Flying objects hit Squaw Valley USA | SierraSun.com

Flying objects hit Squaw Valley USA

Story and photos Amy EdgettSierra Sun
Craig Getty winds up to hurl 1,057 feet to the "island in the sky" basket at hole 3 of Squaw Valley's new High Camp disc golf course.
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OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Colorful discs fly at Squaw Valley’s new 18-hole mountaintop disc golf course, located at High Camp, elevation 8,200 feet. Designer Craig Getty, a disc golfer since 1992, spent 40 hours walking among towering old-growth cedar, red fir, fallen tree skeletons, Squaw’s infamous granite boulder fields and patches of dainty wildflowers to decide what areas would provide recreational and advanced play.The result is a three-hole beginner loop (1, 2 and 18) directly behind High Camp, accessed by a scenic cable car ride, with holes 12-17 a more advanced game, playing at varied elevations in Squaw Valley’s Rainbow Bowl under the Solitude chair lift.Hole 3 is its signature hole, a magnificent par 4 from a slopeside perch, to what Getty describes as an andamp;#8220;island in the skyandamp;#8221; basket, or pin placement. At the tee Getty wound up and took aim: The disc soared over a mind-boggling drop in terrain toward a granite knoll 1,057 feet away. Like a bird, like a plane, the disc flew up and away. And down. andamp;#8220;It’s the most unique hole, a difficult par 4,andamp;#8221; said Getty. andamp;#8220;It’s a world championship hole.andamp;#8221;Getty has designed more than six disc golf courses and recommends Squaw Valley’s course for the beauty of landscape and terrain, the combination of difficult holes, fun andamp;#8220;aceandamp;#8221; holes and the layout of the shots, balanced both left and right. Rainbow Bowl is protected from the wind, but it is an up-and-down hike with elevation gain. As Getty says: andamp;#8220;It’s not for your typical bowler.andamp;#8221;There are no typical disc golfers: It’s a game that can be played with friends, family or with a competitive edge. The sport likely originated with folks tossing trademarked Frisbees at trees, poles, cans and whatnot. It evolved into a sport similar to the grassy game of golf. The object is to complete the course with the least amount of strokes, using a variety of plastic discs. Players begin by driving from a tee, with consecutive shots taken from the disc’s landing spot. Metal baskets are the andamp;#8220;hole,andamp;#8221; where players sink the final putt in with a satisfying ka-ching.Disc golf continues to gain in popularity, as an affordable way to play outdoors with a purpose. Getty, an avid golfer, says disc golf andamp;#8220;fits into his lifestyle and time constraints.andamp;#8221; Not to mention the cost. Squaw Valley’s course is free, as most are (some have nominal or parking fees). Disc cost ranges from $5-20, with sets available. Getty has a 14-disc stash and says you can begin with just three: a putter, mid-range and driver. Discs are available for purchase at the High Camp Bath andamp; Tennis Shop, Truckee’s Sports Exchange, Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach or online.According to the Disc Golf Association’s website, the sport has grown from a few courses in 1975 to more than 3,000 in 2009. The root of the sport began with andamp;#8220;Steadyandamp;#8221; Ed Headrick, who founded DGA, coined and trademarked andamp;#8220;Disc Golf.andamp;#8221; He also invented the Disc Pole Hole, the golf target that uses a pole, chains and a basket.Each tee off area has a map with icons to demonstrate where the next hole is, including flight paths and landmarks. Getty designed the Squaw Valley course using trees and granite to frame fairways and pins. The course is the only lift accessed area in Tahoe and has another draw: The beauty of the surrounding landscape and views of Lake Tahoe. For more information, visit squaw.com.

Squaw Valley USA:Ride the Cable Car up to High Camp, el. 8200′, to play Squaw Valley’s new course free of charge. Open 10:40 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily until Aug. 22 and 10:40 a.m. – 5 p.m. through Sept. 6.Truckee River Regional Park:Truckee, 18 holes, moderate hills, wooded, on the Truckee River, 10500 Brockway Road, Truckee. Visit http://www.tdrpd.com, phone 582-7720. Course established 1999.North Tahoe Regional Park:Tahoe Vista, 18 full holes with full baskets and tee pads, $3 parking fee for non-residents of the NTPUD, 875 National Avenue, off North Tahoe Boulevard in Kings Beach. Visit http://www.ntpud.org, phone 546-4212. Course established in 2006.Bijou Community Park:South Lake Tahoe, 27-hole championship disc course, three pin placements per hole. 1201 Al Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe. Visit http://www.recreationintahoe.com. Course established 1999.Zephyr Cove Park:Located just off Hwy. 50 on Warrior Way. For advanced players an easy, short course, thick with manzanita. Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department (775) 586-7271. Course established 1993.

Find information at the following websites: Disc Golf association, http://www.discgolfassoc.com; DG Course Review, http://www.dgcoursereview.com; Professional disc golf Association, http://www.pdga.com; Disc Nation Disc golf Superstore, http://www.discnation.com; About disc golf at Disc, http://www.disclife.com/whatis.shtml.