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Whitnall student floats an idea for disc golf course near high school

Nov. 13, 2012

Greenfield - If 17-year-old Clayton Anderson can pull it off, Frisbees will whip through the sky over land where brambles grow today just outside of Whitnall High School.

Clayton, a senior at Whitnall and son of School Board member T.J. Anderson, presented a proposal to the board on Monday to create a disc golf course on the 5.4 acres called the nature pod near the high and middle schools.

The school district owns the nature pod, a wetland parcel which science classes use for their studies. That wouldn't change under Clayton's proposal.

Disc golf is similar to golf except that players throw flying discs instead of hit golf balls. Instead of a hole in the ground, their target is a metal basket on a pole.

Practical questions

The idea got a warm reception from the School Board, but members did, have a few questions, particularly about funding. Clayton, who will be back in subsequent meetings to answer any concerns, He estimates the cost at less than $15,000 to clear the brush, set the poles with the baskets and spread wood chips where the brush grows.

Before coming to the board, Clayton met with Matt Karshna, buildings and grounds supervisor, who helped him with the design and provided guidance.

If the vision comes true, this will be the only disc golf course in Greenfield. The nearest is in New Berlin.

Board member Bernard Shaw added that clearing the brush away would make the area less attractive to those who have used the site for illicit purposes. (See sidebar story.) Even so, he wasn't in favor of using taxpayer dollars to provide the course.

Now Clayton plans to approach clubs and organizations for both funding and help with the actual work of making a course.

Just because

Clayton said the idea isn't tied to any other civic program - such as an Eagle Scout project. It's just something he wants to leave his school.

"I'm very proud of my son," T.J. Anderson said.

So is Superintendent Lowell Holtz.

"We stress students being civic-minded. When you raise expectations, kids respond," he said.

And Clayton's idea is a good one, he said, because disc golf is a lifetime sport and families can play together.

"A number of campgrounds have courses because it's a fun family activity," Holtz said.

"It will enhance that area," added School Board member Quin Brunette, and it's something the community as well as students can enjoy.

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