Wetherby Park - Iowa City

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Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby diskey river » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:14 pm

Buzzz Killington wrote:A little birdie told me 9 holes were in place, New Mach 2's, but no tee pads as of yet. This is on the South side of town, corner of Burns Ave. & Taylor Dr. Kind of in the the ghetto. I wouldn't leave anything of value in your whip while out playing. I'll report back with how many drivers I didn't need :P

P.S. Played it this morning. Mostly 250ft-ish golf. No lanes, just hole guardians. A couple wide open holes. Decent mix of back/forehand. Hole 5 is a bomber uphill, just under 400. There are alternate pin locales, however, they're so close to the others that it seems a waste. Chance of playing from #2 into #4s fairway/green. They've double the parking lot size. Go forward (South) along path and left (East) from entrance to hole 1. Course plays in a horseshoe pattern, down then up, left then up. Good chance of strong winds coming off the corn fields. Not much wind today. I had fun out there. Looking forward to tee pads.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby nayruthedamaja » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:38 pm

This is a novel. Bear with me please it should be worth it.

I played the course this evening... I have to give the city credit for at least making an attempt at building another course.

I hate to be a negative Nancy, especially considering this is my first post but I don't think putting this at Weatherby was thought out very well. There's a couple holes that I believe are potential safety hazards for people on the walking paths. Also the somewhat crossed fairways BuzzKillington Mentioned are kinda questionable. It's not very challenging golf or creative design. The alternate pin locations are pretty wasteful. There were kids playing by the trees next to the holes I was playing on, and seeing as I was once a child who used to do the same at Weatherby that chalks up another concern for me. I don't think the people who live next to the park whom also use the community garden plots and the paths will be too thrilled about the flocks of squids who will eventually make their way out with six packs of beer and littering them, chain smoking, and yelling "F***!!!" on errant throws. I feel like I was getting weird looks from the non discing park goers as well. Maybe I'm just a weird looking dude.

Now I actually have something positive to say about this whole thing:
There is another park on the south side of town where a Disc Golf course would fit like a glove. It is not being used for anything that Disc Golf would interfere with. In fact it isn't being used AT ALL! (unless you count the fence around sand/dirt piles with a sign that says "City Use Only.") It is secluded from houses and it is beautiful there as it is located next to the river.

Yes I'm talking about Mesquakie park. On the other side of the river from the brand spankin' new Terry Trueblood Rec. Area. (Sand Lake as it's been known for years.) This is a pretty large tract of City owned land that could accommodate 18 near champion sized holes with room to spare! I've skimmed the City's master parks plan and it says: "make it a priority to continue to develop Sand Lake into a regional park" and I believe this idea would work towards that. Two other area "regional parks" have Disc Golf courses. (Turkey Creek and Sugarbottom) Note that the master plan also has no mention of Mesquakie Park.

Since the city already spent money on 9 brand new baskets (and they aren't cheap!) I don't think they would(should) shut out the idea. We could also try to get sponsors like Peninsula has in exchange for some reasonable sized ad space. Play It Again, Scheels, the Den come to mind (because they sell discs of course), not to mention other clever businesses who could pull off well placed ads in the space in exchange for funding. I know how to make concrete forms, and I'd GLADLY volunteer lugging around bags of cement, lumber and other materials to make this happen. Maybe there's some other volunteers out there too?

I've always lived on the south side of town. Every other good course has always been on the North side. I think that should change... but beggars can't be choosers. So I really shouldn't be complaining, I just don't want to see a great opportunity (along with time and materials) go to waste here.

I may be speaking out of turn but I need to know what other unbiased (not my friends) disc golfers think about this idea. Even if you think it's stupid I want to know so my mind can be put at ease. I'm going to call the City on Monday and see if I can't get an appointment scheduled with someone and bring a presentation and voice some of my ideas and concerns. I'm going to tell them not to pour tees at Weatherby as I consider it wasteful. If there are reasons I shouldn't do this speak now or hold your peace. Also if you want to come with I'll post when and where the meeting is assuming I can actually get it to happen.

