County eyes Clark Park Frisbee golf ban

The days of disks flying over the head of children playing at Clark Park could be coming to an end.

Butte-Silver Bow is planning to use a projectile ordinance already on the book to ban the playing of Frisbee golf, aka “folf,” at the park.

“I think it would be advantageous for the county to see if there is another place where they can do it,” said Jocelyn Dodge, a member of the Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Recreation Board. “For a place as busy as Clark Park — and it is in such a condensed area — having a folf course there isn’t compatible.”

The possible ban was news to folfers Kyle Christie, Tommy Challeen and Andre Vialpondo, who were playing a round Friday at the park.

They said they’d use the course at Thompson Park, but it is a long way away. Plus, that course doesn’t open until May 1.

Dodge said the county is planning to build a new folf course in town that is a more convenient option. Possible locations include an area around Big Butte and an area outside Copper Mountain Park.

The Parks and Recreation board will discuss the topic at the monthly meeting, which is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the court house.

Kelly Dennehy, the Butte-Silver Bow interim park maintenance supervisor, said the county would like Frisbee golf players to tell the county where they’d like to see a new course and what they’d like to see in it.

“We’ll work with them any way we can,” Dennehy said. “They’ll have a say. They can be part of the solution.”

Dennehy said folf has become an increasing problem at Clark Park. He said the sport has led to numerous conflicts, and some parents are shying away from taking their children to there.

“One day during spring break there was literally 300 kids at the park, and there were three or four groups playing folf,” Dennhy said. “If a disk hits a kid, it could kill him.”

While a ban hasn’t been enacted, Dodge said she’d like people to respect the county’s wishes.

“We would like to encourage people to not start in Clark Park this spring, knowing we’re going to put a ban in place,” she said. “Yelling ‘fore’ to the general public who doesn’t work.”

Dennehy said it is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt by a disk if Frisbee golf continues at Clark Park.

“I don’t like running kids out of the park, I’d rather run them out of the park than see someone get hurt,” Dennehy said. “The bottom line is they’re getting booted out of the park.”