Lake Tahoe disc golfing offers summer fun at Bijou, Zephyr Cove Parks
If you’re taking a stroll through Bijou or Zephyr Cove Parks this summer, it’s likely you will see some flying saucers. The disc golf scene around Lake Tahoe is growing each year, and according to local players, these courses are some of the best for play as well as scenery.
If you aren’t familiar with the sport, disc golf is a lot like what it sounds like and the rules follow those of traditional golf. Players tee off from a tee box with a “driver,” which is a disc designed to travel longer distances, then try to toss the disc toward a basket with the least amount of tosses. Disc golfers also play with irons, putters, etc., which are all discs with varying molds and weights.
According to player and a founding member of Sierra-Tahoe Disc Golf Series Gayle Key, the courses at Zephyr Cove and Bijou Park can give anyone a good start at playing while also still be challenging for seasoned players. Sierra-Tahoe Disc Golf Series is a local group that organizes and competes in disc golf tournaments. “At Bijou they have a really great front nine, which is really nice to play,” said Key. “And then they have the back 18, which makes it a 27 basket course.”
Par for Bijou is 81 and the pins can be moved to longer or shorter distances, depending on they type of play. According to Key, there will be two tournaments held at the Bijou Park course this year.
“We’ll have the Tahoe Pro-Am there and we’re also doing King of the Lake there,” said Key. “The pro-am will be three rounds over two days. King of the Lake will be held at four courses in the region. That will be Bijou, Zephyr, Sierra College and Tahoe Vista.” The tournament will take place July 21 and 22.
According to Key, the pro-am is currently sold out has 135 individuals registered to compete.
“The King of the Lake tournament will have 180 players that come from all over the country, “ said Key. “We have a pro side of 90 players and an amateur side of 90 players, and we alternate courses throughout the area.” Key explained that this tournament is at capacity as well and will take place Aug. 19 and 20.
The course at Zephyr Cove will actually be home to the Nevada State Disc Golf championship in September, according to Key. “Zephyr Cove is one of Nevada’s premiere courses,” she said. “It’s 18 holes and it’s one of the more difficult courses in the area. It’s a popular course for players and it has some of the best views in Lake Tahoe with disc golf.” Par for this course is 54.
Key said she’s been playing disc golf for several years now and it was actually the ease of access and affordability that sparked her interest. As most people who live around Lake Tahoe know, getting involved with recreation can often be costly. “It was a cheap way for me to get outdoors and enjoy time with my kids,” said Key. “Disc golf is probably the cheapest sport you can play in the area. You can come here and play for free. Tahoe Vista is the only course where you have to pay and that’s for parking.”
Key went on to explain that one of the best ways to learn is from just talking to local players at the courses or contacting a disc golf organization. “People should talk to the locals because they’re very friendly and they’re willing to help you out,” she said. “You can also get in touch with the South Lake Tahoe Disc Golf Association and have someone come meet you. It’s a great way to meet local players and traveling pros.” Sierra Tahoe Disc Golf Series and South Lake Tahoe Disc Golf Association both have Facebook pages with membership and event information.