Sorry but I had to get that off my chest.

TL;DR:
Weatherby makes a crappy disc golf course since it's already mixed use, Mesquakie park would be a great one because it's not used at all.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby diskey river » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:44 pm

1 - $2000 of this course was donated by a citizen who took his son to Wetherby to throw discs at trees. It is and always was designed to be a little city park 9 holer. Many many of these type of courses all over IA. So tees have been paid for and is happening regardless. I can assure u the course was designed by the best IC has to offer & I felt he did the best possible job with what he had to work with. Putting a couple pins near each other is a better option than 6 wide open holes with no obstructions, imo. I agree that the 2nd pin placement seems a little unnecessary.

2 - When I played I was eyeball chucked by about 4 different hood rats in the 20 minutes I was there. Six pack carrying chuckers are a major improvement over the types of people that currently spend recreational time there. I also am a South Sider!

3 - Turkey & Sugarbottom are on Army Corp land and the city has absolutely 0% say in anything done there, and has invested exactly $0 in those courses. The same person who designed Wetherby has worked with both cities in our community for close to a decade and has worked to put courses in Hickory Hill, Kent State Park, Camp Cardinal and various other places all to be shot down for whatever reason. It would probably take around 18 $500 sponsors to build a course leaving the city with minimal cost. This is something that I have been working on for awhile and comfortably have about half of those verbally committed. I've told the city a couple times that if they just give me the land, ill raise the money.

We have a major problem in the area where we have thousands of people who enjoy disc golf and not even close to the number of courses to fill the demand. I think people like you and me going to the city will help but I see Wetherby as a major sign of moving in the right direction despite it not being a super fun course.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby nayruthedamaja » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:24 pm

Firstly, I apologize for being so cynical. The fact that someone donated $2000 dollars of their own money for this is a complete game changer. I thought we were talking all tax money here. So hats off to the generous donor!

I do agree with you the new course is a step in the right direction. Thinking about it more, it will be a great course to get younger kids into Disc Golf and increase the sport's exposure.

But man, have you ever scoped out Mesquakie? It would be perfect for a course. It's a floodplain so you can't build anything there. But Disc Golf thrives in floodplains! And I know the City of Iowa City has nothing to do with Turkey and Sugar, but if they want Terry Trueblood Rec. Area to be a "regional park" Sugarbottom or the Coralville Dam, having a disc golf course has seemed to work pretty well in the case of the other two parks.

I mean now at least we're talking about this, we should work together and get this to happen! Maybe we can get a petition going for it or something along those lines... all we would have to do is take it out when you go out Discin' and if you see anyone try to get them to sign, I'm sure everyone would like another course.

It just kinda irks me that there's perfectly good land for this, it's zoned as a park, but the City has it fenced off.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby Buzzz Killington » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:50 am

Good luck hitting the gardeners. That's hella left and behind where you start. I think they did lose some of that to the parking lot however. It is a crappy part of town, but I wasn't eyeballed or anything. Shaver plays along a popular, public walking path without much trouble, I don't see this being any different, with the exception of it being 9 holes that don't require 100% throws. I'd say the baseball field is in the way, but I've never seen anyone playing there ever. There's not much to cuss about on this course because there no "bad luck," no fairway trees to send you flying. Good thing is this is always mowed. A great place to practice your thumbers, rollers, etc.

