Vegas Values: Disc Golf

Signs are posted to keep passerbys safe
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

Disc golf has gained popularity lately from the Nintendo Wii game console. However, it is not only a game played on the Wii. Its modern history dates back fifty years. It is recognized as a professional sport, the PDGA or Professional Disc Golf Association has since been formed. Disc golf is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill level. It is played in the US as well as twenty other countries across the globe.

I was introduced to the sport while living in Chicago more than a decade ago. Most courses there were located in forest preserves. Las Vegas’ six courses are located in park settings. It wasn’t until recently I learned courses were nearby, I now understand they’ve been around for quite sometime as fellow Living-Las-Vegas scribe, Eric James Miller reports here. Whatever the location or terrain, the game is played the same. The object, scoring and rules are much like traditional golf.

However, rather than clubs and golf balls, you have discs, like Frisbees. Only these are specially designed for disc golf. You begin at the tee with the driver. You want it to soar and get it as close to the target as possible. In disc golf, targets are not holes, but baskets, the goal is to get the disc in the basket (not on above or below it) and finish each hole in the fewest number of throws. Fairway distances can range from 300-500 feet or more. Most holes are rated between Par 3 to Par 5. Score cards can be printed for free courtesy of Hole One.

Tees have markers that map the hole, next tee,
and provide other information
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

Innova is a major brand of disc golf discs, you can place catalog orders or visit a local Sports Authority location for a selection of popular discs and accessories. Innova and other brand’s discs can also be purchased from online retailers. Basic starter discs are less than ten bucks. Multi-purpose and specialty discs are sold for $10 and up. You’ll want a driver and a putter to get started. Once you get more comfortable it’s worth investing in discs that match your skill level to improve distance or accuracy. There are also discs made to perform well in different weather conditions. Additionally, glow-in-the-dark discs are available for night play.

I’ve played at four of the six courses spread across the valley. I have not yet played at Freedom Park or at the Anthem course. Here are a few details that set the others apart:

  • Mountain Crest Park is found in the northwest not far from Lone Mountain. This scenic course has 18-holes. The fairways are pretty wide open with a few trees making some holes a challenge.
  • Red Ridge Park is located in the southwest near Rhodes Ranch. It is a 9-hole course, the fairways are long and tight. For a full game, play it twice or play it back from holes 9 to 1.
  • Sunset Park is centrally located near the airport. It is a 24-hole course. We’ve played it in the dark. The lights from the nearby basketball courts and baseball fields make it possible to locate the tees and baskets. Bright colored discs are recommended, however. The course has a number of challenging holes, with long distances and obstacles.
  • Peccole Ranch is located on the west part of the valley. This 18-hole course is part of the private residential area it is open 8:00am to dusk; rules are enforced. This is a technical course it is built into the wash so it is very narrow with wooded areas work around. Holes 15-18 are difficult to find, after hole 14 you must walk along Charleston Blvd. to continue to the next hole. Those last few were redone last year; turf was removed and replaced with desert landscaping.

    At the tee, strategizing the shot
    At the tee, strategizing the shot
    Photo by Kellee Kunovic

    Go on, get out there, visit one of these six courses and give disc golf a try. It’s a good excuse to enjoy a nice day outdoors. It’s a fun and spirited exercise; in addition to an aerobic workout it provides physical and mental conditioning. It can be enjoyed by people of all fitness levels. You can play alone or gather a group of friends. The best part is that it is an inexpensive activity; after minimal start up costs, it’s free to play.

  • Comments

    4 responses on “Vegas Values: Disc Golf

    1. I got a chance to check out Anthem’s course over the weekend. It’s also tucked in the wash, it’s a 9-hole course. This one is great for beginners, the distances aren’t too long and most baskets are a clear shot. Putting can be a challenge, since a few baskets are on a hill or cluttered by trees and bushes.

    2. I’ve always said disc golf is for people too stoned to play hackey-sack. Still fun though and didn’t know Vegas has so many courses.

      I love your blog…except for that stuff about the Sox! (Go Cubs…actually they suck this year).

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