Community gives disc golf a ‘shot’; Permanent course to be installed on school’s west side

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Bringing disc golf to Community has been a passion of Mr. Marcus Mann’s for years. Construction of the Flying Iron Disc Golf Course will make that dream a reality.

Cancelations. Postponements. Rescheduling. 

Disc golf was one of only a few activities immune to COVID-19 restrictions. The sport experienced a 33% increase in games played from 2019 to 2020, according to UDisc data, a disc golf scoring app.  

The number of disc golf courses increased as well, with 3.5 new courses built every day in 2020. 

Community plans to give the sport a shot by constructing a 9-10 hole disc golf course on the west side of the school’s property.

The inspiration for the Flying Iron Disc Golf Course came from Community teachers, and avid disc golfers, Mr. Marcus Mann and Mr. Matt Schweinberg.

Mann’s introduction to the game came over a decade ago. However, in the past few years, he and other Community staff members have begun playing consistently. 

“Once the pandemic hit, it kind of reignited the ability and enjoyment of going out and playing disc golf again,” Mann said. 

Mann’s passion for bringing a course to Community is twofold. 

“First of all, the sport itself is just a great inclusive sport that anybody can play at any stage of their life,” Mann said. 

Mann’s children, ages three and five, enjoy throwing the disc. He also knows adults in their 70s who still play at a “competitive level.”

The second reason? Those on the east side of town currently have a bit of a hike if they wish to enjoy the sport. 

The area’s three public courses — Maxwell Park, Forrest Park, and P.J Irvin Park — are all on the Bloomington-Normal’s westside. 

Mann hopes to make the sport more “accessible” to those on the eastside while getting Community’s students involved in the game. 

Disc golf, Mann said, is “a lifelong sport” that provides “leisure and pleasure” with “a competitive element … as well.” 

Students will have the chance to join the Flying Iron Disc Golf Club, which Mann aims to start once the course is built. 

Mann and Schweinberg proposed the course to Community’s administration and Eastview Christian Church in the fall of 2020. 

The plan involves “holes” on both Community and Eastview property, as they each own land between the two buildings. 

Mann called Eastview a “great partner” throughout the process, citing an “existing contract between the two buildings” as helpful in securing an agreement. 

Community, Eastview, and Unit 5 all approved the course, Mann said, with the district agreeing to purchase equipment including baskets, tee signs, tee pads, and information boards.

Initially, the goal was to begin the course’s construction during the summer of 2021 to have the “base” ready by fall. 

However, necessary equipment has been on backorder, delaying the construction plans. 

“Right now, it’s kind of a waiting game to see when” supplier Discmania can get the supplies “in stock again,” Mann said. 

While some items are ready to ship, Mann said that the process remains delayed until “at least the majority” of everything is available to minimize shipping costs.  

On Oct. 25, Discmania notified Mann that the course equipment was in stock. 

“I am hopeful we will be moving forward with things more quickly now,” he said. The plan is to begin “breaking ground” once the first shipment is received.

In the meantime, Mann is attempting to fundraise the remaining costs, including installation materials like sand and concrete. 

A GoFundMe for the project has raised $750, and a Portillo’s fundraiser to benefit the Community Disc Golf Club took place on Oct. 27. 

Another course feature will be tee signs specialized by the different academic departments at Community. 

Funding is needed to add trees and landscaping to the course, turning the land from an “open field” to a “disc golf style area.”

Another course feature will be tee signs highlighting the specializations of Community’s academic departments. 

“We want to add some educational components,” Mann said in a staff-wide email back in May, “and showcase the amazing happenings that take place here at NCHS.” 

Flying Iron Disc Golf Course aspires to “turn our underutilized grassy knoll into a thriving area for recreation, fitness and physical activity” for both Community students and eastside residents, Mann said.