Though many of its projects have reached across the globe, the Paul McBeth Foundation has been committed since its inception to also seeing disc golf courses added to cites throughout the United States. While working in urban areas offers a number of unique challenges, the possibilities that come along with making disc golf accessible to communities in major cities is tremendous.
Just across the river from Philadelphia, Camden is a city without disc golf in its boundaries. What Camden does have, however, is the Camden Kroc Center, a community center in the heart of the city with access to land and a commitment to provide recreational opportunities to youth and families. After being introduced to the Camden Kroc Center, it quickly became apparent that this would make for a great partnership.
Kroc Centers are state of the art facilities located in major cities that provide children and families opportunities to discover and develop their passions and talents within their own neighborhoods. Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, was the visionary behind these centers and entrusted that vision to the Salvation Army. Today there are 26 Kroc Centers, including outposts in major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and more.
This will be the fifth PMF project in 2022 and the organization’s second in the United States. After seeing the excitement and enthusiasm around last year’s launch in Chicago, PMF was eager to tackle a similar project. Camden turned out to be a perfect opportunity.
PMF will team up with Dynamic Discs to install a 9-hole course on the Kroc Center property. This will be the second partnership between the two organizations and comes on the heels of a successful collaboration in La Paz, Mexico, that kickstarted the foundation in early 2021. The course will have a built-in audience, as the Kroc Center has regular recreational programming for the community at the facility but will also be open to the public.
“The Kroc Center exists to give communities access to first class programs and facilities they wouldn’t otherwise have. The mission of the Paul McBeth Foundation aligns perfectly with this purpose” shared Keith Maynor, Kroc Administrator. “We are excited to be able to partner with the PMF to add a quality disc golf course to the experiences this community will be exposed to, and are excited for the generations of disc golfers who will be introduced to the game because of this partnership.”
One of the exciting things about this project is the potential that surrounds it. The course itself offers a future opportunity to expand to 18 holes by utilizing a surrounding park, but Camden also borders Philadelphia, a city that boasts a population of 1.6 million. On top of all of that, a broader partnership with Kroc Centers could lead to courses in cities around the United States.
Dustin Leatherman, the Executive Director of the Paul McBeth Foundation is excited for this opportunity within a major city. He says, “Providing disc golf opportunities to major cities around the United States is a key part of who we are, and partnerships like this open the door to introducing so many new people to the sport of disc golf. We are thrilled that this partnership was able to come together, and look forward to what it will lead to in the future!”
Plans are in motion to complete the course in the coming months, so stay tuned to our website and social media channels of updates going forward!