By John Bombatch
JAMESTOWN — A discussion in a Greeneview High School hallway led to the creation of Ohio’s newest disc golf course.
GHS physical education teacher Matt Ferguson was looking for more ways to get his students involved in phys ed outdoors, and he mentioned the subject in a brief discussion with then-Vocational Agriculture teacher Matt Elsass.
And the gears started turning.
According to School Principal Brian Masser, a $2,500 grant from the Agricultural and Rural Community Outreach Program, which is a joint venture between the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Future Farmers of America, was awarded. A $3,000 the Tanger Outlets kids program grant also helped get things rolling.
The school’s marketing class rounded up the local sponsors for the holes and put together Saturday’s kickoff event. Nine Jamestown-area businesses agreed to provide sponsorship of the nine holes. And more businesses provided mulch and greenery for along the course, RE Bull Excavating put in a stone pathway just the day before Saturday’s kickoff event.
“As soon as the money came in, we realized this project had the potential of getting more students involved than just from the P.E. and the Vocational Agriculture classes,” Masser said. “So we incorporated our graphics design students into the project. They created the course logo and all the course signage.”
In 118 days, or since the beginning of this school year, with the help and hard work of more than 100 GHS students from six class programs, the Greeneview High School Disc Golf Course was created.
Greeneview FFA President Cody Myers tossed the golden ceremonial first disc. He was one of the GHS students who helped build the course.
“At first, we were as nervous as all get out,” Myers said. “We started out by just knowing we were going to design it and hope that we could get area businesses to help us, but today we see that we really didn’t have to be that nervous. … I’m very proud, not just for FFA but of all the student groups that were involved. Everybody has worked so hard. We truly have gifted, talented students who were able to come together and put together such a fantastic course, and this event today.”
With the aid of Google overhead imagery the course’s layout was designed by Mark Gathaway, a Cedarville University professor who helped build the Yellow Jackets’ course.
Greeneview’s course starts alongside the east end of the high school then winds around in a clockwise fashion around to the back of the school, into an area just north of the softball field, into a small wooded section. The course then returns just south of the baseball diamond and then meanders its way back to the east side of the high school.
The par-29, 1,965-foot course is designed so that a full round of golf can be played within the 50 minutes of a typical GHS physical education period. The course will be made available for public use after school hours.
Masser said while there hasn’t been any preliminary discussions with Village of Jamestown officials, the course was designed with the potential to possibly expand onto the adjacent Seaman Park grounds some day. There’s a section of land owned by the school, between the baseball diamond and the tennis courts, that can also be used for possible expansion.
Doug Wickline took over the Vocational Agriculture side of the venture when Elsass took another job closer to his home. Wickline also works at Wickline Florist, Garden Center & Landscaping in Xenia.
“I’m just so proud of the kids. For taking a project that has such a long ending, and then seeing their vision come true has been awesome,” Wickline said. “And for it to be so interdisciplinary — from having Agriculture and Art and Business all intertwined — it’s been great to see the kids working together and seeing this through.”
According to Disc Golf Scene.com, The Greeneview course is only the second in Ohio to be developed on high school grounds. A nine-hole course was established at Ashland High School in 2000. Disc Golf Scene.com lists 190 golf courses at 188 locations.
Make that 191.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.