IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - For a number of years, the College of Eastern Idaho (CEI) has had an 18 hole disc golf course on its campus. The course has become a fixture in the disc golf community ever since it came to the campus.
"It's good for beginners, but also more advanced players can have a lot of fun. It's probably used. Freeman is really popular and it's been there for a long time. But CEI gets nearly as much use because it's just super popular," said Shane Hill, an avid disc golfer and user of the course.
However, recent construction projects have caused CEI to remove a number of the holes for safety of the workers and those who use it.
"Student enrollment, the population has grown, the community has grown, the disc golf community has grown. So every, you know, there's increase in activity and all areas. And we're starting to get to a point where there's a little bit of conflict in a way, not serious conflict, but conflict and purpose and conflict of objectives. And so we are trying to make this work so that everybody is safe, everybody's happy and can and do what works best for them," CEI Finance and Administration vice president Byron Miles said.
Those who use the course say they understand the need to improve the campus and keep people safe, but have also said maybe the course doesn't need to be changed.
"I totally understand, when they have projects going on and they have construction going on, they have to work around that or they have to figure out how to manage that. But I do know that, you know, in any other disc course, disc golf course around, if they were working on a sidewalk or a sprinkler that was 30 or 40 feet away from the basket, they wouldn't even think about moving baskets. They wouldn't really worry about it. In this case, they've they've pulled baskets out back in November because they were planning on doing work on the sidewalks," Hill said.
Despite their understanding, they are asking for a bit more communication on what is happening with the course so there are no surprises.
"We don't really get communication from them. They end up pulling baskets, you know, without saying anything, without really any what would seem like a good rational reason for doing that. And so it's hard, when you go over there to play and you find, oh, you can't play because, you know, half baskets are gone," said Hill.
Something Miles says the college is wanting to improve on.
"We recognize that we could have done a better job in communicating. And so our commitment is to improve that going forward."
He said the college has plans to create a committee comprised up of students and staff as well as members from the disc golf committee.
"We'll do some liaison work and some activities or committee work involving some of the disc golf community to let them be aware of what's going on and to to share information back and forth with them. So hopefully those types of things will improve the communication and help people understand better what's going on."
Now users of the course are looking to the future and are wondering what will happen to the course.
"I know they don't have an obligation to have a course there, but it's a fantastic amenity," Hill said.
But with half of the course no longer usable, they wonder what's next.
"Most people aren't going to want to go down and play five holes because it's just not you know, it's very short and kind of boring and doesn't take very long when they want to go play around and disc golf, they want to play 18 holes," he said.
Miles says the courts will stay at CEI; however, it will look different than how it currently looks.
"We are going to have to make some adjustments in the holes and reroute some of the holes to make it safer and more compatible for students and people on the campus. So we are going to be moving some of the holes off the center part of the campus where it crisscrosses on walkways and so on and reroute more fully around the perimeter of the campus."
The adjustments for the course are still in the planning stages, but they hope to finalize those plans later in the summer of 2023.