Fairfield’s new disc golf course highlights growing popularity of the sport in the area


FAIRFIELD – Angry Lobster Disc Golf has turned a nursery into the last disc golf course in central Maine. Owner and manager Mark Andre is eager to bring players new and old to enjoy it.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming our first employees and getting their feedback,” he said. “I’m sure there will be things we want to do to improve the course after receiving feedback. But that’s really what we want the course to be – we want it to be the golfers course, and we’re here to maintain and improve it.

The popularity of disc golf continues to grow in the region. Quarry Road Trails in Waterville recently announced the opening of a disc golf course, and Quaker Hill Disc Golf in Fairfield has been around since 2003, where its popularity has grown steadily over the years.

The Angry Lobster Course, located at 11 Ten Lots Road in Fairfield, opens Thursday and will be open from dawn until dusk. It costs $ 7 per spin, or $ 10 per day, and visitors can pay at the pro’s store, or there will be an honor box if the store is closed.

The course includes wooded areas inherited from the time of the property as a nursery. It will eventually have 18 holes, but two are still under construction. The course features longer distances than other courses in the area, to help attract more advanced players, said Harley Lance Cole, Andre’s business partner, who helped design the course.

Once opened, Cole will oversee the pro shop on the Gold Disc course.

“My main focus with the course was to try to help and uplift the game here in the state of Maine,” Cole said. “We have a lot of short courses, and I feel like that almost limits the talent we can reach. So the main goal was to open it up and really give the players a chance to reach their full potential. “

They have scorecards for both amateur and advanced players, so the course is accessible to all skill levels.

It is also planned to have a store on the property, which will sell all the equipment a disc golfer could dream of. The store will be open in a limited capacity at the moment, with a few sets of records for rent to visitors.

Club pro Lance Cole, left, and course owner and manager Mark Andre eagerly await the opening of the new Angry Lobster disc golf course in Fairfield. The men on shown on the course Tuesday. Rich Abrahamson / Morning Sentry

The original plan called for the full store to open with the course, Andre said, but the pandemic has disrupted the equipment supply chain. Many suppliers have difficulty in satisfying their current customers and do not accept new customers.

“We would like it to be up and running this year, but with the pandemic and everything, it’s been very difficult to get up to the dealer level with some of the companies,” Cole said. “They’re even already struggling to supply their own dealers, so they’re not accepting new ones. “

The name comes from André’s time as a commercial lobster fisherman in the Florida Keys. When he was fishing, Andre used a fiberglass stick to “tickle” the lobsters out of the holes they were in. Once, when he brought his partner in, she noticed that the lobsters looked angry when they were tickled.

Later, while Andre was working on boat repairs, she said he looked like one of the “angry lobsters”. The nickname stuck and Andre said it was the perfect name for the course.

On Tuesday, a lobster sign greets disc golfers at the entrance to the new Angry Lobster disc golf course at 11 Ten Lots Road in Fairfield. The new course opens Thursday. Rich Abrahamson / Morning Sentry

The disc golf course is the latest iteration in the property’s long history. It was originally part of a land grant from the English monarchy in the 1700s and has been a working farm for over two centuries.

“It would have been a shame to see it sink for real estate development or some other use,” Andre said. “Having a disc golf course here is a good way to preserve the property and the grounds.”

Andre brought the property in 2004 and ran a nursery – Thornridge Farms Nursery – growing shade, ornamental and Christmas trees.

The nursery was a joint project with his brother, Andre said. And in recent years, as her brother’s health declined, the two stopped planting new trees and began gradually closing the nursery, before officially closing in 2020.

Andre himself is fairly well known in the area, having run for the House District 110 seat in the Maine State House of Representatives on several occasions and has been embroiled in disputes with Colby College in Waterville. concerning the registration of students on the electoral rolls and tax rates.

The idea for a disc golf course came from nursery employees, said Andre, who had often mentioned that the area would make a great course. So after the nursery closed last year, he started working on the course.

Club pro Lance Solo clears rocks as he and course director Mark Andre, right, clear and place a tee pad while working out at the Angry Lobster disc golf course in Fairfield on Tuesday. Rich Abrahamson / Morning Sentry

“This is probably the biggest landscaping project I have ever done,” said Andre. “It was actually a really fun thing to do, to walk and to trace the course, to start building the stone walls and all the T-shirts – it was just a lot of fun putting it all together and rewarding. It’s a bit like a big art project.

And the terrain was surprisingly suited to the course. While working on the landscaping, they only had to remove a few of the saplings.

“It’s just a beautiful property,” Cole said, “and we just want to share it with everyone.”

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