RAYSTOWN LAKE, Pa. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District's Raystown Lake has been selected to receive $25,000 in funding on behalf of USACE Headquarters’ Handshake Partnership Program to implement a disc golf course, with construction scheduled to begin in fall 2021.
USACE started the Handshake Partnership Program in 2004 to enhance USACE natural resources and recreation projects for future generations. Raystown Lake has been selected as a recipient of this award nine times, contributing most recently to the creation of the Mountain Biking Skills Park and improvements to the Terrace Mountain Trail — both providing prime outdoor recreational opportunities.
“This course will hopefully attract disc golfers to Raystown Lake while also providing a new recreational activity to our existing visitors," said Allen Gwinn, supervisory park ranger at Raystown Lake. "Disc golf is inexpensive, easy to learn and can be played individually or in large groups - making it an excellent supplement to our vibrant recreation program, especially for Seven Points campers. The disc golf course location will be within Seven Points' existing terrain and topographical features to ensure the course is engaging and accessible for all individuals and families, from beginners building their skills to experts looking for a challenge."
USACE’s partnership program aims to encourage local organizations and stakeholders to form new relationships or improve existing partnerships with USACE on natural resources and recreation projects.
USACE sought new and current partners to assist and provide expertise in this new disc golf course's design, construction and promotion phases. Existing partners are the Friends of Raystown Lake and the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau (HCVB); new partners are the Standing Stone Disc Golf Club (SSDGC), a national disc golf organization, and Let's Go Throw, a disc golf company in Huntingdon County.
"We are looking forward to the new opportunities this course will provide to all Raystown visitors," said Rick Romo, owner of Let's Go Throw. "The goal in designing and building this course will be that all visitors will have access to disc golf to our beautiful Raystown Lake region, providing another means to living a healthy life."
According to the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), disc golf has increased in popularity across the country since it was introduced in the 1970s. PDGA associates the game of disc golf with regular golf, only instead, players use a flying disc or frisbee. The disc golf game's goal shares the same objective with traditional golf. In disc golf, players should strive to complete each target in the fewest throws, while golf is the fewest strokes. A disc golf target can vary; however, the most common target is an elevated metal basket. Players proceed down the fairway, between the tee area and the target, throwing the frisbee from where the previous throw landed — the round finishes when the frisbee lands in the target. To learn more, visit https://www.pdga.com/.
"I am looking forward to seeing how Raystown's new course will grow and promote the sport in the regional area," said James Latten, SSDGC vice president and Juniata College professor who helped design the Juniata College Disc Golf course. "As soon as I moved here in 2002, I saw Seven Points as a naturally wonderful location for a superb disc golf course that would benefit Pennsylvania's largest potential group of new and recreational players at all levels. It's an honor (and a bucket list item for me) to help design the course because it could serve tens of thousands of players every year!"
Raystown Lake's vision and goal for the new course is to become a premier disc golf location in the region, providing visitors more opportunities for outdoor recreation and potentially hosting tournaments played by groups and professionals.