If you have visited Hard’ack recently, you most likely spotted the new disc golf course at the bottom of the ski hill and winding through the Aldis Hill trails. The current 9-hole course has been so popular that it is being expanded to a full 18 holes. An 18-hole course opens opportunities for more playing time and the potential to host tournaments.
Disc golf is a rapidly growing sport and the course has been drawing in locals and visitors from afar.
According to Pastor Preston Fuller, the visionary and designer of the course, “You can get away playing with one disc or a starter pack of three discs for around $20, after that you only occur costs if you play at a private course or you decide to expand your disc collection.” It is also enjoyable for every age and skill level. He continues, “I have seen six-year-old kids fall in love with it and my dad who is now seventy-six plays his local town park course in Wyoming three or four times a week.”
Fuller started playing disc golf in 1993 as a student at Wake Forest University, falling instantly in love with the game. It took several years for him to become a regular player. He says, “In the 1990s and early 2000s there were only a fraction of the courses you see today. Hence, it took a good amount of planning and driving to get to a course and that made playing sporadic.” In 2005 he moved to New Hampshire and watched the number of courses increase from three to over 40 within the 14 years he lived there.
Fuller moved to St. Albans in July 2019 to be the Pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. He and his family fell in love with Hard’ack and Aldis Hill and thought that it could be the perfect place for a course.
“I did the design of the course, but it could have never launched and been built so fast without the help of so many groups and people," he said.
The course received support from both Hard’ack and Aldis Hill. He credits St. Albans Recreation for their leadership and enthusiasm, RiseVT for inspiration and grant funds, and local businesses, non-profits, and families for hole sponsorships. He adds, “We would have never physically built the course as quickly as we did without the help of volunteers and the amazing amount of time, people power and equipment donated by Med Associates and the family of Valdemar Garibay.”
Garibay is new to the sport of disc golf but not new to being a champion for the community.
“I am always on the lookout for great projects to further help the community," Garibay said. Pastor Preston showed my son and I the future course, and it was clear that this would be a great asset to the community. Our team members from Med Associates were happy to help with the installation in mid-September. Projects like this are especially exciting to me because they promote activity, teamwork, and fun for everyone.”
“Being a part of several organizations in the St. Albans community, I know there are many people who genuinely care about making this community great for everyone. This project was remarkably quick from inspiration to completion”, says Garibay.
He credits the community support, the volunteers and adds, “I would like to thank Pastor Preston Fuller for suggesting this idea for our community, and for being a great leader and partner in this project. I would also like to express appreciation to the St. Albans Recreation Department, Aldis Hill, RiseVT, Mayor Tim Smith, Med Associates, Knights of Columbus Council 297, The Rotary Club of St. Albans, Paul Brown, and everyone who helped make this a success.”
If you would like to stay updated or join the volunteers on future workdays, join “Hard’ack Disc Golfers” on Facebook.