If you drive along the northwestern portion of Micke Grove Park, you will see some metal buckets raised on a pole.
There are 18 of these buckets in the park. They were created by Tokay High junior Michael Roush Jr., as his Eagle Scout project.
It’s known as “disc golf.” You don’t use clubs, and you don’t hit golf balls. Instead, you use a disc, which resembles a small Frisbee, and you toss it from the “tee” until it gets into the chain basket. The tee, made of cement, is generally 250 feet from its target, although the fifth hole measures about 500 feet from the tee, according to Roush’s father, Michael Roush Sr.
The younger Roush, 16, and his father noticed a disc golf course at nearby Oak Grove Regional Park on Eight Mile Road. They decided to construct a course at Micke Grove — at no cost to taxpayers.
The project began about a year ago, and they were done in December.
A member of Boy Scout Troop 198 and Lodi’s First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roush gathered people to “sponsor” each hole. It cost $600 to sponsor a hole to pay for the baskets, cement and padlocks for each hole to make sure they aren’t stolen.
Some helped Roush with equipment and labor. They include Jeff Seidman of Stockton, who helped lay out the course, pour cement, install holes in the ground to create the tees and install signs, Roush said. In addition, Mike Wallace helped get donations from people the Roush family didn’t know. He made signs as well.
“A lot of friends, church members and disc golfers helped with labor,” said Kim Roush, the Scout member’s mother.
Disc golf has gained rapidly in popularity. There were 50 to 100 such courses nationwide in 1993, but now there are more than 3,000, Roush Sr., said.
Now that the course is finished, the Roush family has started a club called the Lodi Chain Crushers, which has about 20 members. Roush Jr., said he hopes to attract 30 to 35 active members.
They’re charging $25 for a lifetime membership, which also includes a “bag tag,” which identifies the Chain Crushers, a towel and a T-shirt with the club logo.
The Chain Crushers have held one tournament on Black Friday last year, and they hope to have some more.
The family enjoys playing disc golf on the road, too. In addition to Micke Grove and Oak Grove parks, the family has played at courses in Rocklin, Lake Hogan, Tulare and Bakersfield.
They plan a vacation trip to the Seattle area, which has a course the younger Roush finds quite attractive. And of course, they plan to stop to play at courses on the way to Washington.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.