Disc golfers ready to tee off in Truckee | SierraSun.com

Disc golfers ready to tee off in Truckee

Truckee is one step closer to having its own disc golf course.

But construction of the 17-acre course near the Truckee River Regional Park hasn’t been without controversy from river advocates.

Disc golf combines the fundamentals of Frisbee-tossing and golf – a player “tees off” at the beginning of a hole and works toward getting the disc into a net, or “hole.”

Hazards include trees, bushes and the difficulty of “putting,” or landing the disc into the net.

And, despite the fact the sport is more than 25 years old, it’s just starting to catch on in the mainstream.

“Disc golf has all the thrills of any sport,” said course co-designer Craig Getty, a recent transplant to Truckee from South Lake Tahoe. “It’s like sinking a three-pointer in basketball or throwing a touchdown pass.”

Getty, along with Paul Dillon, Paul Hanson and Dave Pollock – all local players and enthusiasts, used grant money and approval from the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District (which owns the land) to begin construction this spring on the course which will traverse land from the regional park along the Truckee River.

The group recently designed a course currently under construction at Zephyr Cove and also redesigned the five-year-old Bijou course on the South Shore.

Thanks to grants, Truckee’s course, which is estimated to cost $15,000, should be completed by September. Getty said a core group of nearly a dozen volunteers has spent recent weekends preparing the course for completion.

But it hasn’t been perfectly smooth, said Marshall Lewis of the Our Truckee River Legacy Foundation. Lewis said his group was concerned that portions of the course could bring disc golfers perilously close to the banks of the Truckee River, causing erosion and possibly disturbing the habitats of native species like the mink.

“I think disc golf is a terrific idea,” Lewis said. “But there was one small section which was on a very steep hillside and we were very concerned.”

Sensitive area

Lewis said because of the variations in a disc’s flight path, the discs could end up in sagebrush and other vegetation, causing players to trample through the brush.

“It’s a pretty sensitive area,” Lewis said. “But, hopefully, there’s an amicable solution.”

Getty generally agreed, though he said a redesign will shorten the course more than the planners originally desired.

“It’s been a little difficult, but we’re here to accommodate,” Getty said.

There were also concerns from nearby residents who were worried about the proximity of players to their property, but Getty said adjustments to the design are being made to appease land owners.

The redesign will shorten the course from 20 to 17 acres.

Designers, river advocates and officials from the park district will meet today to walk the course and discuss the redesign.

Assuming all fears are quelled and concerns satisfied, the course promises 50- to 100-yard holes with views of the river and surrounding mountains, something which makes the sport particularly suited to Truckee, Getty said.

“The main thing is easy access in a fantastic park with beautiful views,” said Getty, a painting contractor and professional disc golfer.

The South Shore course has successfully drawn tournaments and players from across the nation, Getty said.

“There’s definitely local interest for that sort of thing,” Getty said, adding that Truckee’s temperate summers coupled with the fact there is no course currently in town or even in Reno, should make for popular tournaments each year.

He even said there is a possibility of hosting a world championship at the Truckee course in the future.

But even if you’re not a pro or someone who’s never played the game before, Getty said the sport is extremely user-friendly.

“The learning curve is very fast in disc golf,” he said.

Play at the Truckee course will be free and participants will tee off on a first-come, first-served basis. The course will be maintained by users, the recreation district and members of disc golf clubs, Getty said.

Getty is optimistic about what Truckee’s new course will do for the sport he has played for years.

“The Tahoe area is going to be a mecca for disc golf in the next few years,” Getty said.

For information, call the TDRPD at 582-7720.

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