Marys River Park disc golf course
The disc golf course at Marys River Park could be getting upgraded tee pads, if a proposal by a local resident materializes. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

A local resident interested in heading up an effort to improve the tee pads at the Marys River Park disc golf course attracted the attention of the Philomath Park Advisory Board.

City Manager Chris Workman received a letter dated Nov. 9 from Steve Sackmann, who requested the park board to begin a conversation about the possibility of upgrading the disc golf tee pads.

“Current pads installed were great but too short, so currently most golfers just use the ground around the tee pads causing areas of either bare mud or dirt,” Sackmann wrote.

Sackmann said he would not expect the city to pay for any tee pad upgrades and if requested, he could supply detailed information on costs, a certified contractor, dimensions of new pads and fundraising options that would be paid for by disc golfers.

“Again, no money from the city of Philomath would be expected,” he added.

For those not familiar with the sport, tee pads are the disc golf version of a tee box on a golf course — it’s where competitors throw from to begin play on the ensuing basket.

“Right now, most of them have got railroad ties and gravel but as we’ve talked about that area, it floods quite a bit, so we have not done concrete pads,” Workman said. “I know we put new gravel down once in a while.”

Park Advisory Board members wondered how often the disc golf course is utilized.

“My sense is that it’s pretty popular,” board member Spencer Irwin said. “Pretty much every time I go there, there’s somebody’s (playing) — maybe not right now, but in the better months.”

Park Board member Sandy Heath, another regular user of Marys River Park, believes the course attracts “a regular bunch of people … it’s not a crowd, by any means, but it’s pretty steady.”

Board members have expressed the desire to see Marys River Park maintain its natural, outdoors feel. 

“For me, it fits that space well and people really like it,” Irwin said. “I would actually say, there’s kind of a big disc golf community in Corvallis and Philomath and I guess probably all over Oregon. Actually if anything, that might be one of the spots where people are coming in from other areas just to play a different course.”

Philomath has two disc golf courses — the other is located near Philomath Middle School.

Following the board’s discussion, Workman came out of the meeting planning to contact Sackmann to request more details.

The board also discussed an idea from a resident to build a dog park at Marys River Park (click here for separate story).

The majority of the Dec. 10 meeting featured MIG’s Jon Pheanis, the project manager hired to head up the city’s Park Master Plan update. Pheanis provided an overview of the process and board members shared viewpoints on various components, such as perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current park system.