Pro-Am tourney set for new disc course |

Pro-Am tourney set for new disc course

Julie Brown/Sierra SunBrian Griffiths takes a shot Monday afternoon at the North Tahoe Disc Golf Course. Kona, a chocolate lab also known as the "disc dog," plays the game, too.

Hundreds of sweaty and labor-intensive volunteer hours have produced what some say is the North Tahoe Regional Park’s most popular and widely used attraction, a new 18-hole disc golf course.

Nestled in the woods in the back corner of the park, crossing onto U.S. Forest Service land maintained by the North Tahoe Public Utility District, the 22-acre course is nearing completion, with signage, maps and sponsorship remaining to be finished.

“So that’s what we need to do to finish; and the rest is fine-tuning,” said volunteer Kevin McDermott.

A professional-amateur competition, the Lake of the Sky Disc Golf Tournament, will be hosted by the Professional Disc Golf Association on Oct. 27-28. The impending event has added a sense of urgency to the volunteer campaign to finish the course.

“That’s the only thing that’s keeping us on task, the pro-am [tournament], because we have to be on it,” said volunteer Doug Greenwood.

The 10-division tournament ” four professional and six amateur ” is expected to attract 60 to 90 participants, said tournament director Craig Getty.

The first set of nine holes in the front of the course was completed last spring, but volunteers just finished building the T-pads for each of the back nine holes last week.

The course’s popularity is tribute to the hard work and organized volunteer effort by dedicated residents and avid disc-golfers. On any given afternoon, several groups or more of Frisbee-throwers can be seen in the woods chasing brightly colored discs.

“And you know what’s so cool about this place?” Greenwood asked. “It’s dog friendly; I love that.”

Participants say the sport is contagious, that once you start you just can’t stop.

“I only played a couple of times, and then I got hooked,” said disc golfer Jesse Steele.

With proficiency comes technical difficulty. Disc golfers use moves like the “tomahawk” or the common “wrist snap,” depending on the position of tree branches or manzanita surrounding the thrower and the targeted basket.

“You kind of do whatever the obstacle dictates,” McDermott said.

Most of the course’s holes are 3-pars, with only a couple 4-par throws. The front nine averages about 300 to 350 feet in length, the back nine average 250 to 300 feet. The longest hole, number 18, is 745 feet long.

The sport’s growing popularity on the North Shore can be seen not only in the numbers of disc golfers but also the number of local retailers catering to the sport’s fans.

“All the hardware stores are getting on it,” Greenwood said. “They say [discs] sell like hot cakes.”

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