By Joshua Adams | Staff Writer
Beer bottles, water bottles, cigarillo wrappers and many other forms of trash can be found along the disc golf course of Pendleton King Park, but most of this garbage does not seem to come from disc golfers.
While many disc golfers admit to producing trash along the course, most of them seem to respect the course and toss their waste into designated trash bins along the course.
Andrew Buchholz, who graduated from Augusta University with a political science degree, has been playing disc golf at different courses around Augusta for seven years and says that the amount of trash varies with the disc golf course.
“If I’m at Pendleton King, I know that it’s also a public park and people walk around,” Buchholz said. “I’ve seen a lot of broken glass from beer bottles and stuff like that. Other courses, like hippodrome or wildwood, I feel like those are maybe a little more respected, so there’s not as much trash.”
Buchholz said he has been playing disc golf at Pendleton King before it was redesigned and renovated.
“It’s completely transformed,” Buchholz said. “It’s really nice now. They’ve got nice tee pads, markers and benches. The upkeep is really good. The trash is kept up. They’ve got trash bins everywhere now. They do a great job here.”
Among the trash that Buchholz sees on the course are cigarillo wrappers, cigarette packs and beer bottles.
“I try to pick some [garbage] here and there,” Buchholz said. “Sometimes when there’s trash, [however], there’s a lot of trash.”
Ethan Brock, another disc golfer who plays at Pendleton King Park a couple times a week, said that he often brings a drink with him.
“Usually, it’s in a plastic bottle that I’ll take back with me or an aluminum can I can crush and throw away,” Brock said.
Brock said it is not that often that he finds trash on the course, but it is noticeable when he does see it.
“People are out here and if [you know] they’re going to be here, why would you just throw it on the ground when there’s usually a trash can around,” Brock said. “It’s not that complicated.”
Sometimes, Brock said he will ignore the trash and walk on by.
“The rest of the time I’ll pick it up,” Brock said. “If it’s convenient. I don’t want to be carrying it around for the next three hours.”
David Hayes, of Thompson, Georgia, has been playing disc golf for 11 years and lives within walking distance of Pendleton King Park. He said that he admits to drinking beer while playing, but does not just throw the waste on the ground.
“They’ve got trash cans lined up all around [the park], Hayes said. “There’s no need to just throw it on the ground.”
Hayes said that he believes that the trash on the course is not from those playing disc golf chucking bottles and the like into the nearby woods at all.
“I’ve seen people [accidentally] leave it, like set it down and forget it, but not intentionally throw it into the woods,” Hayes said.
With all the trash cans on the course, Hayes said, there is no need for disc golfers to leave their empty beer bottles and snack packages on the course or in the woods.
Hayes said that he believes most of the garbage found along Pendleton King’s disc golf course may be from wild animals.
“There’s raccoons in there,” Hayes said. “Digging through the trash, it gets windy sometimes and it blows it all around because there’s no lids on the trash cans. There’s nothing you can do.”
Hayes also said that the trash may come from homeless people or criminals seeking refuge in the park, as there are multiple holes in the fence on Hickman Road.
“It’s kind of a sanctuary for people running from the cops,” Hayes said. “I’ve seen it multiple times. People who have cops chasing after them dip out through there, because the cops really can’t get in there. Even if they do, they can’t really find them. I’ve seen multiple homeless people in and out of there early in the morning. You’ve got all these facilities that are mostly unlocked, like the bathrooms. They can go in there and get out of the elements and just sleep. Nobody bothers them. They often dig through the trash, trying to find something, no matter what it is.”
Tommy Anglin, the park’s maintenance supervisor and caretaker, said that he knows about the holes in the fences.
“We’ve never had anybody coming in after hours,” Anglin said. “Not to my knowledge. We live in the house and we don’t make routinely nightly checks, but we actually live in the park.”
Anglin said that the bathrooms are locked at night, but he does not do nightly checks.
“We only do that when a need arises,” he said. “But we don’t actually ride through the park after night. We have no issues with that.”
Contact Joshua Adams at: email@example.com