First county-owned disc golf course opens at Metzler Park

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Clackamas County is opening its first disc golf course, and for Victor Harshman, it’s just in time.

Harshman is a park ranger at Clackamas County, and for the last eight years, he’s been working toward installing a disc golf course at a county park, struggling through a lack of funding and other bumps that came along the way. Now that his final day of his 30-year career at Clackamas County was Dec. 14, Harshman was able to breathe a sigh of relief that Metzler Park in Estacada is now home to a county-owned disc golf course.

“I’m super, super excited that it’s finally done,” he said. “I couldn’t have picked a better project to end my career with the county.”

Harshman said the project of a disc golf course was continually cut from the Parks budget for several years, but this year, planning and funding aligned. It was finally time to make the disc golf course a reality. Creating trails and other minor work is still in the process, but Harshman said word about the new disc golf course is already out and groups have been playing on it for a few weeks as finishing touches continue.

“I think the second weekend that it got going, we had 60 cars out here in the parking lot who all came to play,” Harshman said.

The course is separated – nine holes of year-round play, and 18 holes of play during the winter. The front nine holes are playable in the entire year, while the back nine – the ones that traverse the campground area of the park that is closed to campers during the winter months – are unplayable from May 1 to Sept. 30.

The Parks team from the county worked with local nonprofits and others to get the course playable. Disc Golf Depot in Gresham generously sold the county the baskets at cost. The Trail Keepers of Oregon were instrumental in building the course trails, while the disc golf community, led by Justin Wolf, designed the course and helped with the project from start to finish. Volunteers also developed signage for the course, too.

Overall, more than 500 volunteer hours came to make the Metzler Park Disc Golf Course a reality.

It costs just $8 – the price of a day use fee – to play the course.