05/30/12 — City sets its sights on disc golf tourneys

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City sets its sights on disc golf tourneys

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 30, 2012 1:46 PM

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Scott Barnard throws a disc golf driver last fall in Stoney Creek Park. A partnership with Goldsboro Travel and Tourism might lead to a second disc golf course in Berkeley Park, which could result in the city hosting high-profile tournaments.

Goldsboro is making plans to bring major disc golf tournaments to Wayne County in the next three years in an effort that will also result in an additional disc golf course at Berkeley Park.

Travel and Tourism Director Betsy Rosemann said the city is bidding to host the Professional Disc Golf Association's U.S. Women's Disc Golf Championships and the Tim Selinske U.S. Masters Disc Golf Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as part of her focus on bringing sporting events to Wayne County.

Those efforts last year brought the American Motorcyclist Association ATV Extreme Dirt Track Nationals to Busco Beach.

Hosting disc golf tournaments will take a bit of investment from the city's parks and recreation department, but that department's director said the payoff will far outweigh its cost.

Scott Barnard has already begun preliminary plans to shape a second disc golf course in Berkeley Park where, at $300 a basket, an 18-hole course is possible with about $6,000 of investment.

That course would complement the existing course at Stoney Creek Park and meet the PDGA requirement of having two courses within 20 miles of each other.

The new course isn't a part of his department's budget request, but Barnard said money from his maintenance line items, if spent wisely, could likely cover it.

That prospect is made more possible since Travel and Tourism has said it will kick in some funds to further subsidize the cost to the city.

"There's no reason that we shouldn't be able to do it," Barnard said of creating the new course. "The cost is really low as far as what you get out of it."

Mrs. Rosemann and Barnard both offered estimates that the multi-day tournaments could draw nearly 200 participants each, pointing out the impact on hotels, restaurants and retail establishments would be a big boost to the local economy. Mrs. Rosemann suggested that each visitor's economic impact per day could be as much as $140, counting lodging and meals.

That, Barnard said, is the allure of disc golf tournaments and investments into those courses.

"You can make back your investment in a single day," he said.

And as far as landing the tournaments, both Mrs. Rosemann and Barnard are confident that Goldsboro has what the association is looking for.

They said the PDGA looks to hold events in smaller towns within reasonable proximity to an airport. Mrs. Rosemann said the possibility of having two 18-hole courses within a mile from each other was also a huge selling point,

Barnard said Goldsboro's size and location on the east coast, where the association has been trying to gain a foothold, is another.

"They're not looking for a bigger market," Barnard said, noting that large cities don't roll out the red carpet for such tournaments like smaller communities can. "They don't want to go to a place where they're a blip on the radar. We're going to give them a good time."

Representatives from the PDGA will likely visit Goldsboro to point out possible improvements for the city to make it a more lucrative choice for the tournaments.