With one project complete, the Paul McBeth Foundation is excited to share more details on two additional projects it will be tackling in 2021.
The next pair of projects will see the Foundation heading to both Central and South America to install additional courses.
If you check UDisc, you will currently see just two courses listed in the entire country of Guatemala. The first is a private 12-hole course on a school property, and the second is an 18-hole course listed in Santa Maria De Jesus. While 18 holes are listed, the course is played using a single portable basket that needs to be moved after every shot!
That course was created by Savannah, Georgia, native Chris Gwinner, who has spent the last 10-plus years living in Antigua, Guatemala. His love for disc golf led him and another ex-pat friend to design this 18-hole layout at the base of a volcano on the property of a local golf course. Since then, they have been playing the course with one DIY basket with anyone who wants to join them.
Now, they'll have plenty of baskets. The Paul McBeth Foundation will be teaming up with Discraft, one of our gold level partners, to make this a permanent 18-hole course. In addition to working with Chris, a local nonprofit will help make this dream a reality.
"We are excited to be partnering with PMF to make our vision of creating Guatemala's first 18-hole disc golf course a reality," Gwinner said. "For the past year, with just one homemade basket that gets moved from hole to hole, we're already growing local interest in the sport. We look forward to having a permanent course that both locals and visitors can enjoy."
Thanks to the generous support of Discraft this project is on pace to be completed in 2021.
A similar request was received from the city of Medellin, Colombia, where Ken Loukinen has been drumming up interest in disc golf with the use of portable baskets he takes out almost every day to a local park. Loukinen was recently given permission by the city to install two 9-hole disc golf courses that will feature 5 permanent baskets and 4 portable baskets. Ken believes these will be the first permanent disc golf courses in the entire country.
The Foundation will be teaming up with one of disc golf’s most prestigious events, the Ledgestone Insurance Open, which has signed on as a Silver Level Partner to make this project happen in 2021. All materials, including baskets, will be made in Colombia, creating job opportunities and a model to be replicated by other parks and cities in the country.
“Putting these 9-hole courses in the heart of Colombia’s second largest city will be immense," Loukinen said. "In less than a year I have seen disc golf go from me and a handful of friends to a group of more than 50. Thanks to the Paul and the Foundation team the growth of disc golf in Colombia will be a lot faster - like going from horses to, say... a McLaren. We have learned a lot while working with the Foundation team. Paul’s commitment to long-term partnerships is going to lead to the successful growth of disc golf. It will also benefit the places that now have access to a wonderful game.”
Following the installation of both courses, Paul and a small team, including members of JomezPro's production crew, will travel to each location to teach clinics and document disc golf in both regions. More information about the two projects can be found on our course project pages.