The History of the Coyote Hills Disc Golf Course
by Bill Ledgett
Coyote Hills was designed and built by Steve Alspaugh and The Carlisle Coyotes in Cooperation with Middlesex Township.
Official Dedication: June 30, 2012
Looking back to late winter 2010, Steve Alspaugh had a vision for having a local 18-hole disc golf course at a park near his house. Middlesex Township Park’s 127 acres offered a canvas on which to create such a disc golf course. Steve made initial contact with Denise Jumper, Recreational Director for Middlesex Township , to see if she had interest in pursuing this enhancement to their park facilities. Denise was completely on board with the idea. Steve then discussed this idea with Greg Clark and Bill Ledgett to gauge their interest and solicit input. Greg and Bill joined Steve on several hikes through the trail system and undeveloped woods and determined that a course could be installed, even discussing several possible holes (6, 8, 12, 13, and 14). Someone suggested that Mark Mcalister, based on his previous experience, would be a good person to involve in the process of developing a proposal for the Township.
Mark helped by making the initial presentation to the Middlesex Township Recreation Board on 6/8/10. Bill created a Yahoo page for Cumberland Valley Disc Golf Association Carlisle Coyotes (CVDGACC) that day to announce the process was underway to bring an 18-hole disc golf course to Carlisle. Mark and Bill had a follow up meeting with Denise and Merv later in June and all agreed that we should present this to the Middlesex Township Board of Supervisors at their next meeting in late July.
Mark’s schedule limited his involvement subsequently leaving Steve, Bill and Mike Bogel to make the final presentation to the Middlesex Township Supervisors on 7/30/10 where the board voted and approved the installation of the course. Some further discussions by Steve with Barry Sherman (Police Chief and Head of Middlesex Township Operations) resulted in access to additional land that allowed for a redesign of holes 2 -5 on the front nine.
Steve commenced with blazing the front 9 by marking potential tee pad, fairway and hole locations in the fall of 2010. Over the next few months Bill carved fairways, taking time to consult with Steve and vary his path as the land presented better paths. The front nine was ‘ready’ for play at the snow enhanced Ice Bowl in late January 2011. We asked for input from the players and received valuable insights to fine tuning holes 1, 2 and 10. Caryn Shearer and Donna Griest adopted hole 8 and dedicated it to breast cancer awareness enlisting a half-dozen of their family and friends to help them transform the hole to what it is today.
The back nine was tentatively sketched out on paper from the original map, with holes 12, 13, 14 remaining close to what they are today. The balance of the back nine required redesigning to optimize land use and ergonomic flow. We were very interested in the insights from members of other clubs (Llamas, Crawdads, LAFS, and WF) from the area and received valuable feedback over the winter months on design considerations which helped us re-shape holes 10, 16, & 17 specifically. The design of hole 17 was greatly influenced by Paul Wojciks’ original line he laid December 2010. Paul has been a great friend to the Coyotes’ efforts to build the Hills, demonstrating the DG community spirit.
In the spring of 2011, #10 was completely redesigned in a collaborative effort with Jeff “Crawdaddy” Manatt, Steve, Rich Love and Bill on one fine Saturday with a ‘consult and cut’ approach. By the end of the day, we had cleared a new 10 and therefore a new starting point for the back nine. Karl Pass took the lead in completing the design on 12 producing a much better finish to the hole. The rest of the back nine started to flow naturally based on efficient use of natural topography and selective tree removal for challenging but ‘fair’ fairways.
Steve and Bill presented a budget proposal of 12k to the Township Recreation Board and Supervisors Board in April 2011 for approval to fund the installation of the course. Both boards granted approval and funds were available to purchase 20 baskets and other materials to complete the course. The Township Operations crew partnered well with us to complete the tee pad construction.
By the summer of 2011, we had 18 holes carved into the landscape. Through out the summer and into the fall, baskets were added and tee pads formed to reach a point where we are today – 18 baskets and 18 concrete tee pads.
The Hills was officially dedicated June 30, 2012.
We have learned that designing a course is a dynamic process. It involves an initial plan that takes shape as you study the land and carve the fairways. It requires time to consider and reconsider, seek wisdom from others, and adjust as you move forward. It is critical to partner with a supportive Township who allows you to earn their trust and steps up to demonstrate their commitment to the project.
The Carlisle Coyotes, in partnership with Middlesex Township and the Recreation Department, have installed 18 holes at Coyote Hills Disc Golf Course for you to enjoy. We thank all who have contributed to the building of the Hills and who have given their time selflessly for the love of the game of disc golf and this course. It has truly been a team effort from it’s inception.
Special Thanks are extended to Denise Jumper and the Middlesex Township Recreation Board, Barry Sherman and his crew (Joe, Merl, Terry, etc.), Steve Alspaugh, Eric Beck, Mike Bogel, Bill Boise, Brent Clark, Greg Clark, Diakon Wilderness Services, Phil Garman, Tim Garman, Tyler Garman, Donna Griest, Joe Harker, Bill Ledgett, Rich Love, Jeff ‘Crawdaddy’ Manatt, Mark Mcalisiter, Karl Pass, Caryn Shearer, Scott Witmer, Paul Wojcik, Dan Zechman, Jarrett Zendt, Crawdads and Llamas, and many more Coyote volunteers.