JASPER, Ind. (WEHT) – Making old things new again: that’s what the City of Jasper plans to do with the former Ruxer Golf Course. Last used in 2019, the 60 acre course has since been overtaken by nature. As fate would have it, that is all part of the plan.
“Because of the flooding that occurs out here, it was decided by the park board that it wasn’t cost efficient to continue to maintain this as a golf course,” says Jasper Parks and Recreation Director Tom Moorman.
Moorman says during the height of the pandemic, the Dubois County-area noticed an increase in popularity of outdoor sports, including disc golf. Local disc golfers approached the city about turning the Ruxer into a disc golf course. Moorman jumped at the opportunity for the change, which includes adding another mile and a half to the adjacent Jasper Riverwalk.
“It just seemed like a natural fit to enjoy the outdoors with disc golf and walking,” explains Moorman.
The city says no construction is needed for the course, which will be designed professional disc golfer Eric McCabe. Moorman says grass around the cart paths will be maintained and cleared, but plans call for the natural beauty of the course to be on full display, providing a considerable drop in maintenance costs.
“We don’t have to worry about fertilizing,” explains Moorman, “we don’t have to worry about irrigation. And being on a floodway, you really don’t have to worry about the irrigation. And mowing just tee box to basket and keeping the cart paths clear on either side, it’s really the best alternative as far as the maintenance standpoint.”
The former 9 hole executive golf course will be transformed into an 18 hole disc golf course. Moorman expects the design to be finalized and materials to arrive by the end of March, with advantageous goals of a Summer opening.
“Hopefully by July, that would be our hope, that by July that the whole course would be open,” says Moorman.
The project’s completion date will depend on the repairs of two bridges on the course. Moorman says the Jasper Mayor’s Youth League Council, which consists of high school students, have taken on the bridge project. The students will raise funds and perform most of the work themselves, with assistance from the Jasper Parks and Rec department. The Youth League Council will host an 80s-themed Fun Run fundraiser on March 10 at the golf course, with proceeds going to the bridge repair project.