not to be simple, and this one is 18 holes, while the other one is nine holes. The intention of this one is to hold PDGA tournaments, to be a place sanctioned by a professional disc golf association, and that’s where tourism comes in,” Ratliff said.