Disc golfers go for the Wood
The slopes of Kirkwood Mountain Resort will come alive this weekend as the second annual Disc-wood disc golf tournament gets under way.
The tournament, which is the second of three Lake Tahoe Series events, will showcase a mixture of local and national talent at one of disc golf’s most beautiful courses.
Nestled in the peaks and valleys of Kirkwood Mountain, the 18-hole course was designed in 1999 by tournament director Tim Parsons.
“This venue is just incredible,” Parsons said of the course that starts at 7,800 feet. “It’s definitely one of the best and most scenic courses in the world.”
During the two-day event, golfers will play 54 holes of golf, 36 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. Parsons is expecting anywhere from 60 to 80 participants.
Confirmed competitors include Tahoe Daily Tribune amateur tournament winner Arren Griffis, who after finishing sixth in the world amateur championships in Nashville last month will likely be making his professional debut. Also likely to be making his first professional appearance at Disc-wood will be Jason Herm of Grass Valley, who finished third at the Tribune tournament in June. Keith Johnson of Sacramento, last year’s defending open champion is also confirmed.
Parsons is excited about the field, half of which will be intermediate amatuers.
“For many people this is their only tournament of the year, so it will be real good experience for them,” Parsons said. “We’re going to bring them to the mountain and make tournament players out of them.”
However, Parsons was quick to add that Disc-wood is a C-tier event and the atmosphere is not quite as competitive as other tournaments.
“Disc-wood is a much more casual tournament. We really just want the players to come out and have a good time.”
But having a good time may be easier said than done on a challenging course like Disc-wood. No. 8 for example is a tight par 3 that on first glance looks like an aceable hole, but as one approaches the pin they’ll notice that it is resting atop a fallen old growth tree, forcing them to putt upward.
“Those can be tricky putts to make,” Parsons said.
The fun will continue when the field reaches the mammoth par 5 No. 16. The 1,200 foot hole is one of the longest in the world and, according to Parsons, takes a lot of skill to stay in the fairway.
“It looks a lot easier than it is,” Parsons said of the wide open hole. “You have to hike uphill to the tee box so it’s a matter of catching your breath and getting off a long and straight tee shot.”
For those who are skilled enough to fight through the many challenges Kirwood offers, victory comes with a disc-shaped trophy custom crafted out of maple wood and a purse that will be determined by the number of players.
“Those who walk away with the wood will be some pretty good players,” Parsons said.
Disc-wood will get under way at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at Kirkwood and space is still available for interested players. There will be a player check-in and late registration table Friday at the Kirkwood Inn from 6 to 9 p.m.
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