Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in North America. Compared to traditional “ball golf,” it is an environmentally friendly and low cost game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages, skills, and fitness levels. Belle Isle State Park is considered “The Jewel of Detroit.” Situated in international waters of the Detroit River between the United States and Canada and conceived by Frederick Law Olmstead, it rivaled New York’s Central Park when built. With nearly 1000 acres of nature and views of downtown, it offers a unique space to showcase the growing sport in an urban setting.
Despite a nationwide urban resurgence, Michigan being a Mecca for disc golf, and over 30 courses in the metro area, Detroit could not boast a course of its own in 2011.
Through social media, 3030 raised tens of thousands of dollars and coordinated hundreds of volunteers to renovate the former Belle Isle Golf Course into a tournament level disc golf course. Over three years we helped navigate the project through a state takeover of the park, the placement of an emergency manager over the city’s finances, and the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.
To ensure longevity we built a dedicated group of volunteers with various talents, created Detroit Disc Golf LLC to manage the long term operations of the course, and negotiated a use agreement for the space with the Department of Natural Resources.