, 2023-01-24 04:46:01,
Ask Mike is a Pekin Daily Times column focusing on all things Tazewell County: its history, mysteries, quirks and culture. Send your questions to [email protected].
Question: Austin Simpson of Morton expressed curiosity about the origin of the name of Megiddo Disc Golf Course at Morton’s Westwood Park. His only previous encounter with the name Megiddo, he said, was in a biblical prophecy in the Book of Revelations. The prophecy identified “Mount Megiddo” as a future apocalyptic battlefield where the forces of good would engage in a final conflict with the forces of evil. “It seems like a pretty extreme choice for a disc golf course, and I’m curious how it came to have that name,” Simpson wrote.
Answer: When course designer Kip Taufer built the course in 2013, he was looking for a name that would distinguish it from other courses in the area. Disc golf courses often are named for the parks in which they are located, but Taufer said Westwood Park in Mackinaw contains a disc golf course.
“Those parks are fairly close to each other, so it could have gotten confusing,” he said. “So, I looked up where there had been some battles in the past, just as a talking point.”
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How the course got its name
Although well aware of Mount Megiddo’s prophesied role as a final battleground, Taufer said he focused more on Megiddo’s role in antiquity when he settled on a course name.
The ancient Palestinian city was strategically located along an important trade route linking Egypt to Mesopotamia and Syria, which made it a highly desirable military objective. The first Battle of Megiddo, fought in the 15th Century B.C., pitted the Egyptian forces of Pharaoh Thutmose III against a rebellious Canaanite coalition. In 609 B.C, Judean king Josiah’s refusal to allow Egyptian troops to pass through his territory led to a clash at Megiddo with Pharaoh Necho II.
“I figured that people who are out there for tournaments can have their battles on the course,” Taufer said. “That’s where the idea really came from.”
Hoping the name inspires players
Taufer asserted that his choice of a battlefield for a course name was an effort to inspire a particularly competitive brand of disc golf. But in addition to battling other players, he wanted Megiddo patrons to battle the course itself. Terrain, after all, has always played a key role in warfare.
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