Disc golf jumps onto mountain scene
July 22, 2011
Disc golf offers another challenge for the skill most people use only a few times a year at the park. Luckily for those in Summit County, Canyons resort is expanding the nine-hole disc-golf course it built in 2007 to 18 baskets/holes this summer.
Mike Goar, the managing director of Canyons Resort, is planning to eventually host sanctioned disc-golf events at the course near the Red Pine Lodge.
"It’s a fun sport that can be played both competitively or just for a family outing and it adds to our offerings on the mountain for our guests and local residents to come up and get in the mountains," Goar said.
Due to major construction, the course is open only to nine holes at the moment. However, Goar says that construction should be completed and the 18-hole course ready for play "in the next two to three weeks." The nine-hole course is currently still functioning at Canyons.
"Due to the construction, the course hasn’t had the opportunity to get really well established at Canyons," he said. "Going forward with the changes we are making this year to the course, I expect that we will have a lot more play then we’ve had."
Disc golf is a fairly simple game in which the participant advances his disc forward with the objective of tossing it into a basket. As in golf, the game is scored with throws over or under par for a full 18-hole course. There are long-, medium-, and short-range discs varying in weight and size that are used just like a golf driver, iron, and putter, depending on the distance to the basket. The spot where your disc lands in the direction of the basket is where you pick it up and sling another throw.
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"Disc golf shares the same joys and frustrations of traditional golf, whether it’s sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway," says the Professional Disc Golf Association’s (PDGA) official website. The obscure sport grew rapidly in the 1970s as discs and Frisbees became a cultural fad. It has recently taken off around the country.
There are already 18 disc-golf courses in Utah; however, the majority are in the south of the state; only about six are in the north. Many leagues and competitions take place weekly around the state. There are four upcoming tournaments in the late summer and fall in the Utah region. The Big Glade Disc Golf Extravaganza, scheduled to take place in Heber on July 30, is the closest disc-golf event to Park City. However, as is the case with a lot of upcoming area disc-golf competitions, it is not sanctioned by the PDGA.
The appeal of the sport is that it can be played by people of all ages without any prior training. The simplicity has made the sport popular among kids and adults around the country. However, attempting to master the precision to be a competitive player is just as big as a challenge as in golf.
Kerry Hong and his brother Tim of Idaho Falls, Idaho, both played the course Canyons course last Friday and "particularly enjoyed the openness of the course in the mountains." Kerry Hong is a current member of the PDGA and has played in many competitive tournaments.
With a location in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, the course is being prepared to host many leagues and tournaments in the coming years as the awareness of its presence grows. Disc golf is growing and with a full course offered at Canyons, Goar figures that future summers will be filled with people both new to and familiar with the game.