‘Priceless’ mission trip brings disc golf to Haiti

Trent Solomon, right, plays catch with a child during his mission to Haiti. During the trip, he introduced disc golf to many members of the community. (photo courtesy of Trent Solomon)

Like most disc golf courses, the one Trent Solomon designed and installed evolved from an idea into an arduous task. Filled with setbacks, delays, and even injury, Solomon’s course finally came to fruition in March, joining the numerous other disc golf courses being installed each year.

There is, however, one exception that makes this project stand out from the rest — Solomon’s course is located in Haiti.

Open Door Haiti Disc Golf Course is the first of its kind in the Caribbean island nation. Comprised of four portable baskets, it sits on land that also hosts a church, a mission house, and a medical clinic in the city of Bois de Lance, about a half hour outside Cap Haitien.

Solomon, 24, built the course while on a mission trip to work at an orphanage in Haiti. The orphanage houses children who were displaced by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which devastated the country in January 2010. The mission trip was facilitated by Open Door Haiti.

Originally, the plan was for Solomon and his father to do electrical work for the facility, but it became much more.

“The thing that really got me was the orphanage was actually built specifically for orphans from the earthquake,” he said.

Being an avid disc golfer for nearly four years, as well as an assistant manager at retailer Marshall Street Disc Golf, exporting the sport to Haiti came naturally to the Winchendon, Massachusetts native.

“I came up with the idea to bring some Frisbees, or discs down there,” Solomon said. “You know, whatever I could bring just to give them something new to do.”

Solomon planned to gather discs from whomever would donate them, reaching out to fellow players, disc retailers, and even some of the top manufacturers in the sport. Despite striking out with most of them, he found success with Vibram, who donated five discs; Marshall Street, who donated a box of 30 lost and found discs; and Maple Hill Disc Golf Course, who also donated lost and found items.

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