FRISBEE golf and foot golf have ‘taken off’ at Central Park since they have been added to the existing pitch-and-putt course according to new co-leaseholder Ian Marshall.
Ian Marshall next to one of the Disc Golf holes at Central Park
Disc golf putting tips from Flyers disc golf.
Marshall is one of three professionals who won the tender to run the council-owned nine-hole course this year, together with Jez Wilmott and Scott MacAskill.
Disc Golf, as it is properly known, involves throwing a frisbee into an upright target which has chains dangling down to catch the disc, while Foot Golf is a more recognisable version of golf – just with bigger holes to kick a ball into.
Having taken over the lease in April, Marshall said he had been surprised just how many people had already come through the course to play one of the sports on offer.
“The Foot Golf has really taken off,” he said. “We’re delighted with it to be honest.
“We’ve got some upgrades on the course and had done a large leaflet drop, but we’ve been surprised at how many people we’ve had already.”
The trio of professionals may already be recognisable to golfers having spent their careers in Plymouth.
Marshall ran the golf tips column in The Herald – which he is reprising this year – while all three were coaches at the Plymouth Golf Centre on Haye Road.
Branding themselves as ‘GP3 Leisure’ the trio also now run the golf driving range at Boringdon Park and another Disc Golf course at Mt Edgcumbe, which operates from a shop behind the Stables cafe and winds its way through the historic grounds.
“It’s gone from nothing to having a thriving disc golf community because of the location, which is just stunning,” said Marshall.
“People are travelling from all over Europe to play it.”
At Central Park, the infrastructure of the two new sports has been integrated into the existing pitch and putt course so that it is possible to play different formats all at the same time.
“If you turn up with two friends you can all play a different sport at the same time,” he said.
“It’s the same principle as every golf sport, as in it’s the person furthest away from the hole who plays first.
The three ‘holes’ in one area: from left, Disc Golf, Foot Golf, and pitch and putt
Ian Marshall with regulars at the Central Park ‘cafe’ next to the hut
“Obviously the rules are that you don’t play until the person in front of you has left the hole.”
Marshall said an open day is planned for the bear future where people can turn up and have a go, or receive some coaching in any of the sports on offer.
“We’ve got some Disc golfers coming over to show how it’s done,” he said.
“Jez plays in the tournaments and Scott plays too. I don’t, but Jez is really good and can really hold his own.
“But we’ve all been trained to coach it.
“There are specific techniques you need but it’s a quick learning curve and something that almost everyone can play.
“There’s not so much of a steep learning curve as there is with regular golf, and not so many restrictions.
“Pitch and putt golf is thriving and it is a good learning curve for people to go on and join local golf clubs.”
“I am sure the council will be delighted to see so many people taking advantage of the facilities on their land,” he added.
“It’s been miles busier than expected – the Foot Golf has made a difference, and disc golf is really booming. Maybe because of where we are, we’re attracting a few more people down here.
“We’re chuffed and looking forward to getting a few more people through onto the course.”