Disc golf in Mesa started with a slow simmer, but now we're on full boil. We've had one course located in a municipal park for years. The park itself varied as the course was moved around, but the final destination was Emerald Park on Harris and the US 60. Emerald is a fairly small park and the course featured 9 second hand baskets and no tee pads or signs. Then came the changes.
It all started with a with a beginner friendly league on Monday nights at Emerald Park. A new (and very bad) disc golfer named Rob Hart came out to league, in hopes that he could learn to play the game a little better. Several months later the original league founder was unable to continue and Rob stepped up.
At that time Emerald had some very old baskets, no tee pads and no signage. The decision was made to begin charging $1 to participate in the league, with those monies to go towards course improvements. The City of Mesa was contacted and permission was secured to add the signs, tee pads and new baskets. Additionally, the city agreed to allow some course redesign, including adding additional basket positions for most of the holes. Eventually, the bulk of the money was raised one dollar at a time. Then, with an additional generous contribution of $3500 from the City of Mesa and another $700 from an Eagle Scout project by Jason Hall; many volunteers participated in installing new baskets, concrete tee pads and tee signs. Currently Emerald features 18 unique holes that play to 11 baskets.
During the discussion with the city regarding the Emerald Park improvements, Rob asked about the availability of a large parcel just east of Red Mountain park that he had spotted. The city representatives responded positively and the seeds for the Red Mountain disc golf courses were planted. It took many hours of course design; the application for, and approval of, a $20,000 grant from the Timken Foundation of Canton; as well as generous contributions of both money and labor from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Southwest Conservation Corps and the Mesa Urban Corps. Finally, two long years later, the Red Mountain Disc Golf Courses are open for play. Red Mountain features two full 18 hole courses.
Our mission is to maintain and improve the four courses located in Mesa. We pledge to be good ambassadors of the sport and to be as courteous and friendly as possible.
Last, but not least, the Fiesta Lakes (recently renamed Freedom) ball golf course was targeted as perhaps one of the best properties in the valley for a premier disc golf course. A small but somewhat technical design plays over and around the golf greens. This great course features tons of mature trees, nice elevation changes and a small lake that certainly makes some of the shots more interesting. For normal play there are 9 tee pads that play to 18 separate baskets. Essentially, you play around the course twice to different baskets. For tournament play the course is set up in a completely different configuration with 18 unique holes. The course is open for disc golf play during the warm summer months, and for limited play during the rest of the year. This is a private course and is pay to play.