A Grayson County native currently residing in Nicholasville, who was recently inducted into the Kentucky Disc Golf Hall of Fame, is in the initial stages of developing a disc golf course here in Grayson County.
Everett Lasley, 58, was among the first graduating class at Grayson County High School in 1975, and was a member of the baseball team which reached the state tournament.
He went to Campbellsville University on a baseball scholarship, then later received a special-education degree at the University of Kentucky, then received a masters in physical education from Georgetown College. Lasley is currently a P. E. teacher at an alternative school in Jessamine County.
During his days here in Grayson County, friends used to call him “Frisbee Man” because of his infatuation with the plastic discs that had been around since the fifties. He talked about when he and his friends used to toss Frisbees around the square in downtown Leitchfield.
While in college, a friend from Elizabethtown introduced him to a new sport, disc golf, and the new course that had been built at Otter Creek Park, near Fort Knox. It was the first such course in the state, and Lasley quickly became hooked by the sport.
In the early stages of the sport, tournaments involved throwing the discs at targets, such as trees, or fire hydrants. Then, in 1978, a man from La Mirada, Ca., Ed Hedrick, invented the first baskets for the courses. Since that time more than a thousand such courses have popped up around the country and Lasley estimates there are probably 60 or more here in Kentucky and the number keeps growing.
Lasley built a nine-hole course at the first school in which he taught in Woodford County, where he met Dave Greenwell, whom Lasley described as, “…the most decorated disc golfer in the world.”
Greenwell has played in every world championship since the inception of the game and has won 13 world titles, and is one of five members of the Kentucky Disc Golf Hall of Fame. Lasley, who has won two world championships, joined him in the Hall last March in ceremonies in Bowling Green, where the Hall is located.
Lasley began building courses in Kentucky in 1995, and teamed with Greenwell on his first course, in Harrodsburg. He is currently in the early phases of construction on a course in Versailles.
On Monday, Lasley was here in Leitchfield to look over the proposed site of a nine-hole course which will be constructed in the James D. Beville City Park, in Leitchfield, in and around the picnic area above the lake.
“It’s one of the most beautiful sites for a course I’ve seen,” Lasley enthused. “It’s too bad it’s not big enough for an 18-hole course.”
According to Lasley, the sport has advanced leaps and bounds from when it started back in the seventies. Science has had a hand in advancing the sport through the introduction of high-tech plastics and improved design of the discs themselves.
One of the championships Lasley won was a distance title back in the early 2000’s. His winning throw was 407 feet. Today, the world record throw is 868 feet.
The sport has developed to the point where, like in regular golf with irons and drivers and putters, there are specific discs for each part of the game. He has discs which will fly level, then turn left or right, depending on the direction of the hole. He has discs which are designed to roll, on edge, along the ground. In one of his title rounds, he rolled a shot some 650 feet.
Lasley, who turned pro in 2000, said he owns more than 300 discs, many of which are now rare classics. He has one disc, a 2001 Champion Roc, “…that I’ve probably thrown 20,000 times, which I could put up on E-bay tomorrow, used, and get $400 for.”
But Lasley points out that you don’t have to be rich to play the sport.
“Beginners can get a driver, a mid-range, and a putter and go out and play and probably spend around $25 to $30,” he said. And there is no charge to play the courses themselves.
Of course, as you get better at the game, you will probably want to add to your collection of discs. It also would be wise to have backups for each disc for those instances, like in golf, when things go awry.
“Sometimes you might barely kiss a tree and have the disc fly over a cliff,” Lasley said. “Or when you are trying to throw across a 325-foot lake and you only throw 320 feet.”
Lasley points out that you don’t have to be a great athlete to play the game and you can play from childhood on up into your senior years with no trouble.
“It’s a great sport and great exercise,” he said.
For more information about disc golf, go on the internet and contact the Professional Disc Golf Association at pdga.com, or, here in Kentucky at the site Lasley started himself, the Bluegrass Disc Golf Association at bdga.org.
If you might be interested in having a course built at a community site, you can contact Lasley at 859-881-8962.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.