Ron Boyer grew up exploring his family’s land. He’d look at the Burr Oak trees, investigate the creek and search for crickets; simple pleasures that provided so many memories.
“I’ve grown up there all my life, and I always appreciated the trees and the land in general,” Boyer says.
His family used it for pasture, and he’d plant corn and beans in some of the open areas. The land was appreciated, but only by a few people.
Then Boyer attended a disc golf tournament in Vinton and realized how he could share the beauty of Burr Oak Savanna with the public.
“My son has disc golfed for a number of years and he talked about putting baskets in the pasture,” Boyer says. “As I sat and watched everyone at the tournament, I thought maybe there’s something to his idea.”
Burr Oak Savanna Disc Golf, 6345 31st Ave., Shellsburg, opened in April. Designed by Boyer’s son, Marty Boyer, and his friend Steve Hartwig, the 18-hole course with cement pads is surrounded by 6,000 feet of trees, grass and water.
“It’s just starting to look like it should,” Boyer says. “Over time, maybe it will become a golfer’s favorite course.”
What he wants more, though, is for Burr Oak Savanna Disc Golf to become a favorite place for families.
“I’m really hoping, over a period of time, families and schools will use it as a way to explore and appreciate nature,” he says.
There are plenty of opportunities while walking the 100 acres of course and trail. Kids can explore the wildflowers and search for animals hiding in the trees. There’s even a campground on site for those who want to witness nature at night, staring at the stars and listening to the howl of a coyote.
The course will be open year-round.
For a fee of $3 for adults, $2 for youth ages 10 through 14, people can disc golf all day. Those new to the sport don’t even have to purchase any equipment. Boyer has a stock of discs people can use free of charge.
“You only pay if you lose it,” he says.
Boyer even purchased a grill so he can offer meals from 3 to 7 p.m. on the last Friday of every month. On May 31, he’ll serve brats, potato salad, soda and a cookie for $5 per person.
The menu will change monthly.
“I see this as a place where people can come, hang out, get outdoors and appreciate what’s around them,” Boyer says.
That’s what he plans to do. Boyer says his role in the venture is general caretaker. He leaves the golfing up to his son and grandchildren.
“It’s fun watching the really good players throw a disc,” he says. “My skill level is not quite there.”Find more about the Burr Oak Savanna Disc Golf on its Facebook page.