Paul McBeth Foundation and Discmania Partnership
Earlier this year it was announced that Discmania was joining forces and partnering with the Paul McBeth Foundation. Coming on as a Gold level partner, Discmania pledged to donate 18 DiscGolfPark holes to Paul McBeth Foundation Projects around the world. The first project lined up is set for one of the greatest cities in the world, unless you’re a disc golfer, Chicago.
You can read more here.
For various reasons, Chicago has been a no fly zone for public disc golf courses. Those who live in the city learn to forget about disc golf during the week and at best become weekend warriors, heading well outside the city to play. Even worse than that, is the fact that so many have never even been introduced to the sport.
Enter Hyde Park (Chicago) resident Tommy Inglis. Inglis was a casual disc golfer who during the pandemic got the itch to play. Soon after Kasey and Tommy found Chad Guyton’s disc in a local park and the first local meetup was organized and Hyde Park Disc Golf was born. From there, Inglis began to work on bringing disc golf to Chicago. He soon connected with Alex Seminary of Disc Golf Chicago, who arranged a meeting with Discmania’s Dana Vicich. Vicich, an Illinois resident and Discmania USA Sales Manager, jumped at the opportunity to get involved personally and professionally with the goal of introducing disc golf to Chicago. This isn’t where the synergy stops, as Disc Golf Chicago connected with the PMF and another partnership was born.
Both Hyde Park Disc Golf and Disc Golf Chicago operate as non profit groups.
Actually Growing the Sport
While establishing a course in Chicago is an end goal, introducing the sport and setting it up for success must come first. The South Side’s Jackson Park is a target location for the future course. The residents near Jackson Park are predominantly BIPOC, which has been an underrepresented group in disc golf.
The first goal is to get local kids playing. With the help of the PDGA Diversity Grant, HPDG has been able to provide equipment to multiple Fieldhouses and youth programs on the South Side. Additionally, as an effort to introduce and educate the sport, this past August, Disc Golf Chicago hosted a week long “Chicago Disc Golf Expo”.
While Inglis and the HPDG group have been the main catalyst for driving the project forward, there have been a number of groups involved in various aspects. Disc Golf Chicago worked hard on the Disc Golf Expo and continues to be involved in the overall effort. The PMF and Discmania are providing backend support, along with helping provide an overall awareness of the project.
Both the Jackson Park Advisory Council and Nichols Park Advisory Council have played major roles, and with the leadership of Louise Mccurry HPDG has been able to partner with local organizations like the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement to organize dozens of community service events throughout the year. The community workdays combine volunteering with education about the history of Jackson Park (1893 World’s Fair) and our local fauna. “Mccurry’s dedication to the preservation of our parks and other public treasures knows no end.” - Tommy
Progress continues on, with education efforts growing stronger and opportunities like the Basket Steward Program coming to fruition. Currently, a temporary course is set up and playable in Jackson Park. Some day soon, a permanent course on the South Side that Chicago residents have been dreaming of.
How to Get Involved
The key to future success in Chicago, much like many other communities, in part relies on the efforts of volunteering. If you’re new to Chicago, volunteering can be a great way to make friends and is a rewarding experience. Working towards something, with a group of like minded individuals, is quite powerful. In the event that you’re a local to Chicago, come out and see what’s happening, you’re likely to learn a thing or two about the local parks and Chicago history, all while making history.
DiscGolfPark by Discmania
Course equipment for the Paul McBeth Foundation projects will be supplied by DiscGolfPark. DiscGolfPark by Discmania is a unique disc golf course concept developed in Finland back in 2005. The idea behind the concept is to make it as easy as possible to establish quality disc golf courses. Course design, project management and all equipment (Targets, Turf TeePads, TeeSigns,InfoBoard and graphics) are included with each DiscGolfPark.
DiscGolfPark is the most popular disc golf course concept in the world. We have over 600 installations on three continents. DiscGolfPark provides great experiences for players of all skill levels: from beginners to professionals. Our main ideology is to introduce disc golf to new audiences.