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Since You Asked: Medford disc golf course still in city plans

I read in the paper that local disc golfers are talking with Gold Hill about building a course in the sports park there. Whatever happened to Medford's plans for building a new disc golf course? I thought they said they would do that when they shut down the course in Holmes Park.

— Lewis H., Medford

Well, Lewis, if you're a disc golfer, don't give up hope yet for a Medford course. Brian Sjothun, Medford's parks and recreation director, said there are still plans afoot for developing a new disc course.

In fact, there's even a sub-committee studying the issue (nearly takes your breath away, doesn't it?).

Before we carry on, however, the Since You Asked archivist has demanded that we provide a bit of historical perspective on the issue. The short version goes like this:

At the request of local disc golfers, Medford years ago allowed a disc golf course to be built in Holmes Park in east Medford. All went well for at least several hours before neighbors noticed that some of the disc golfers were, shall we say, a bit rough around the edges. Parked cars lined the street on weekends, beer cans were seen and language unsuitable for young ears was overheard. (We're shocked, shocked, to hear that golfers of any stripe use foul language, but let's leave that for another day).

Complaints were lodged, and city officials discovered the required process hadn't been followed in building the course. Soon after, disc golf disappeared from Holmes Park.

The city planned to relocate the course to donated property just north of the Little League baseball fields off Barnett Road, next to Interstate 5. But it was tripped up by its own code, which required that a parking lot be built and that Spencer Street on the north end of the site be improved. Total cost was estimated at $300,000 to $500,000. Triple bogey, game over.

But wait. Sjothun says the course likely will be resurrected, and conceivably on the site next to the Little League fields. Though still far from definite, one idea is to improve the parking lot at the Little League fields and build a trail to the disc course area. Also in the works is a plan to build a course at Chrissy Park, east of Cherry Lane on the lower slopes of Roxy Ann Peak.

Neither will happen immediately, however. The Little League option is probably a couple of years away, Sjothun said, and the Chrissy Park development is dependent in part on the pace of residential development in southeast Medford, so it could be five or more years off.

In the meantime, we happen to know there's a large manicured course not far from Holmes Park and we hear the owners are looking for members. So maybe the discgolfers could work something out with the Rogue Valley Country Club?

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.