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Disc golf takes flight as Ray Richards Golf Course reopens

Disc Golf Basket
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GRAND FORKS-- After four years of being closed, Ray Richards Golf Course reopens this weekend. While transforming this 18 hole course back to what it once was, it’s also becoming one of the top disc golf courses in the Midwest.

“I was really excited at first and I was even more excited when I came out here and actually saw baskets in the ground,” said Red River High School senior Ryan Muizelaar.

Muizelaar is one of the top disc golfers in North Dakota. Ray Richards provides the challenge to have Ryan climb the national rankings, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association he is ranked second in the state.

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“In terms of volume we will have a lot more golfers out than disc golfers, however when disc golfers are here, we want them to feel like they’re playing a championship level course. So when we installed the course, we knew that we had the opportunity to present a quality disc golf course. We had no idea that the disc golf world would consider it one of the best in the Midwest,” said Ray Richards Golf Course General Manager Kyle Myers.

With Ray Richards already planning to reopen this summer, the idea of adding disc golf was an idea not even a year in the making. By adding on the disc golf course, it provides another option for income, while it costs very little to also run the golf course as a disc golf course as well.

“The push back was strong enough to realize that we better not completely get rid of the land, so we kind of sat on it. I think the idea of opening the disc golf was there before disc golf came up, but once it did, once those two things collided and we realized there was actually revenue to be had there, I think that’s when it kind of started to sped up and take disc golf a little bit more serious.” said Myers.

One of those people is Ryan Sparks.

“When I saw that was opening back up, I was like you know what? That would be a phenomenal place to put in a disc golf course,” said Sparks.

After the military brought Sparks to Grand Forks five years ago, he wanted to make an impact on the town that gave him so much, most notable his love for disc golf.

“I started thinking to myself what is something that I can do so when I leave people can remember me as someone who made an impact on their community. So I feel like I owe a lot of my positive memories of Grand forks, North Dakota to the guys in that disc golf community,” said Sparks.

Eleven months and several meetings later Sparks’ gift back to Grand Forks is a reality, giving up and coming disc golfers like Muizelaar the chance to live out the disc golf dream.

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“It was just like it was meant to be,” said Sparks.

Sparks now lives in Maryland, but hopes to return to Grand Forks in September as Ray Richards plans to hold their first ever PDGA tournament. Ray Richards officially opens for golfers on Saturday, June 20th. Tee times for both golf and disc golf are now being accepted.

Tee Times Open at Ray Richards

Related Topics: GOLF
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