An 18-hole disc golf course at Oakwood Lake Township Park has opened, the second such course in the township of roughly 20,000 people. And like the first course, at Seymour Lake Township Park, the Oakwood course is free and open to all.
Unlike the Seymour course, which is characterized as long with wide open approaches to the holes, the new course at Oakwood is tighter, weaving through the forests and requiring a more strategic approach rather than just a strong arm.
Oakwood was designed by Miles Lawrence, co-founder of the Murder Mitten Disc Golf Club. The MMDGC was started as a fundraiser league in 2011 to help maintain the course at Seymour. The Oakwood course will also benefit from the MMDGC, which hosts tournaments and a Sunday doubles league to raise money.
“I always thought that being able to design a course would be an interesting thing to do,” says Lawrence. “It had the potential, but could we do it?”
Lawrence had learned about the Michigan Disc Golf Organization donating disc golf baskets to various courses throughout the state and figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Lawrence, who worked a seasonal job with the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department this past summer, approached his bosses about building a second disc golf course.
Oxford agreed, MDGO donated the equipment, and Lawrence and a handful of volunteers set out into the park, cutting down a few trees and clearing brush to carve out the 18-hole course.
“Oakwood was a park that not a lot of people knew about. It’s really nice, just not a lot of people were out there. We thought that maybe this course would attract attention,” says Lawrence. “There were 200 people out on opening weekend.”