Ok, rant warning:
I'm all for an 18hole South side course. We've asked about Sand Lake long before it had concrete paths, or became t.trueblood...DENIED. I'd like to see Ryerson's Woods (Southside, doesn't flood, has lots of elevation, huge park, not heavily used) developed into a blue/gold level course, but as my grandpa used to say, "You'll shit if you eat regularly too." Implying that: $500 per hole covers pins only. Think tee pads, signs, locks, concrete, design, heavy equipment for tree/stump removal and wood disposal, ~75 person parking lot, trash pick up, mowing, course maintenance, city employees to put it in and park rangers to police the place. These things cost real dough, and only some are a one time cost. You want the city to INVEST in this as a parks function? Then it needs to serve more than 3 people passionate about it. When we can show the demand, we can get parks land and money, no sweat. Peninsula was put in ONLY because Turkey Creek became too popular. Did it work? It was seen as too hard for your recreation player, and no one really came, and no one volunteered. Years after it's inception, and lots of hard work, its finally becoming playable/enjoyable for intermediate players and above. The city still hates mowing it because it busts up their equipment. But I've never had them turn me down when asked for help. For a new course in Iowa City you'll need Peninsula to become too popular. AND about 50 volunteers to build (easy), and another 5-10 life long volunteers (hard) to pick up after storm damage, flooding, and douchebags. Think Wildcat crew. How much time have you volunteered at ANY course? NOT trying to call you out, but seriously, add that up, because it all sounds great in theory, but even the hours I've put in don't come close to 1/10th of the hours required to get a course into the ground, especially another park that floods bi-yearly. I imagine we all work a job, and only so much time to even play the sport. Enjoy Wetherby for what it is. Don't get all RA-RA with the city, because as far as they're concerned, they just put in another course. This dinker of a 9-holer only helps build new and novice players to ones who care enough to become more than just players! And I think it will up the park usage and image of that neighborhood. Doubt it will become a drinking/smoking type of place because everything is right out in the open. Do voice your support for disc golf, thank Mike Moran and Terry Robinson for their support (shows the city people care about this), and volunteer when work days come up. I think new courses won't be that far behind, and lets build ones that don't flood.
Last edited by Buzzz Killington on Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby diskey river » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:32 am

In my research the $500 would pay for new, middle of the road baskets, and concrete tee's, per hole. The signs would either come to pass by purchasing even cheaper baskets or making them ourselves.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby diskey river » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:34 am

nayruthedamaja wrote:Firstly, I apologize for being so cynical. The fact that someone donated $2000 dollars of their own money for this is a complete game changer. I thought we were talking all tax money here. So hats off to the generous donor!

I do agree with you the new course is a step in the right direction. Thinking about it more, it will be a great course to get younger kids into Disc Golf and increase the sport's exposure.

But man, have you ever scoped out Mesquakie? It would be perfect for a course. It's a floodplain so you can't build anything there. But Disc Golf thrives in floodplains! And I know the City of Iowa City has nothing to do with Turkey and Sugar, but if they want Terry Trueblood Rec. Area to be a "regional park" Sugarbottom or the Coralville Dam, having a disc golf course has seemed to work pretty well in the case of the other two parks.

I mean now at least we're talking about this, we should work together and get this to happen! Maybe we can get a petition going for it or something along those lines... all we would have to do is take it out when you go out Discin' and if you see anyone try to get them to sign, I'm sure everyone would like another course.

It just kinda irks me that there's perfectly good land for this, it's zoned as a park, but the City has it fenced off.


agreed on all accounts, more voices in the cities ear could possible at least get this conversation started
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby nayruthedamaja » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:46 pm

See this is why I decided to post about this before just calling up the city. I wanted to get some alternative opinions. I've got them now. So thanks for your input. You're probably right Buzz about showing demand, but I think we're awfully close to that point (as in we have the demand, we just need to show it). Now of course it might only be because of the Gov't Shutdown, but Peninsula was pretty well packed the first few days of last week. Almost a group on every hole. That course packed plays even slower than Turkey would. I think people are starting to notice the amazing job you've done out there clearing it out to make it more playable. Thanks for that by the way.

I also didn't mean to get so "RA-RA" about Whetherby like I said I thought that was all Taxpayer money. The private donors (and the nice story about the dad and his kid) make that course a horse of a different color compared to how I saw it on Friday. I didn't think of practicing rollers there either, nice tip!

