Keokuk’s novice disc golfers have a course to call their own, thanks to the sweat equity of a local Boy Scout and his troop.
Kevin Clark, a 17-year-old junior at Keokuk High School, approached the Keokuk Park and Recreation Advisory Board in the spring of 2012 about building a nine-hole disc golf course for his Eagle Scout project. Keokuk Public Works Director Mark Bousselot said Clark’s request was well-received, as the board already had considered setting up a course at Tolmie Park.
Clark got the Keokuk City Council’s approval, and Bousselot was put in charge of overseeing the project on the city’s behalf.
Keokuk has an 18-hole course at Rand Park, but it’s designed for more advanced athletes. A member of the Park and Recreation Advisory Board created the Tolmie layout with shorter distances between the holes.
“We tweaked it a little bit here and there – say there was a tree in the way – but they had it pretty well drawn out,” Clark said.
Assisting with the project were members of Boy Scout Troop 75, led by Darren Dietrich, as well as the scouts’ family and friends. The two-day project, which took place in August, consisted of pouring concrete pads and setting up baskets.
Clark said mobilizing volunteers was the biggest challenge he faced during the project. He also had to work around Ideal Ready Mix’s schedule to ensure that the project crew was available when the cement truck arrived.
“If you didn’t stay organized, you were in trouble,” he said.
The Park and Rec Board had told Clark it could assist with funding for the project, as long as he raised part of the money. Clark was able to gather enough support from local businesses to cover all materials except the baskets, which previously had been used at Rand Park. The scouts repainted the baskets before installing them at Tolmie Park.
Keokuk Contractors provided the equipment and manpower for digging holes for the baskets and beds for the concrete pads. Farm and Home Supply of Keokuk donated chicken wire, which was used as netting for the concrete. Darkside Tint and Graphix of Keokuk designed hole marker signs at a discounted rate.
Additional support for the project came from United Steelworkers Local 4441, Hickey Contracting, Lowe’s and SECU Credit Union. Donors and sponsors are recognized on a plaque located near the first hole of the course.
Clark is proud of the work he completed with his troop, and played a few rounds of disc golf at Tolmie last fall. It’s seen quite a bit of use from other community members, too.
“We had barely finished (it) and people were playing on it,” Clark said.
He is the son of Lester and Jeanie Clark of Keokuk. He’s been in Scouts for seven years and continues to work toward his Eagle Scout promotion.