Algonquin resident designs village's first disc golf course

ALGONQUIN – When Jamie Martinez sees an open plot of land, he said he can’t help but map out in his brain how a new disc golf course would fit into the space.

The Algonquin resident pitched the idea of creating a nine-hole course to the village in 2013, and his design was brought to life two weeks ago.

“When the village sent me an email to let me know the course was playable, it was snowing outside, but I bundled up myself and my kids, and we played a round, even though it was cold, because we were just so excited,” Martinez said.

Martinez said he would jog through Algonquin Lakes Park in the neighborhood he used to live in, and he kept thinking of possible designs before mapping out two potential layouts and presenting a proposal to the village in 2013.

The village funded the $4,500 project and kicked off construction during the summer, Assistant Village Manager Mike Kumbera said.

The Quarry View Disc Golf Course is in the neighborhood park, Algonquin Lakes Park, 700 Lake Plumleigh Way.

Martinez, a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association, began playing the sport several years ago and has been playing competitively since 2013.

A 2010 evaluation of Algonquin parks and recreation listed disc golf as a top priority that residents wanted to see, along with adult fitness and special events, Kumbera said.

The Quarry View course was designed for beginners, but experienced players can challenge themselves depending on how they decide to play, Martinez said.

“It is a course anyone at any skill level can play, and specifically family members and all generations,” Martinez said. “I knew it wouldn’t be a large championship-style course, but a place to have a casual round with family.”

Disc golf began in the 1970s after the Frisbee disc was invented, and it combined both Frisbee and golf, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.

The sport takes its rules from golf, and players substitute Frisbee discs for balls. Players throw the discs at cages from tee pads, and the game is scored similarly to golf.

Carpentersville, West Dundee, Huntley and Lake in the Hills already have similar-sized disc golf courses, Martinez said.

“They took my exact design and did an amazing job,” Martinez said. “If you ever have a vision of something and hand it off, sometimes things can get lost in translation, but they hit it out of the park.”

To play, residents should bring their own discs, which can be found at most sporting goods stores, Martinez said. Used discs can be found at Play It Again Sports in Crystal Lake. Instructions on how to play are located on the tee sign at the first hole.

Algonquin Lakes Park is open from 6 a.m. to dusk, according to the village’s website.

Martinez said he has seen other families playing and has seen positive comments on social media, but he can’t wait to see the crowd the course brings when spring and summer arrive.

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