Members of the Augusta Disc Golf Association planted three baskets in the ground at Wildwood Park Saturday in hopes of growing a crop of enthusiasts in their sport.
The baskets, said Brian Graham, were donated by three manufacturers for setup in a demonstration area at the Professional Disc Golf Association's 90-acre site in the 975-acre Columbia County park.
Because the site soon will be the home to the world headquarters of the PDGA, manufacturers are eagerly donating equipment to set up three 18-hole courses, said Graham, who serves as chairman of the national disc golf center's committee that is building the park.
In traditional golf, the ball is aimed toward a hole in the ground; in disc golf, metal baskets are used, with chains hanging inside to keep the small discs from bouncing out. Members of the Augusta association assembled and installed baskets made by Discraft, Innova and the Disc Golf Association at the park Saturday.
"These are just practice baskets," Graham said. "The manufacturers are donating more baskets for three complete courses."
Graham also led a handful of Augusta Disc Golf Association members on a tour of the former caretaker's cottage at Wildwood. The building will be leased by the PDGA and used as the world headquarters for the sport, and the PDGA's executive director and administrator will soon move from Toronto as the organization shifts its operation to Wildwood.
The caretaker's cottage will be a temporary site for the organization until a new, permanent building is constructed. The PDGA's 90-acre site in Wildwood was donated by Columbia County.
Meanwhile, designers are laying out the three disc golf courses in the park, and will soon begin seeking approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction. The first of the three courses could be complete by this summer.
"Our goal is to bring the world championships here in 2006, but that may be pushing it," Graham said, noting that the combined amateur and professional disc golf championships would have an estimated economic impact of $1.8 million in the community.
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