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Dave Olson, Published April 23 2009

West Fargo's Armour Park may lose disc golf course

District officials pursue new site at Rendezvous

Disc golf enthusiasts Wednesday urged the West Fargo Park Board to revive a nine-hole course at Armour Park that closed last fall amid concerns of traffic and vandalism.

What backers of the growing sport may get is an 18-hole course at Rendezvous Park, described by park officials as a more spacious and easily patrolled area than Armour Park.

The course at Armour Park was disassembled last fall after complaints from neighborhood residents that vandalism and speeding had increased since the disc park was set up several years ago.

With many disc – also known as Frisbee – golf courses in the metro area now flooded, backers of the sport told Park Board members they viewed Armour Park as their only hope for playing this season.

Park officials said it wouldn’t take long to set up the 18-hole course at Rendezvous.

With nine baskets, or “holes,” already available from Armour Park, “we’re partway there,” said Parks Director Barb Erbstoesser.

When disc golf proponents suggested offering courses at both parks, the idea hit the rough with neighbors of Armour Park.

Several parents said they stopped letting their children play in front yards when the lure of disc golf brought speeding cars to the secluded and out-of-the-way park.

“They (drivers) are flipping everybody off, they’re speeding. That’s the reason we don’t want it there,” said Gene Rudolph, who lives near the park.

Board Chairwoman Sharon Odegaard said a decision on whether to reopen a course at Armour Park will likely come during a May 13 meeting at City Hall.

In the meantime, Erbstoesser said the district will pursue plans for an 18-hole course at Rendezvous Park.

“I want to fast-track this course,” said Erbstoesser, who estimated the cost at $12,000.

Joey Schmit, who has designed disc courses in Horace, N.D., and Fergus Falls, Minn., said he likes the idea of setting one up at Rendezvous Park.

But he said if it isn’t done right, the same problems that plagued Armour Park will show up again.

Schmit said he and others are willing to help the district set up the new course.

“We are here,” said Schmit, who also made a pitch for keeping a course at Armour Park.

“I’m not sure we can afford two disc golf courses right now,” Odegaard said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555