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Devou Park Targeted for Disc Golf Course

Written by Michael Monks, LINK Media chief content officer

Devou Park spans more than 700 acres on a Covington hilltop overlooking the that city and Cincinnati. 

Its sprawling offerings including an 18-hole golf course, multiple event venues, bike-sharing, a fishing pond, biking and hiking trails, and its famous overlook where visitors take in the sweeping vista of the Cincinnati and Covington skylines.

Soon, disc golf could be on the menu.

The Covington city commission on Tuesday listened to a presentation from parks and recreation manager Ben Oldiges and disc golf enthusiast Dr. Ryan Friebert, who plays professionally.

Oldiges said that the pair and others worked to come up with an idea and a plan to bring disc golf to Covington, and that the proposal has received support from the Devou Park Advisory Committee (DPAC), which provides oversight for the maintenance of the physical structures of Devou Park. In November, DPAC gave its blessing for the proposal to be presented to the city commission.

He made clear that there was no financial ask of the city.

"This is informational, to give you a better idea of what disc golf is," Oldiges told the commission.

Disc golf involves players throwing a disc towards a series of typically metal baskets, with the idea being to complete an entire course in the fewest possible throws. The idea is similar to traditional golf, and even the discs can be referred to as putters or drivers, depending on the objective of the player, as in traditional golf.

Friebert said that ideally, a new disc golf course in Devou Park would include 24 holes. However, because the Devou Park Backcountry Trails are expanding, and because the proposed course would overlap with that, Friebert said that the course design would include only 18 holes for now.

"It will be very sufficient for the time being while we get the full layout for the trail expansion," he said.

Northern Kentucky has proven to be able to attract not just recreational disc golf players, but world-class competitions. The Idlewild Open, held at Englad Idlewild Disc Golf Course in Boone County, brings in the sport's best competitors.

"It's not just kids throwing frisbees anymore," Friebert said.

The doctor noted that the only Northern Kentucky course inside the I-275 loop is one with nine holes in Fort Thomas. "An 18-hole course or a 24-hole course is what most players are looking for," he said. "We have a complete void of access within this region, and we feel like Devou would be an excellent site for this."

To raise funds for the proposed disc golf course, Friebert suggested that proponents would hold events at the park's golf course, and when implemented, the course would be supported by weekly leagues, weekend events, tournament fees, disc sales, and sponsorships, in addition to a variety of grants.

The disc sales, in particular, could be helpful, he said.

"If this is as big as we think it's going to be, there is going to be a lot of a new people, and people who need discs," Friebert said.

The timeline for the course is dependent upon official approval, funding, and even the weather, as some concrete will need to be poured to support some of the holes, Friebert said. 

DPAC will consider some financial support of the proposed project at its March meeting, Oldiges said. 

Mayor Joe Meyer thanked the pair for the presentation as a first introduction to it. "We'll be interested in learning more, and particularly some of the details about budget, maintenance, and cost, and timing, and all those sorts of things," Meyer said. "We'll see where this takes us."

Photo: An entrance to Devou Park (RCN file)