Disc Golf – bigger and better than ever | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Disc Golf – bigger and better than ever

Sarah Gonser

As South Shore residents and city officials struggle with skateboard park vandalism and finding land for a BMX track, disc golf has quietly blossomed into an incredibly popular sport.

Three courses are complete in the Tahoe area, a fourth is nearly finished and others are in the planning stages.

The newest addition – which some call a world-class course because of its scenic beauty and level of difficulty – opened Saturday at Kirkwood Ski Resort. The course at Zephyr Cove is seven baskets away from completion, and Truckee River Regional Park course opened July 10. The course at Bijou Community Park was completed with 27 baskets in May 1998.

On top of all that, the South Tahoe Alliance for Recreation is examining building a course at the former Meyers landfill.

“Right now we are evaluating the Meyers property to see what we can do there in terms of development, then we’ll see where all the requests for specific uses fit in,” said Steve Weiss, parks superintendent for the city of South Lake Tahoe. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m very excited about the prospects of another disc golf course. We built one at Bijou Park and it’s been extremely successful.”

The increasing popularity of the sport, especially in Tahoe, might have a lot to do with geography, said Craig Getty, who was involved in building all four courses.

“Mountain terrain is just a natural for disc golf courses. Just like mountain biking, which is becoming increasingly popular, disc golf fits in really well with this community where people are often more athletically inclined than elsewhere,” Getty said. “Also, there is very little environmental impact when you build a course, except for cleaning up the forest and creating foot trails.”

Beside increasing summer recreation opportunities for residents and tourists, a course at Meyers Landfill could put Tahoe on the map for disc golf competitors around the world.

“Meyers would be a course that could be adjusted to tournament level competitions,” said Tim Parsons, who helped build and design most of the Tahoe disc golf courses. “With four good courses we would meet the requirements to host the world championships – that would bring an incredible amount of business here.”

With this lofty goal in mind, Parsons designed and built the Kirkwood course, which like the other four, is free (the only cost involved in the game is an $8 disc). The Kirkwood course, said the resort’s summer programs manager Joan Wehan, is the highest altitude course in the Western United States, and the most scenic in California. Hole No. 16 is an estimated 1,400-feet from tee to basket, the longest in California.

“I’ve always wanted to build a disc golf course here, I thought it would fit hand in glove with this resort as well as providing a great way to utilize the terrain in summer,” Wehan said. “We’re really excited and it’s a personal dream of mine that has finally come true.”

For beginners, the Bijou course provides a gentle approach to the sport. The Kirkwood and Zephyr Cove courses are more challenging, said Parsons, due to varied terrain and elevation.

For more information, log onto http://www.Tahoedisc.com

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