It has been an eventful year. I started with high hopes and ended up a bit short of my expectations. I discovered a few things about myself and the club and our purpose. I found that I am not as organized as I need to be and that we need more of our members to step up and help.
I believe we are on the verge of something great. I believe our disc golf club could be a model for other clubs. We are over 500 strong and each of us has contributed to improve our golf courses. Our club (that’s you) has invested nearly $5000 in our parks this year and there is much more to do. Our plan for 2011 is to grow the club to raise money for all the courses plus new courses so that regardless of where you personally play, you will see your club’s money in action.
We are a volunteer organization so every one of us is making a sacrifice of our talents and time to move the sport forward. I would guess that all of you are in this because you love it.
The one gap in all of this, and it’s a big one, is that time is precious and giving it away is difficult. We have a committed group of core members that seem to be the ones doing all the work. We need help. We have over 250 more members this year as we did last year; however we have not seen any increase in volunteers to actually help do the work that is needed.
Course Captains’ Tim Finan at Endicott, Ben Hart at Creve Coeur, Mark Dudenhoeffer at Jefferson Barracks, Francis Albanese at Sioux Passage, Andy Majesky at Quail Ridge, Joe McKee at Festus, Jeff Ligon and Bo Toebe at Woodland and Rock Spring, and Adrian Pena at Arnold, all have devoted long hours to improve their courses and promote the game. With these men are a handful of volunteers who willingly donate their time to do what they can. Add to this list is our Merchandise Manager, Red Keenan, our Promotions Manager, Greg Dohgne, our Catering Manager, Chris Lane, our Treasurer, Steve Kleiber who work behind the scenes to keep the ball rolling. There are others who have given of their time and talents too. We need your help to continue. Please offer your services.
You may be willing to help but not know what we want or need from you. You may feel you have no skills to offer. I’m sure most of you don’t have any spare time either. The point is, please do what you can do. If all you can do is pick up trash every time you are on the golf course, then do it. Don’t just ignore what you see, make a difference. Become a volunteer and give back to benefit us all.
People are taking notice. The perception of a disc golfer is changing from a hippie dude to ‘The Keeper of the Parks’. Every park we go into has seen dramatic change, from the obvious; increased foot traffic and less litter to the not so obvious; fewer complaints, gang activity, lewd behaviour and vandalism. That translates to a safer environment and raises property values. We are doing a good thing for our communities.
The Club is on a mission to improve and maintain our courses. It is our purpose to raise money to expand the sport and fund new courses. There is much to be done. The Club will pay the cost of materials. We need signage at every course. We need benches at every tee. We need retaining walls. We need people to help our Course Captains work on the courses. We need more trash cans at our tee pads.
We need a web savvy guy to monitor our site and another web savvy guy to set up pre-registration for tournaments and sign up memberships. We need a Head Tournament Director to help with planning events. We need to recruit more sponsors for tournaments. We need more tournament directors to help run events . We need fresh faces on the Board to lead the Club.
One of the goals of the club is to get 36 holes up and running in one of our parks. JB or Sioux are the obvious choices. However, we need help getting the Parks Department to approve the expansion. If anyone has any ideas or contacts that might help in this area, please contact a board member. We may need to go the “political” route and speak to the mayor or town council. The Kansas City Club members who came here to play in our St. Louis Open all thought that St. Louis could actually host Worlds soon. With the amount of money that would generate for the greater St. Louis Area, you would think that we could get some community involvement, right?
Currently the St Louis County Parks Dept is not interested in expanding Disc Golf to 36 holes in any location. I have contacted Bridgeton and the Lambert Airport Authority to use land west and south of the runway. Both are interested in entertaining a disc golf course. The Club, that is, the Board is focused on getting 36 holes in one location to handle our large events. This takes a higher priority than another 18 hole course in the county.
Please submit your name as a volunteer. Thanks for supporting us,