Disc Golf Course Closed at Westchester Park This Summer
ANCHORAGE - Disc golfers arrived at Westchester Lagoon over the weekend to find all the baskets had been taken down and the course closed.
“I'm disappointed. It's awesome to just be able to walk down here and play a couple holes and kill some time outside,” said Andrew Essex, who uses the course regularly.
Nick Wiederholt, who lives near the course, was also upset the course was closed. “I come out here and play the course after work, it's just a great spot. I call it Anchorage's frolf course because it's just right here.”
Many left disappointed, but a few weren’t bothered by the lack of baskets and decided to play through.
The Parks and Recreation Commission removed the baskets last week. In November it voted to make the course “winter-only.”
"It really comes down to the user group conflicts. The large amount of people that were appreciating the sport – a sport we do encourage in our parks – we just think that here because of the proximity with the trail and the large amount of people utilizing the course, it didn't function well,” said park planner Josh Durand.
Players are using posts and trees for the time being until the baskets are back up this fall. But many wonder: Who will be using the course when the snow comes?
“Especially with a winter like we just had, who wants to come trekking out in five or six feet of snow?” asked Wiederholt.
“To me it's definitely a summertime sport. It's like playing volleyball in the snow,” said Essex.
The Parks and Rec Commission also cited problems with alcohol and drug use at the park as a reason for the closure.
“It's not going to go away, it's going to gravitate elsewhere. The problems we've had in the past here at Westchester are know going to gravitate toward Kincaid,” said William Harrison, a member with the Alaska Disc Golf Association.
Disc golfers say a select few have ruined it for the rest of them, and baskets or not, people who want to play aren’t planning on leaving any time soon.
Crews will work on trail restoration throughout the summer. The baskets will be put back up in October or November. The course will be available for permitted events, like tournaments, next summer.