Disc Golf Course Helps Hoosier Campground
With the campground business slowing somewhat in central Indiana, Bob and Toni Billetz, owners of the 104-site Honey Bear Hollow Campground in Peru, Ind., have been pleased by the revenues derived from their disc golf course.
The 18-hole course winds through a 20-acre woods that adjoins their campground, located an hour drive north of Indianapolis. Campers play free, and the public pays $2 to play unlimited rounds.
“On a good weekend with decent weather, we’ll get 100 to 150 people in,” Bob Billetz told Woodall’s Campground Management. “We’ve been grossing $25,000 to $30,000 a year. It’s been a lot of help.”
Disc golf competitors from throughout the Midwest come to Honey Bear Hollow to test their skills on the 3/4-mile-long championship course designed in the mid-‘70s by “Steady” Ed Headrick, the founder of disc golf and the Disc Golf Association. Six “temporary holes were added seven years ago, making the total layout 24 holes.
Billetz believes it is one of the oldest of an estimated 3,000 disc courses in the U.S. and one of the few run in conjunction with a campground.
The disc course was not operational when the Billetzes bought the campground in 1991, but they put it back into service by the 1992 season. It’s been a steady performer ever since.
Besides its obvious appeal to disc players with its dense woods and rolling hills, the course has proven popular because Billetz has held the line on rates, keeping it at $2 since 1992 while other courses have raised their fees. At Honey Bear, kids play free. The course also is the site of several tournaments each summer, and, like the campground, is open year-round.
The course is not lighted, but many players come in and play at night, thanks to the glow-in-the-dark discs available at the pro shop, which offers 400 to 500 discs and assorted gear from all the leading manufacturers.