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While the struggles of IVCC to maintain its athletic program have been recently chronicled by my colleague, Kevin Chlum, there’s at least one sport at IVCC whose infrastructure is thriving — disc golf.
The college’s disc golf course has steadily improved since its inception in 2010, so much so that it is barely recognizable these days. (Disc or ‘Frisbee’ golf is a recreational sport that mirrors traditional golf using custom plastic discs instead of clubs and balls and elevated baskets equipped with disc-catching chains instead of holes.)
The evolution has included the pouring of 18 concrete tee-pads last summer to account for each of the nine-hole course’s two alternate tees per hole, as well as the installation of a large wooden sign with carved artwork that sits at the entrance to the course, which is at the southwestern end of campus near the baseball diamond.
The layout of six holes have been altered and improved like an elevated basket installed on Hole No. 5 and a longer, more challenging tee position on Hole No. 2. A new practice basket for putting work was also installed earlier this week.
The kicker — all of the funds for improvements have been raised by the IVCC disc golf club through donations for tournaments, ace races and league play.
And a large part of it all stems from the work of one incredibly dedicated man, IVCC math professor Wes Black.
To give you an idea, Wes is a 41-year-old Mississippi transplant that doesn’t quite fit the mold of the laid-back Southerner. The other day, for instance, he told me about running a practice half-marathon because he didn’t quite feel like stopping after his scheduled eight-mile run ended.
His motor just never stops running.
I can’t count how many times I’ve showed up at the course to sneak in a round between assignments to see Wes, who has worked at IVCC since 1996 and lived in Oglesby since 1998, finishing up his latest beautification project at the course.
Sometimes I even have to put down my discs and help, as it’s nearly impossible to turn him down.
Wes has taken personal pride in making the IVCC disc golf course something to be proud of.
I often write my column on Mondays — the day of IVCC’s random-draw doubles league, which is organized and ran by Wes, of course — so I’ve thought about writing this column a few times before.
After seeing a picture of Wes stenciling and painting bricks to be used as distance indicators on the practice putting basket, I figured it was time. (I also felt a bit guilty for spending so much of my free time playing Call of Duty.)
Your humble narrator picked up the sport of disc golf in college at DeKalb. It didn’t take long before I was hooked. I’d always liked tossing a Frisbee around, and the relaxed atmosphere, low cost (nearly all of the more than 4,000 courses across the country are free) and outdoor exposure were the perfect mix for me.
It’s wonderful to have someone as dedicated as Wes share his passion with the sport I’ve grown to love and hope to play for the rest of my life. (Pete Etscheid, a course regular, is in his 60s and regularly thrashes me). There’s sure to be plenty more improvements along the way.
So, thank you Wes for your dedication, and thanks to IVCC for hosting and maintaining a facility that I know many students and community members enjoy.
If you’d like to learn more about IVCC’s disc golf course, leave a message on the group’s Facebook page or drop me a line. I’ve introduced plenty of people to the sport including NT Sports bossman Kevin Chlum (showed signs of promise) and fellow NT Sports scribe Jared Bell (let’s just say he’s not going to take my No. 8 tag any time soon).
Chris Yucus is NewsTribune Sports Writer. He can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by:
To Bluff Pup, some points about the "questions" you raise in concern to the IVCC disc golf course.
1. The IVCC disc golf course was initially constructed with funds allocated by the IVCC Student Government. Perhaps you feel like you can make better determinations of how they allocate their money? That, as does the entire tone of your comment, seems rather arrogant. The course obviously benefits the student body and community as evidenced by its use from the student body and community.
2. The nine-hole disc golf course (subtle difference from18 tees, in case you missed it in the article you reference) is not situated "in the middle of a cornfield." It is located on previously vacant land near the baseball diamond and track. (I guess I can understand your hyperbole, there are soybean fields nearby).
3.I'm confused as to the point of the salary quotation. Is it to imply IVCC professors make too much? If you feel this way, consider running for the IVCC Board of Trustees. But at best it is a strawman argument absolutely irrelevant to the topic at hand.
thanks for reading, Chris Yucus
Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Article comment by:
HOOKED UP TO THE MACHINE THAT KICKS IT OUT.
The financial recourses are always there to benefit full-time faculty and the administration. Itâ€™s a situation that can not be mediated. How else did an 18 hole Frisbee Golf Course end up in the middle of a corn field? Is this the best use of the land and tax payer resources? And how can you compare this to the athletic program?
Public information: Source: ICCB
Title: MATHEMATICS College: ILLINOIS VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE Base Pay: $ 67,883 Benefits: $ 20,663 Vacation Days: 00 Sick Days: 12 EXTRA DUTY PAY: $ 6,398
PUPPET PLAYTIME - HOWDY DOODY PAY â€¦.
The Full-Time administration/faculty will cut anything and everything but their own benefits.
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