When you hear the words par, tee, drive, and putt, you probably think of sprawling fairways and the clinking of golf clubs against dimpled balls.
You’ll find all those things at Doubet-Benjamin Park in Williamsfield, but instead of golf balls, the only things flying through the air are brightly colored discs.
The Williamsfield Park Association built an 18-hole disc golf course in the community of 563 residents in 2018, but only nine of the holes had cement tee pads. A grant from the Williamsfield Community Fund completed the course.
“The course is so nice,” says Williamsfield resident and competitive disc golfer Katie Yelm. “I can get wind practice because it’s an open course and the concrete tee pads are the same level as at any professional course I’ve played at.”
She says the course is being enjoyed by the entire community. “I’ve seen kids as young as five or six playing with their moms and dads, and I’ve actually reconnected with classmates from high school who have also found the sport,” says Katie. “It’s just a really great, inexpensive way to get people in the community outside and bring them together.”
“I’ve seen so many different people from different walks of life come together on that course.” — Katie Yelm
Williamsfield Mayor Robert Johnson says the course is not only popular with residents but is bringing visitors to the community as well. “We’ve had clubs from Galesburg and Kewanee come use our course, which brings revenue to our other businesses,” says Robert. “It’s definitely been money well spent.”
In addition to completing the disc golf course, a grant from the Williamsfield Community Fund was also awarded to the Village of Williamsfield to clean the water tower. “That was quite a day,” says Robert. “People got out their lawn chairs to watch this big truck with an articulated arm that could reach all the way to the top of the tower.”
“When the water tower gets washed in a bigger city, no one really cares. But for us, it had a huge impact.”
The Williamsfield Community Fund is a fund of the Galesburg Community Foundation and is guided by an advisory board who provide grants to organizations offering services and programs in the Williamsfield community. Since the fund is endowed, the more the fund grows, the more dollars are available each year to grant into the community.
Robert hopes that by seeing how these two projects are making the village of Williamsfield a better place to live, people will be inspired to think about how they can improve the community. “The Community Fund has really given us the opportunity to think creatively. I want people to think about what they want to see Williamsfield become and how they can help make that happen, whether it’s through a gift of grain, an estate gift, or a cash gift.” To learn more about ways to support the Williamsfield Community Fund, contact Sarah Grant, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309.344.8898 or visit yourgcf.org/williamsfield.