Paul McBeth Foundation Unveils Biggest Project Yet: Bringing Disc Golf to New York City

Posted Thu, May 9, 2024 in Latest News

The Paul McBeth Foundation (PMF) is thrilled to announce its most significant project to date, a community-focused effort that will bring the first disc golf course to New York City. The 10-hole course will be installed in Highland Park, which straddles the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. 

This groundbreaking initiative marks a significant milestone for disc golf in one of the world's most populous cities, as Highland Park's central location and accessibility make it an ideal venue for introducing disc golf to New Yorkers. With nearly 8.5 million residents, New York City ranks as the #1 largest U.S. city on UDisc's Opportunity Index, which measures the potential impact of disc golf on populations worldwide. The addition of the course will make New York City the fourth-largest city in the world with a disc golf course, behind only Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo, meaning this project promises to bring the joy of disc golf to a vast audience and foster a new wave of enthusiasts in the heart of the Big Apple. 

"We're thrilled to be bringing disc golf to New York City, one of the world's most historic and iconic landscapes," said six-time disc golf world champion and organization founder Paul McBeth. "Highland Park's location and accessibility make it the perfect setting to introduce this incredible sport to a diverse range of communities across Brooklyn and Queens."

Project 4.3 is more than just a sporting endeavor; it's about community building and inclusivity. By focusing on the surrounding neighborhoods, PMF, in partnership with the newly established New York City Disc Golf Association (NYCDGA), aims to create opportunities for residents to engage in outdoor recreation, promote physical fitness, and strengthen community bonds. Highland Park's central location, public transit accessibility, and status as a hub for community events ensure that the benefits of disc golf will reach a broad cross-section of New Yorkers.

Upper Highland Park is within a 15-minute walking radius of three MTA subway stations that have averaged over 2 million annual riders in the past five years. The nearby Q56 bus, meanwhile, garners similar ridership, and with transit accessibility set as a key criterion when proposing disc golf courses in New York City, this site hits the marks with its accessibility for millions of residents. 

We are delighted to partner with the Paul McBeth Foundation to introduce the first ever disc golf course to a New York City public park,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “The beautiful landscape, historic stone bridge, and newly renovated pond around this vibrant community space makes Highland Park the perfect setting for this exciting sport to take hold in New York. This new attraction furthers Parks’ commitment to providing New Yorkers with new and engaging recreation opportunities throughout our city.”

The 10-hole course, which will be equipped with Discraft's flagship Chainstar Pro baskets, will provide an exciting and accessible recreational opportunity for individuals of all ages and skill levels. It's geared toward those in the local community who haven't yet played disc golf, which means shorter holes that are meant to provide a welcoming experience to the sport; for experienced players, it will be a place to go and work on your approach game and refine your skills (or simply hear chains in a city that previously didn't have them). PMF and the NYCDGA plan to host community events, youth clinics, and introductory workshops to ensure that everyone has the chance to enjoy disc golf, which we hope will pave the way for more courses in the future.

Photo by Eugene Mim

Many individuals have joined in a collective, collaborative effort to make this install a reality. The co-founders of the NYCDGA, Alex Bender and Alex Hoyle, served as the Project Drivers and have been hard at work alongside PMF, interfacing with NYC Parks over the past 18 months to find the right home for this course. 

“Our local grassroots efforts paired with the might and dedication of the PMF has proved a powerful combination," Hoyle said. "This project is a great example of what teamwork and commitment to a cause can accomplish. It’s clear we’re at the start of something big, and Highland Park couldn’t be a better place to show New York City what disc golf is all about."

In addition to hard work on the ground, PMF has teamed up with Discraft, PDGA, and UDisc to maximize visibility, measure its impact, and show that this project is bigger than just one organization.

“It’s heartening to see that in disc golf, regardless of what organization you are a part of, we all have the same overarching mission: provide access to the sport," Bender said. "Today, in New York City, after years of advocacy work and collaboration, I’m happy to say we are taking a big leap forward in that joint mission.”

"This project represents a significant step forward for disc golf," said PDGA Executive Director Doug Bjerkaas. "We believe that introducing disc golf to Highland Park is just the beginning. Our hope is that this course will lay the foundation for the growth of the sport throughout the city, with more courses to come in the future."

The course will be open for public play in the coming weeks, and a grand opening celebration is being planned for mid-June to help connect the local community and the existing disc golf community in the city. Stay tuned for more updates. 

As PMF continues its mission to make disc golf accessible to everyone, Project 4.3 represents a landmark achievement in bringing the sport to urban communities. With the support of local partners and volunteers, PMF is excited to see the impact this project will have on the residents of New York City.

About Paul McBeth Foundation:

The Paul McBeth Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of disc golf and providing access to underserved communities around the world. Through the installation of courses, educational programs, and community events, PMF aims to make disc golf accessible to all people. To support the work they are doing in New York City and around the globe, please consider joining the Builders Club.

About New York City Disc Golf Association

The NYCDGA is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at being the home for disc golfers in New York City through partnerships, programming, and community building. Connect with them at their website or by emailing [email protected].

    

Tagged pmf pdga discraft

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