Devou has 18 new holes (but don’t bother bringing clubs)

Dr. Ryan Freibert, who plays disc golf semi-professionally and served as a consultant and planner for Covington, tried out a tee on Devou Park’s course during construction.

Covington course for wildly popular disc golf opens Saturday with public tournament, more

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of two news releases today detailing new amenities and opportunities created by the Covington Parks & Recreation Division. The second release describes a new soccer mini pitch, courtesy of FC Cincinnati Foundation.)

COVINGTON, Ky. – The wait is over.

The 18-hole Covington Disc Golf Course officially opens Saturday in Devou Park with all the grandeur that one might expect, including commemorative discs, a ceremonial disc throwing, and a public tournament.

City officials expect the course will quickly get a lot of use.

“We’ve got a lot of people who are passionate about this sport who have been anxiously waiting for the course to open,” Covington Parks & Recreation Manager Ben Oldiges said. “We’re thrilled to kick everything off this weekend with a great event and look forward to seeing a robust influx of people coming to Devou Park from now on to play disc golf.”

Oldiges said Saturday’s event – which begins at 10 a.m. – will kick off with comments from Mayor Joe Meyer and Vice Mayor Pro Tem/Commissioner Ron Washington and the ceremonial disc throwing.

Following the disc golf tournament, which will be open to the public, the disc golf course will officially be open for free use by anybody who wants to use it.

Oldiges said the course will be open dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Registration is not necessary to play (although it will be necessary for tournament play on Saturday).

Hole No. 1 is up the hill from the Stone Shelter at the intersection of Montague Road and Golfview Drive.

Washington was an early supporter of bringing a disc golf course to Covington and connected City officials with Dr. Ryan Freibert, who plays the sport semi-professionally and served as a consultant and planner for Covington for the course’s creation.

At Tuesday’s Board of Commission meeting, he praised Freibert, Parks & Rec staff, and everyone who had a hand in its creation.

“The dedication of these volunteers has been incredible, the amount of hours they’ve put in,” Washington said. “This is a big deal … and is a very, very good thing for our city. I did not realize how popular this sport was until Dr. Freibert educated me.”

Like golf (sort of)

The rules for disc golf are similar to traditional golf by way of scoring and etiquette, but, obviously, the equipment differs. That said, it’s a lot more than just throwing the Frisbee disc we’re all familiar with.

Standing on what is generally a 4-foot by 6-foot concrete tee box, a player aims their disc toward a chain basket that’s placed no less than 100 feet from the tee box.

These discs differ from non-competitive discs in that they have a thinner profile and a sharper outer edge so as to increase aerodynamics and distance. Different discs are used for different parts of the course.

Just like with mainstream golf, the idea is to complete the course in the fewest throws.

‘Long time coming’

The City began planning its disc golf course a year ago, and the location and layout for the course were approved by the Devou Park Advisory Committee in November 2021. It’s funded by the Devou Trust and Devou Properties Inc.

The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) estimates that more than a million people regularly play the game, nationwide. In Kentucky, there were 1,748 registered PDGA members in 2021, and the state is home to 132 disc courses.

Add Covington to that list.

“A disc golf course was a long time coming to our Covington parks system,” Oldiges said. “We believe the public will find that it was well worth the wait.”

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