BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – The City of Bryan is planning to shut down Hudson Park Disc Golf Course.
Despite only being open for a few months, many in the Brazos Valley have played on the disc golf course and has even attracted players from across the state.
KBTX spoke with Hugh Walker, the Bryan Deputy City Manager, who said the main reason they are shutting the course down is because of residential complaints.
“Residents were concerned. I’m going to go back. Two or three months ago is when the complaints started coming in. The residents weren’t aware of the project. Then we started getting complaints about discs on roofs, discs going into backyards, and golfers jumping fences to retrieve discs. Discs that remained on roofs because folks couldn’t get up to the roofs to get them down,” said Walker.
Walker said other reasons include an injury that was filed and the layout of the course inconveniences residential houses and walking trails.
The city says they are going to shut the course down on Tuesday, February 13th. According to the city, $50,000 worth of taxpayer money went into building the course.
“And you put all those things together and we had to reevaluate it. And we decided at this point, we are going to close the course, we are going to close in on Tuesday and take the baskets down,” said Walker. “Right now we’re trying to please the residents in the area. We need to take care of them first since they were the ones that were there certainly before the course that was there.”
The city says they have been in contact with those who have built the course regarding the complaints but verbally said they were shutting the course down on Thursday, February 8th.
However, the city is willing to look for alternative sites.
“Ideally, we can find another location. We do not have anything identified yet, but we’re going to look. We’ll evaluate other options as new parks come online, sometimes those are options too,” said Walker.
The shutdown is a shock to the close-knit disc golf community and those who helped build the course from the ground up.
Co-owner of the Armory Disc Golf Shop in College Station, Dustin Sanford, says the park’s grand opening tournament was slated for March 2nd, but now those plans are in limbo.
“People are coming from all over the state to play this event, this is a big event, and the course is just being taken from us,” said Sanford.
The Brazos Valley Disc Golf Club President, Tyer Pharr, says the city of Bryan’s plans to remove the course are disappointing many disc golfers.
“Hearing that from somebody that I’ve been working with that they’re going to get rid of the course that we’ve been working on for years and that I’ve put hundreds of hours of volunteering, literally crawling through the stuff [trees] to try and mark where stuff was … it hurts,” said Pharr.
Pharr said the news is frustrating because they have worked with the City of Bryan every step of the way to build the course.
“I have a family friend that works for the city of Bryan that I got into contact with Parks and Rec through him. And we designed this course, it used to not have any of these trails through it, it was all just the woods and everything behind us. So we went though, marked everything, designed the layout, helped with the install, did everything with maintenance, and promoting it, and everything else,” said Pharr.
Pharr says they have tried to work with the city regarding the residential complaints and are frustrated that they’ve had less than a week’s notice regarding the course’s shutdown.
“We’ve said we can move that t-box forward to where their house isn’t in play, we said we could do a mandatory sign where you have to throw on a certain side of a tree or a pole to prevent people from throwing towards people’s house. We said we could even remove a hole entirely and completely redesign something else in the woods. And we never got any response back from them other than ‘yea, we’re working on it’ but we did not get any response that had substance to it. Then we were just notified ‘yea were just removing the whole thing’ even though most of the holes aren’t close to any houses,” said Pharr.
“We’ve had no notice, like yesterday [Thursday] was the first that we’ve heard of it and we’ve been scrambling since then. There’s no notice, nothing whatsoever,” said Sanford.
They say shutting down the course is affecting a multitude of disc golfers, in the community and miles away.
“We’ve had people driving in from all over the state, we have people coming from multiple states across the nation, we have people all the way from Oregon that have come to play this course,” said Sanford.
Sanford and Pharr just want to come to an agreement with the city. They are even willing to move some aspects of the course so that it does not bother residents.
“What we want most of all is if there are problems with the course, let’s talk about it, let’s talk about it in open public, in front of council,” said Sanford.
Sanford and Pharr created a petition for the public to sign to ‘Halt the Removal of Park Hudson’s Disc Golf Course” and say they are doing everything in their power to keep the course open.
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