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OSH benefits from upgrades to disc golf course on Salem campus

Monday, July 31, 2017

​​Soon after the disc golf course opened on Oregon State Hospital’s Salem campus, Jeff Heltsley began imagining ways to improve it.

This spring, with the installation of new baskets and tee markers, he got his wish.

“I enjoy seeing all the staff, clients and community members enjoy a beautiful course that was rarely used by anyone just a few years ago,” said Heltsley, a mental health therapy coordinator who works on the Bridges Treatment Mall. “Everyone benefits.”

As part of the upgrade to the nine-hole course, baskets replaced the tone-pole targets used for more than a decade. The tone poles were also repainted and repurposed as markers for the tee-pad areas. The hole number, and the distance to the basket, are listed on each tee marker.

After hearing numerous requests from patients and staff to improve the course over the years, Heltsley took action in 2013. He ultimately achieved his goal last year with a grant from the OSH Central Safety Committee. Facilities crew members, including Kevin Kalb, Craig Miracle and Steven Keene – completed the course improvements in March.

A longtime lover of the sport, Heltsley says disc golf helps his patients stay active, learn critical thinking skills, and work through their frustrations in positive ways.

He is the driving force behind the courses on both the Salem and Junction City campuses, and he couldn’t be more thrilled by the response from community members, patients and staff – including James “Doc” Campbell, director of Standards & Compliance and avid disc golf player.

Appreciative of all Heltsley has done, Campbell said the Facilities crew should be commended for their hard work and creative installation. What’s more, he wants everyone to know that the new course meets all Professional Disc Golf Association standards.

“Disc golf is a great, low-impact way to build flexibility, get some steps in, and even have fun,” he said, adding that he’s already seen 20-plus people play here on weekends. “Employees, patients and the community have all benefited from this addition.”

Disc Golf at OSH-Salem

Course Map
For a copy of the course map, go to or under the course name “Oregon State Hospital.”
Players can also pick up copies of the map at Reception.

Upcoming Events
Keep your eye out for information about upcoming summer competitions. One of the first events, the “OSH Safety Fair Disc Golf CTP (closes to the pin) Contest” takes place July 31 to Aug. 4 during the annual Safety Fair. The contest is open to all who wish to enter, and there’s no entry fee.

The hospital will provide discs to throw at the baskets and will award prizes to the players who make the best shots.

For more information about this or other events, contact Jeff Heltsley at


Jeff Heltsley, a mental health therapy coordinator in the Bridges Treatment Mall, practices disc golf on the course he designed for the OSH Salem campus.

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