Chad Curtis trains to drive on the golf course in Irving Park before the league is played on Sunday, October 30, 2022. Curtis helped lead and design the course when it was installed in 2009, and he said the disc golf community is excited for more groups.  Invested in the garden.

Battle Creek – Irving Park has long served as an urban oasis in the historic Northside neighborhood of Battle Creek.

Located near North Avenue and Emmett Street, across from the campuses of Bronson Battle Creek Hospital and Kellogg Community College, the park is largely known for its variety of waterfowl that dominate its ponds, walking trails, and 18-hole golf course.

A new outdoor fitness field upset the natural balance last week, when it was installed thanks to a neighborhood improvement program grant from the nonprofit Southwestern Michigan Urban League.

Some members of the disc golf community – the largest group that uses the park – have made some noise about not being consulted or invited to provide input on putting equipment near the tee pads for holes 8, 9, 10 and 17.

A picture of a basket is taken on the golf course at Irving Park in Battle Creek on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

“We were shocked that this would happen,” said Chad Curtis, who helped design and install the golf course more than a decade ago. “It’s not directly between any of the holes. Working with our original information – people say it would affect four or five holes – would be massive production, but a much smaller footprint.”

City officials paid attention to what Curtis and other golfers had to say.

Installing the golf course was a grassroots effort that Curtis said cost about $50,000 and countless volunteer hours. The tournament is free to play and can be used 365 days of the year, with the Sunday 10 AM League playing every week since it opened.

When the course opened in 2009, the Battle Creek Disc Golf Association forged an agreement with the Battle Creek Parks and Recreation Department to help preserve and promote the park, giving them permission to host special events such as fundraising. However, the document was not signed by anyone from the city or the association.

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