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Belfast Putting League

Tossing good times at Belfast City Park disc golf baskets

Robbie Lash, Jessica Beckett, Norm Poirier spearhead new baskets; there also is indoor winter season
By Mark Haskell | Aug 12, 2020
Courtesy of: Jessica Beckett Robbie Lash, left, and Norm Poirier.

Belfast — Two winters ago, Robbie Lash and Jessica Beckett of Waldo organized the first Belfast Putting League for disc golf.

Much like “ball golf,” short of a few fanatical players (and based on course approval), disc golf is not played in the colder months.

So, Lash and Beckett, through connections, were able to bring the offseason league indoors to the Belfast Boat House.

Lash saw it as an opportunity to grow the sport, but also “it brings things back home and we wanted to get something going here ourselves.”

Beckett, who at the time worked in the recreation department for Belfast, asked Norm Poirier, the city's parks and recreation director, for use of the building, and Poirier agreed.

“Norm has been awesome,” said Lash. “They donated the boat house for us. Jessica worked at the parks and rec department and he didn’t charge us [the first year] so it was nice, but this year we’re taking an admission for everyone.”

This past winter, the league’s second year, saw a $10 charge per week for admission, various payouts, a closest-to-the-pin competition and to an end-of-year raffle and cookout.

Raffle tickets, obtained each week by those who attend the league, saw players win season passes of disc golf from various courses statewide to gift certificates and various items from local businesses.

“We had prizes from tons of area businesses including the Axe Pit, disc golf course free passes, discs [and] gift cards to restaurants,” Lash said. “All was donated and I had to go from place to place and ask for the donations. I put a lot of leg work in to make all this happen.”

And, as the weeks went on this past winter, those admission fees began to add up.

So much that Lash and Beckett reached out to Poirier about giving something back to the community.

“Jessica and Norm talked a lot of disc golf during her time at the parks and rec job,” said Lash. “Norm has a big interest in getting baskets in the town, with hopes of a course in the future.”

The duo donated a Gateway Titan 24 disc golf basket — which retails at nearly $400 — to Belfast City Park, which was installed on Tuesday, Aug. 10 by Lash, Beckett and Poirier.

Then, Poirier informed Lash and Beckett the city planned to donate a second basket for city park.

“After we planted the basket he told me that the town had it in their budget this year to purchase a basket,” Lash said. “I told him I could order one right up. He said ‘go for it’ and give him the invoice.”

Both baskets will be adjacent to the horseshoe pit near the gazebo in Belfast City Park. Lash said the second basket should be installed in the coming weeks.

The indoor league typically runs from December to April on Tuesday nights. Each player accumulates points by made putts and are given five attempts from each designated distance, while chaining all five shots — or the final disc as a “money ball” of sorts — gives players extra points.

Players from Knox and Waldo counties play in the league, but Lash said players from as far away as Bangor, Gardiner and Augusta “come all that way just to putt with us for a few hours.”

“We try and change things up every week,” said Lash. “We don’t always have the same stations. We try and change things up and always try to keep things fresh and new.”

Last year, Lash fashioned a three-tiered basket out of a totem pole to give players different vantage points at different elevations. He also has his own laser engraver that allows him to make trophies. This past season, he made trophies for first, second and third place for the league, in addition to one for most improved.

“We have a huge passion for the game and are always looking to grow the sport,” said Lash.

Roger Allen play indoors at the Belfast Boat House. (Courtesy of: Robbie Lash)
The new basket. (Courtesy of: Robbie Lash)
Jessica Beckett (Courtesy of: Robbie Lash)
Norm Poirier, left, and Jessica Beckett. (Courtesy of: Robbie Lash)
Robbie Lash, left, and Norm Poirier. (Courtesy of: Jessica Beckett)
One of the league trophies. (Courtesy of: A league participant)
One of the league trophies. (Courtesy of: A league participant)
One of the league trophies. (Courtesy of: A league participant)
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