Island Park in Cedar Falls is now home to the city's newest disc golf course. The 9-hole course is located on Center Street and joins existing courses at Tourist Park and Big Woods Lake to give players a wider variety of options for the popular sport.
The course was designed by Cedar Falls Principal Engineer, Ben Claypool. An avid supporter of the game, Claypool was excited to share his love of disc golf with the community and design a fresh and different experience for players.
"I am a huge fan of the Disc Golf Pro-Tour, a 30-tournament season every year where the top professionals compete primarily across the United States as well as Europe and Canada," said Claypool. "Watching coverage of these events opened my eyes to the vast multitude of course types and when the City Parks Supervisor, Kevin Cross, discussed the desire to utilize the northern end of Island Park by incorporating a new disc golf course, I jumped at the opportunity."
Cedar Falls Parks crews got to work in spring 2023, clearing trees that had succumbed to the Emerald Ash Borer and removing undergrowth from the area.
"Each year, we see more and more people enjoy the disc golf courses in Cedar Falls and it has been a goal to expand on that as the demand has grown," said Parks Supervisor Kevin Cross. "The northern end of Island Park was severely underutilized so it was a perfect place to create something new and exciting for the community."
After weeks of work removing debris as well as dated and unused playground equipment from the area, Parks crews transformed the old space into a 9-hole course that featured a unique playing experience for both veterans and newcomers to the game.
"What we ultimately produced was a course that challenged local disc golfers to longer throws than there are at Tourist Disc Golf Course across the street and shorter throws than Big Woods Disc Golf Course next to the lake," said Claypool. "There are some fun quirks with the course as well including an 'island' green around the basket for Hole 1, an elevated basket for Hole 9, and a practice putting green where disc golfers can warm up their putting skills before rounds."
The new course has already enjoyed a warm reception from the community.
"It has garnered a lot of positive feedback and use from local disc golf groups already which we are thrilled to see," said Claypool. "Our City crews did an amazing job on the installation. Whether you are a long-time player or interested in a casual new hobby, we invite you to stop on over and give it a try!"