The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Disc golf enthusiasts pitch second course


February 26, 2020

Kevin Wilson

Members of the Clovis Disc Golf Club are looking to expand beyond their current Ned Houk South course.

CLOVIS - Shooting enthusiasts are looking forward to the day they'll be able to have practice and competitions at Ned Houk Park. Disc golf enthusiasts are hoping to stay there, but grow the game a few miles beyond the park.

Both sports were covered during discussions at Monday's Clovis Parks, Beautification and Recreation committee meeting.

Disc golf is played with flying discs, most of them around 8.5 inches in diameter, metal baskets that serve as targets and concrete pads that serve as tee boxes.

The sport has been a staple at the park's southern Patch Work Place since 2005, when Cory Young of Boy Scout Troop 411 developed a nine-hole course with assistance from the Noonday Kiwanis Club.

The Clovis Disc Golf Club, with Young's permission, began renovations in 2017 and one year later finished a course that eliminated the previous holes and replaced them with 18 new ones for what is now called the Ned Houk South Course.

There's no way to track usage, but Teddy Guevara of the CDGC said during warmer months the course is constantly used on the weekends and the CDGC has 45 paid members.

Guevara said more than $2,000 remains from the original budget of $23,500 in city funds. He was hoping to roll that money over into a second course, either for a Ned Houk North course in the park's Pow Wow Pass or preferably one of two locations closer to most Clovis residents.

The club is eyeing either the Circle of Trees near 21st and Wheaton for an 18-hole course or Hillcrest Park for a nine-hole course, Guevara said, because growing a sport requires building youth interest and most kids can't easily get to Ned Houk Park.

The park is technically within city limits - the result of a 1990s annexation for a golf course development that never materialized - but is a six-mile car trip for most residents.

"It is drainage in your plans," Guevara said of the Circle of Trees. "We have walked the area quite a few times, and believe there's an opportunity there."

City Manager Justin Howalt said a disc golf course there was unlikely to interfere with drainage. Although he couldn't be for sure without seeing course designs, it was also reasonable to assume the course would be unplayable following a heavy rain and that water wouldn't cause any damage to baskets and tee boxes.

Board members seemed hesitant to OK a course at Hillcrest Park, given its current usage by youth soccer organizations.

If the group was limited to a Ned Houk North course, Guevara said, it would likely include both a nine-hole beginner course and an 18-hole advanced course. The club has the nine baskets it pulled from the 2005 course in storage.

Guevara is unlikely to do design work until the club gets a go-ahead to create a new course.

Board members asked Guevara about the possibility the game would interfere with bystanders or picnickers at the park. Club Vice President Anthony Lopez noted that players are informed pedestrians have the right of way at any course, and Guevara said the top goal in course design is to avoid the likelihood of bystanders being hit.

Guevara also asked if any other city funds would be available, and planned to seek private sponsorships if necessary. Board Chairman Fidel Madrid said he and Parks and Recreation Director Mark Dayhoff would have discussions and get back to the club.

The board also received a visit from Jessica Fisher, shooting program coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. She said environmental studies and construction drawings are complete for the shooting range, and Howalt was hoping construction could begin in the summer.

The project, funded 90% through federal dollars, will probably approach $4 million, with $3.5 million on construction and other money going to range equipment. Howalt said the city has spent about $30,000 of the $400,000 it had set aside for the range.

In other business at the meeting:

n Joyce Gates said she would like to address work on the Pappy Thornton Museum in the next meeting, following notification that work would not violate any historical preservation requirements.

• Dayhoff said he was hopeful the Youth Recreation Building would be fixed around the anniversary of the mid-March winds that first did damage to the roof.

"The building basically sat all summer while we argued with the insurance company," Dayhoff said. "We have turned down a lot of reservations."

The closure has moved a polling place for Tuesday's municipal election from the YRB to the nearby Clovis Aquatic Center.

• Board member Jamaal Williams said he was asked to pass along a comment on Greene Acres Park, and asked if sweeping of the sidewalks was done to clean up waste from the geese. Dayhoff said no sweeping is taking place, and that a park worker could clean those sidewalks every night and it wouldn't make a visible difference.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 23 at city hall.


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