Vicky Turner was excited as she drove past the pavilion at Kellogg Lake Park on Wednesday.
She rolled down the window of her car and yelled to the man standing next to the trailer parked in the grass near an odd-shaped silver basket.
“When will it be ready?” Turner asked.
“It'll be ready tomorrow,” replied Russ Burns, with Disc Golf Monkey.
“Alright,” Turner replied.
That's the kind of excitement Burns said he hopes will be generated in Carthage with the installation of a new, 12-hole disc golf course at Kellogg Lake Park.
“Soon I'm hoping Carthage will be a stop on our tour,” Burns said. “Right now we run about 15 tour events a year. This is about the 21st course we've installed. The sport is booming, it's growing, we average 88 players in our tournaments last summer.”
Turner said she's looking forward to hitting the new course with her boyfriend.
“I'm excited because we're getting a disc golf course here,” she said. “We love to play disc golf, it's the new version of Frisbee. I grew in the Frisbee age, but now it's disc golf and my boyfriend and I play all the time, we have lots of friends that play.”
Mayan Counts, Joplin, a friend who was riding with Turner, said she's never played disc golf, but she plans to start.
“Now it's going to be more easily accessible for us to go out and play,” Counts said. “I've never played before, but I've heard it's really fun so I'm going to start playing.”
City Parks and Recreation workers have spend the past week doing concrete work with the sleeves to hold the disc golf baskets and tee pads where golfers will launch their discs.
Burns, who built and installed the 12 baskets and designed the layout of the course, said getting concrete tee boxes built was important.
Burns is also a professional disc golf player.
“It will be 18 holes shortly, but the reason for the 12-hole design was the money issue which was really smart but the city,” Burns said. “That allowed for not only the baskets to be installed but the construction of concrete tee pads which sometimes doesn't happen, so this was a good idea.”
The city spent $4,680 with burns for the baskets and his services designing the course. They budgeted a total of $6,000 for the project, purchasing concrete and base rock for the pads and building them.
Most courses, Burns said, have hills and changes in elevation that make the course more difficult, but Kellogg Lake is on flat land.
Page 2 of 2 - “Because it's on a flat line we had to make sure we kept all the vegetation, the trees and the creek area,” Burns said. “Those come into play and add obstacles to the course. One of the coolest things is that we don't have a lot of courses in our area that have any kind of water hazards. This does and that kind of adds to the luster of this course.”
Holes, or baskets, stretch the length of Kellogg Lake Park, from near the Spring River on the west side to the banks of Kellogg Lake.
Burns said disc golf is a fun sport that anyone can play.
“It's the greatest, cheapest, most fun sport you can get into,” Bruns said. “I've played every sport and I've been successful at some, I was an All-American in baseball, I'm not bragging, I'm just saying I've played a lot of different sports but this one is something I'll be able to do for the rest of my life. Anybody can get into it. It's cheap, it's eight dollars to buy a disc. Your whole family can play. Maybe not the four-year-old or three-year-old, but I have a six-year-old now. She started when she was five and she can play a course with me.”