Dave and Ryan Enmin’s new disc golf development off exit 191 is a story 20 years in the making. Dave Enmin’s roots in the sport began with golf, playing games with a plus five handicap. When he found disc golf, he liked how his golf skills transferred.
Not many of Dave Enmin’s friends played golf when he came back to Maine from a career in the Air Force, however, Maine is one of the biggest states for disc golf.
”And it hasn’t even cracked the bubble!” Dave Enmin said.
Two decades and three disc golf courses later Dave and Ryan Enmin are still in the business, and now they are expanding with their new Orono course. Ryan Enmin had to talk Dave Enmin out of retirement to start their Orrington course, DR Disc Golf, eight years ago.
In their time in the sport, Dave and Ryan Enmin have helped grow the community. They have seen equipment specialized, courses built and players progress. Dave Enmin attributes much of the growth in popularity to Maine’s numerous pay-for-play courses, allowing people who can’t afford memberships a chance to play.
Disc golf is a family business for the Enmins. Dave and Ryan Enmin’s nephew, Matt, competed at the 2017 Nantucket Disc Golf Open this weekend. Matt also holds the highest handicap at Dave and Ryan Enmin’s Orrington golf course.
The Orono site’s conditions have made construction difficult, but Dave Enmin is confident in his vision of the finished course. “I’ve cut out 10 courses now…and I’ve never seen stuff like this,” he said, describing the thorny vines engulfing the property.
Disc golf may get a reputation for being a fringe sport, but its popularity in Maine has skyrocketed in past years. Dave Enmin estimated there were about 50 disc golf players in the state when he began playing and now some courses are seeing up to 50,000 guests a year.
“You don’t make a lot of money, but you’re successful in the number of people you get playing,” Dave Enmin said.
He also stressed safety when playing disc golf. He has seen a trend in developers who built courses on walking trails getting sued for pedestrian injuries.
The Orono course, at 36 holes, will be slightly smaller than the 45-hole Orrington site. Dave Enmin expects the course to be finished sometime next year.
“Disc golf is being talked about now more than ever in Bangor… The best player in the world can play with the worst person in the world, they can still have fun… you don’t have to be no jock,” Dave Enmin said.
DR Disc Golf sees couples, tourist, locals and people of all ages attend the course and Dave Enmin is excited to expand that community in the Bangor area.