New disc golf course opens at Tahoe Paradise Park
MEYERS, Calif. — After several years of hard work by local disc golf enthusiasts, a new course has opened at Tahoe Paradise Park in Meyers.
Dave Salazar has been playing disc golf for more than three decades and has had a course in mind for Meyers for several years. He’d mapped out an 18-hole course that started at Tahoe Paradise Park and went into the Forest Service land behind the park.
The Forest Service was on board at first but after some staff changes, they backed out of the project. Salazar put the project on the back burner until another disc golf enthusiast, Zack Zimlich, approached him about picking the project back up.
Zimlich has been playing competitively in the area for the past seven years and he noticed that while South Lake had two courses already, there was one missing in the Meyers area. He was connected with Salazar about making that course a reality.
“I was like, ‘instead of making an 18-hole course that lays out on the Forest Service property, why don’t we approach the park and see what acreage we can use in the park and make a 9-holer and start from there,” Zimlich said.
They attended many Tahoe Paradise Park board meetings. Fortunately Park Manager Greg Hall was enthusiastic about the idea and helped them push the board.
After receiving approval, Salazar, Zimlich and Hall immediately went to work designing and building the course.
When designing a course, Salazar said he and Zimlich just started by walking in the woods.
“It kind of just happens naturally,” Salazar said.
They would just throw discs from different areas to different features and just decide on what made the most sense and would make the least amount of impact. Zimlich also wanted to make sure there was a good variety on the course.
“Our main goal was to build the course where there’s technicality but every shot variety that you have so that any player can step up on the pad and throw to that basket,” Zimlich said.
The first three holes are laid out near the playground and go around the basketball court.
“It’s perfect for the future of people getting interested in the sport,” Zimlich said. “You’re going to have kids and parents seeing people throwing off of hole one and say, ‘oh what’s this,’ and gauge some interest and see what this is really all about.”
Between holes three and four, players walk across the parking lot to Lake Baron and hole four starts to the right of the lake. The rest of the holes use the natural environment, with trees providing obstacles and granite boulders used as features around the course.
There are 26 different pin placements for the whole course and Salazar said he’s trying to move the baskets once a week.
For Hall, he really considered the safety of the other users of the park, so there are signs on the walking paths to tell users to be aware but for the most part, trees and pin layouts should protect the other parks users.
However, he’s happy with how the course ties in with the rest of the park. On days when there is live music, it can be heard throughout the whole course. The tee pad for hole seven is near the river, so players can take a break to cool off in the river. Hall is passionate about the park having something for everyone and this course gives park guests another option.
Funding for the project was no problem. The community was so excited for a new course that donations poured in. Salazar said they raised most of the money within two weeks.
The Meyers Community Foundation provided them with a donation to help reach their goal. Tahoe Wellness Center donated funding for the main map which will be placed at the start of the course. Meek’s Lumber provided wood for benches and retaining walls throughout the course and Tahoe Sand and Gravel donated the gravel for the tee pads.
“Our motto is ‘built by the community for the community,’” Salazar said.
Hours of volunteer work helped clearing debris and dead branches, build paths and stairs and tamp down gravel for the tee pads.
“We were really selective on what stuff we took out because once you take it out, you can’t put it back in,” Salazar said.
They are still asking for donations so that they can continue to maintain the course. There will be a donation box at hole one and a QR code on the main map that will direct players to a donation page.
Salazar is also going to approach the Forest Service again and show them how successful the front nine is, in hopes of them approving a back nine course on their property.
In the meantime, the Tribune highly recommends checking out the course that is clearly a labor of love for Salazar, Zimlich and Hall.
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