The idea came from my son-in-law Kevin [Hinkle] and I getting obsessed with disc golf. We work together for my company, and we travel a lot across Northern Indiana. We got the disc golf bug. When we had spare time, we would play courses wherever.
Kevin heard through a friend that the parks department was open to a disc golf course, but no one had gotten them a serious proposal yet. So that got us super excited.
Ultimately, we wanted to have a course that was playable and enjoyable for the family and would also have some challenges for more advanced players.
Mullet Park has some unique features we wanted to incorporate into the design, but it also had some challenges. When we first went to look at it, Kevin and I thought we could maybe fit five holes in because it floods and ponds. But once you look at it, you are only left with so many parcels you can work with, so we kind of squeezed things in to get nine holes.
We went out to Mullet with a bunch of flags. We started a Facebook telling people we had nine holes flagged out there and asked them for feedback. Kevin and I were back on-site at least four times, moving flags — sometimes bickering among ourselves — about how things should be.
And we have had people play now when it’s ponded, and they’ve said all the holes are playable, which is kind of fun because it adds a water element.
We’ve just been super grateful to the parks board and the parks department for being open to this and supporting the project, the input from everyone on Facebook, and the compliments that went along with it.
COVID caused a huge growth in disc golf. Oxbow is a great course, but it’s not for beginners. And disc golf saw growth of about 40 percent during the pandemic. People got out. It was the safe thing to do; people were distancing, you could get outside. This course brings that amenity to Goshen.
We contacted the Boys and Girls Club and said, ‘Hey, we’d like to have a group of kids out, teach them how to play disc golf, and show them what it’s all about.’ So about a month ago, we had about 20 kids from the Boys and Girls Club. I bought them all a disc, and I talked a bit about disc golf and etiquette. When you find a disc, you make sure you look for someone’s phone number and text them, and give that back to them. We talked about how, if you’re playing and people are waiting on you all the time, you let people play through, and you’re kind to them.
People play at different rates, and you accommodate them.
Then the kids wrote their names and phone numbers on their discs, and we broke them up into two groups. We showed them how to throw and how to putt and just had a good time.
There are so many things we have to pay money for these days. I’m such a fan of allowing people to enjoy our natural resources, and the opportunities provided by this course exemplify that sort of sharing of spaces.
Being a disc golf geek, an enthusiast, I just think, ‘Anyone would want to do this!’ But then to go over the jumping bridge, and you can see everyone out there playing…I said to my wife right after it opened, ‘I feel like we threw a party and everyone came!”
— Stuart Meade pictured with Kevin Hinkle, co-creators of Mullet Park’s nine-hole disc golf course
Written and edited by Wendy Wilson, photos provided by Stuart Meade.
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