I mean since we're talking about this it wouldn't hurt to get some ideas planned out so when the interest or opportunity arises we will have a slick presentation that will convince people to get another course put in.

As far as signs and concrete tee pads go, I know how to do the work required to make the pads, it's only partially back breaking, but like I said worth it. So if we could reduce the cost to materials only I imagine that would help. You could make some super cool home made signs with a woodburning kit and some paint. I've seen people make pretty heavy duty campfire benches for $12.75, that's pretty easy to do.

I still think the petition is a decent idea. Not really sure how you go about starting one legally though. If you could get enough signatures I think that would be a good start to showing demand.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby prodiscgolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:41 pm

Hey everybody, I've been off this message board for a while, but want to say Wetherby will be great for newbies. I was out there this weekend hoping the tees would have been poured so I could measure the holes, but they didn't get done yet. I'm hoping for this week. While I was out there, a group of 13 (I know it's a big group, but...) family members we're playing together - ages 12 - 70. They live just east of the park and were delighted to see the course. And they weren't the ones who put up the cash. Very happy to see people on the course already.

The two pins are just to alleviate the erosion around the pins that will eventually happen. It's not meant to be a major course, and early plans included improving the baseball field where the backstop sits, so the space available was a bit quirky. Just found out this fall that the ball field will move to the south west section (it's flatter there). There will be houses on all four sides of the park eventually, and another parking lot on the south east side. There will be a lot more people in that park someday.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby prodiscgolf » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:55 pm

This post is intended to be sharing what I've learned, nothing else. We need more volunteers in Iowa City.

As for getting a course into the Mesquakie park, there is a process that has to be followed with the IC Parks, and it starts with the Park & Rec Commission. Has anyone asked Mike Moran what plans are in the works for that park? I haven't. Before you go get petitions, do the homework if you haven't already. Find out who is on the P&R Commission and ask them their opinion of disc golf and when they think Iowa City needs another course. Getting space for a course is a political process and support from commission members is essential. If you can get commitments from hole sponsors, commission members listen more carefully.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby nayruthedamaja » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:30 pm

That's good advice I will take note of, thank you kind sir.

DiskeyRiver, I don't know if you're willing to disclose the sponsors you've got, but I'd be willing to try and get some more if I can dig up some info on what the Mesquakie plan is. I'll post what I find out.

Also besides picking up trash, throwing big sticks off the fairway, what else can I do to help out at Peninsula? That's definitely my favorite course. This might already be in the works, but I'd like to see some more trash cans out there and new signs. If there's something I can do let me know.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby prodiscgolf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:29 am

Thanks for the offer of help! The city is responsible for more trash cans, asking them would be a big help. Besides that, we need more railroad ties around the back side of 5's red tee to stop the tee pad from losing all the dirt around it.

I spent a couple hours yesterday documenting the tee sign situation out there and the city knows that I'll be submitting a list of signs that need to be replaced. I thought we had done all that last fall, but they didn't get ordered with the Wetherby baskets.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby nayruthedamaja » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:28 pm

So I called Mike Moran today about the status/plan for Mesquakie Park... somewhat of a mixed answer. Not Mike's fault. Right now it is being used as a literal dump. Probably sand and dirt. Mike said there is no plan to develop Mesquakie into a future park and the plan is to continue to use it as a dump. So I still think a good presentation could change some minds and hopefully get some beautiful public land turned into something people can enjoy!

I'll try and find out who is on that Parks and Rec planning commission and pick their brains. As far as potential sponsors I might have one in the form of my employer. Like I said I'd be glad to collaborate with you on that DiskeyRivers.

I am going to be out this week or weekend when I play a round to pick up some trash at Peninsula. I'll scope that tee pad for red 5.
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby prodiscgolf » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:45 pm

Hole 5's red pad needs more railroad ties, not necessarily a rework. Thanks!
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Re: Wetherby Park - Iowa City

Postby diskey river » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:07 pm

Tee pads are poured!
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