Mayo Clinic Health System Disc Golf Course is a true reflection of Menomonie’s dedication to collaboration, responsibility and wellness.
In 2007, after hearing about the Menomonie Middle School physical education class playing disc golf with regular Frisbees and 5-gallon buckets, Jason Hendrickson, then Stout Disc Golf Club (SDGC) president, was inspired. “ I contacted the physical education teachers, Doug Stratton and Neil Hall, explained how they played the sport in class and expressed interest in installing an actual course on their grounds so students could learn the proper way to play with the right equipment,” says Hendrickson. The three of them, along with SDGC, decided they wanted a course that would be open to the public that was able to support skill levels for the entire family. Stratton and Hall presented the idea at a school board meeting; it was approved, and work began on the 18-hole course.
Private supporters, as well as SDGC, raised the majority of the funds for the equipment and construction of the course. They began working by clearing underbrush and selecting tree removal for the fairways. Targets were purchased from Innova Disc Golf, who then donated the Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE) program with discs and portable targets to the school. The EDGE program ties disc golf to curriculum for K-12 in subjects such as math, physics and science.
Students got involved in building and maintaining the course. The woodshop class constructed the original tee signs. Physical education and resource classes helped install the original log-edged tee pads, positioned the target anchors and removed brush. Every year for Earth Day, multiple groups clean up the course and trim back underbrush.
After the course was completed in 2008, a devastating storm tore through the course leaving portions of it unplayable and difficult to manage. It was then reduced to 12 holes. However, over the years, it has returned to a full 18-hole course with much work from the Hendrickson family, support from the Community Foundation of Dunn County, SDGC, community volunteers, and Menomonie Middle School students and staff.
Over the past few years, thanks to the Community Foundation of Dunn County, new tee signs, cement tee pads, new basket anchors and further course cleanup has been implemented allowing it to once again become a fun and picturesque course. Mayo Clinic Health System became the main sponsor of the course, as disc golf aligns with their efforts to promote physical activity for youth and their families. In order to maintain the course’s beauty and provide needed maintenance, the course has an Adopt a Hole program, where businesses, organizations, youth groups and individuals can support a hole and further promote the health and well-being of the community.
The following individuals and groups played an integral role in developing the disc golf course:
· Community volunteers
· Doug Stratton
· Innova Disc Golf
· Jason and Jerome Hendrickson
· Neil Hall
· Menomonie Middle School staff and students
· The Community Foundation of Dunn County
· UW-Stout Disc Golf Club