Friday, May 22, 2009

Welcome, Frolf!

As you may or may not be aware, the 9-hole Sligo Creek Golf Course, located on Sligo Creek Parkway, is in dire straits. The quasi-public Montgomery County Revenue Authority, which presently operates the course, will return the course to the Parks Department on October 1st and there's no guarantee that the county will continue to operate the space as a golf course, a function it has served since 1956. This action is a result of community opposition (isn't it always?) to the proposed installation of a driving range and mini golf (!!!) courses. This isn't the first time the course has been disrespected. Years ago they amputated a large portion when they decided to build a Beltway right across the course, and later in 1994 they tried to build a high school right on top of it.

Now one group (one person?) has put forth a proposal to re-purpose the golf course as a disc golf (also known as Frisbee golf or frolf) course. I can't say what kind of legs this proposal really has, or if the County is actually considering the idea, as the only reference to it I can find is a press release on the website of a Chevy Chase homebuilder. Nevertheless, the concept is intriguing.

For those of you not familiar with disc golf, here's a description from the aforementioned press release:

Disc golf, also known as “Frisbee golf”, is similar to ball golf, with baskets as targets.
Here's another definition, courtesy of the Urban Dictionary:
A game that is seemingly only played by old hippies and college students. College hippies seem to excel at this sport. One of the many sports that always seem easier when stoned and/or drunk.
Here's a video introduction:

According to the Disc Golf Association, there are numerous benefits to constructing a disc golf course, and they claim the courses are inexpensive to maintain. As maintenance costs are a big part of the authority's issue with the present course, perhaps this is a much more viable use of the space.

You know this will be a popular proposal with the Takoma set. Instead of Sligo Creek Parkway being clogged with BMWs and Mercedes at all hours of the day as some neighbors once feared, the street will have a line of idling, cannabis smoke-filled VW Buses waiting to make a right turn into the course parking lot. The soccer matches presently held in the field across from the course will no doubt be replaced by games of ultimate.

Presently, the closest disc golf course to us is in (unsurprisingly) College Park. McLean also has one, so it's definitely not something that nice neighborhoods are averse to.

Personally, I hope they keep the golf course in operation. While I don't even play golf, this is a matter of civic pride. That being said, this isn't the worst idea I've ever heard. If they did go through with this, I might even don a tie-dye and give it a shot. Just don't turn it into a boring old park, as some have proposed - we already have plenty of park right across the street.

And hey, if it's good enough for Willow, it's good enough for all of us.


J said...

You know, "Save Sligo Creek Golf Course" really seems like a cause that somebody like Thayer Avenue should get behind. In fact, I'm surprised that ESSCA hasn't taken up the banner--I know that several of its more active members are avid golfers.

Does the course actually get any use? Is it bringing in revenue? How can it be better promoted or "monetized", to use the down-economy buzzword? Seems like we should at least demand a study before any frolf-related decisions are made. (You know how MoCo loves to do studies and form committees...)

I vote we put in a six-lane swimming pool and a tiki bar and make it a low-rent, mini-country club for the anti-snob set. I'd be a charter member, baby!

ThayerAvenue said...

I will very much be getting behind this, especially after playing out there yesterday. ESSCA is off for the summer, so that will be my focus.

And I can't believe you, of all people, used the word "monetized."

Springvale Roader said...

Did somebody say "Tiki Bar"? I'm there, baby! Add Frolf and you've got yourself a weekend.

Hold Mai Tai in right hand, throw frisbee with left hand. Get new Mai Tai after each hole/basket.

Actually, a local down-to-Earth country club with a tiki bar, land pool, and why not, ping pong and billiard tables, is a great idea.

Anonymous said...

You had better get involved fast because the county's intent is to turn it into a maintenance yard for county vehicles. This park is being held to a profitability standard unlike facilities in wealthier areas of the county that are heavily subsidized. It's really unbelievable.

Brosnan said...

I object to the depiction of all golfers as people who drive Mercedes. Sligo Creek Golf Course _ $15 on weekdays _ caters to people who can't afford $50 or $75 for 18 holes and a cart, plus beginners, families, seniors and women.

Sligo said...

Please note the phrase "as some neighbors once feared" in the sentence referring to the Mercedes and BMWs. Besides, this is not meant to be taken quite that seriously.

Jeff said...

Park and Planning staff held a meeting last night (May 26, 2009) and agreed, in a u-turn, to put keeping the golf course a golf course back on the table. The main draw back is a ridiculous clause in the Revenue Authority's contract with the County to run all it's courses that allows it to stop Sligo from being a golf course. Contact your council person and tell them to save the golf course by getting the Revenue Authority's veto power removed.

Anonymous said...

Disc golf is a low impact recreational activity for people of all ages, race, and socio-economic backgrounds. I found this article while looking for an old Country club that is not using its old golf course, and trying to find a map, as they have requested the sport be introduced.

They already have 9 holes, and the local community is donating baskets (pole holes, entrapment devices to catch discs)to give it an 18 hole course.

We have lawyers, firefighters, I am an HR Professional, state representatives that play the sport locally in Kansas City. I think that you will find that not all disc golfers are hippies in VW Micro busses playing the sport.

Read and be informed, it might help keep that golf mentality, and still allow you to be a part of your local community before you chastise it.

Any questions, please

I hope you don't lose valuable green space to more roadways.

Good luck

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