Sheila and I are visiting my relatives, here in the corner where Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia come together. There is a celebration later today for my mother's 82nd birthday. We got up early and, while Sheila headed out for an hour-long walk-jog, I headed down to and over the Ohio River, and back over again, to Beatty Park in Steubenville.
It was about a 50-minute drive, crossing the Ohio River on the toll-bridge only one block from where I grew up, and under which I fished for carp and catfish many a summer morning. Then south on West Virginia Route 2, past the sleazy piles of gentlemen's clubs and joints that have sprung up around the Mountaineer Race Track and minor-league Disney-type facility for adults. Then through downtown Weirton, WV, across the Ohio again, and following good directions from the PDGA's online course directory
, Beatty Park was an easy find.
Ben played the Beatty Park Disc Golf Course on the early part of the first leg of his trip and recommended it. I agree. It's only about 5 miles from the bridge over the Ohio, so if you are driving through you should make sure not to miss it. A bonus for me was that as I played I kept hearing and eventually saw a pair of pileated woodpeckers
in the park.
The course is in a park originally built in about 1888 and clearly not very well maintained for, oh, about the past 50 years - the park, not the course. Lots of old pieces of buildings and bridges carved from stone. The course essentially throws up and then down a ravine cut over centuries by a creek. In a couple of places it doubles over itself, but does so in a good way. I threw a 53, figuring as I finished Hole 16 that I would end up with a 51, but Holes 17 and 18 come as shockers. Up until then it is tight, wooded, elevated, and tricky but every hole is deuce-able. The last two each gave me an extra stroke, though.
It's clear that the folks who built the course worked very, very hard on it. It's got some memorable throws with elevation changes. The gravel-inside-a-wooden-frame tee pads (only a few, outside the woods) don't work, though. Very tough to throw from. Inside the woods the tees are natural and easier to use. The signage is beautiful, and little arrows work well to guide you from the basket to the next tee.
It's a physically demanding course and I think some parts could be dangerous in the rain. Definitely so in the snow. But highly recommended to play. I bet tournaments there are fun!