Disc Golf Drive
The Stinging Jellies see their proposal for a course in Monterey approved.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Don Dahvee Park is deserted most days. The park’s occasional occupants include a jogger making her way along the path, or a homeless man taking a grass-cushioned nap. Local residents drive by the park more often than they walk though it. In short, the stretch of prime public property between Jack in the Box and the Del Monte Center on Munras Avenue in Monterey is largely a lonely place.
Soon, disc golf will change that. On Thursday, Nov. 16, Sean Allen, project facilitator and treasurer of the Monterey Stinging Jellies Disc Golf Club, gained approval from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to install a disc golf course among the oaks at Don Dahvee Park.
Allen and the disc-flinging nonprofit have championed the mission of bringing this burgeoning alternative sport to the Peninsula for years now. “We’re trying to put Monterey on the map for disc golf,” Allen says. With the popularity of disc golf exploding across the country, the project proposes a way to better utilize the nine acres of land while expending almost none of the city’s resources. According to Allen, “It’s a no-brainer.”
“We’re trying to put Monterey on the map for disc golf.”
At the meeting, the Parks and Recreation Department concurred. When asked if the course might have any drawbacks, Deputy Public Works Director Doug Stafford said, “Nope.”
Without frequent use, the park has become a haven for the city’s homeless. What look like empty dimebags and shattered glass of broken 40-ounce bottles from malt liquor litter the park’s grassy terrain. The new course will bring added attention and use to the park.
“The whole community will benefit,” Allen says. “There’s a negative element in the park, doing things they shouldn’t be doing. With increased traffic, we can help reduce or eliminate that negative element.”
The City will have to invest few resources to install the course. The tees and targets have been purchased by the Stinging Jellies. The City says it will work with Allen to design the course and provide brush clearing.
Once limited to college kids and outdoors enthusiasts without the money to play traditional golf, disc golf is making its way into the mainstream. The course at DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz attracts hundreds of visitors on some days—one out-of-state newlywed couple even included a visit to the course as part of their honeymoon.
But while the Monterey Peninsula remains renowned for its golf, the county’s only venues for this cheaper, younger version of the gentlemen’s game have been out amongst the wild turkeys and abandoned buildings of Fort Ord and at Carmel Middle School. In Fort Ord, two courses created by a couple of CSUMB students are popular sunny-day destinations. Last March, the Seventh Annual Otter Open attracted over 150 participants, traveling from as far away as Washington state to compete for cash.
The Stinging Jellies have also enjoyed their own surge in popularity. Within the last year, the group’s membership has grown from under 20 to over 100. Their growth reflects a national trend: Courses have sprung up like wild flowers across the East Coast and Midwest, many boasting highly competitive tournaments and corporate sponsorship.
No further approvals are necessary to get the project going. While the Stinging Jellies, according to Allen, are ready to start working on the park “as soon as possible,” no official timetable for the project has been set.
According to Stafford, the City was happy to approve the idea: “It’s great they came to us with this [prosposal],” he says.
|THE WEEKLY TALLY||8 MIL.||
The amount of money the Franchise Tax Board is holding in unclaimed 2005 state tax refunds. Many funds were never received because people simply moved. (Taxpayers can call 800-852-5711 with any questions.) Source: State of California Franchise Tax Board.