A site that is being cleared near the I-95 exit off the Kelly Road in Orono will be the site of a new disc golf facility in about a year if all goes according to plan.

Disc golf is a sport where a flying disc – what most of us call a Frisbee is thrown at a target. The game, which had its origins more than 100 years ago, is considered the fourt fastest growing sport in the USA, and there are more than 7,000 courses worldwide.

Several of those courses in Maine have been built by Dave Enman of Brunswick, who is clearing the land for the Orono course.

“After I retired from the Air Force, I built a disc course in Brunswick,”” said Enman. “It did pretty well – we went from something like 50 people in the state playing to 50,000 a year playing there alone.”

Enman later sold that shop and retired, but he found idle time to not be for him. He built other disc golf courses in the state; he and his brother, Ryan, currently own DR Disc Golf in Orrington, which has been highly popular; the 45 hole course there opened eight years ago. Play often is competitive and of a high caliber, with one member, 72-year-old John Parcak, being the odds-on favorite to win a national tournament this month.

“It’s a great sport. There are no carts so a person has to walk the length of a course, which normally is a mile and a half to two miles, plus there’s all that bending over to get the disc that helps get you in shape,” said Enman. “We’ve had numerosu peoole join and play our course with the idea of losing weight and it worked for them.”

The idea of the Orono course arose when Ryan’s son, Matt, was looking for some land to invest in; his father found the parcel in Orono. Dave then took a look at it, and it was agreed the site would be great for a disc golf course. On Father’s Day, Enman went to the lot and started clearing the course.

“I’m 62 now, and I can’t do it as fast as I once could, but I’ve been dabbling at it. I’ve always worked in the woods since I was ten years old, even when I was in the service; I even had a forewood business when I was in Oklahoma,” said Enman. “Now 90 percent of what I cut either goes to local people or is chipped right back into the ground. I either give the firewood away or sell it to people for a price they can afford. The Orono lot should have 50 to 100 cord of wood cut by the time I’m done.”

The Kelly Road land comprises 37 acres. Of that about seven is swampy, leaving about 30 that will be usable for the course.

“It’s much stronger woods than I thought, but we should be able to get two full 18-hole courses out of it,” said Enman. “We’re looking at the Orono site as being a big billboard for disc golf. There’s been a lot of interest in the Orrington course, but 90 percent of the Bangor area doesn’t know it exists. This will get us more on the map.”

Enman expects to pick up the pace of cutting with cooler weather this fall, then to finish up next year. If all goes as planned, the Orono course will open in September 2018. In the meantime, those interested may buy $300 annual memberships, which will be good for an DR Disc Gold course, or to just come check out the game at the Orrington Course, which is located at 5 Tupper Drive in that town; you can play a round for $6, all day for $10, or for $3 for a round on what is known as the Little 9 course. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-sunset daily.


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