Disc golf growing in Eagle County
EAGLE COUNTY — Discs are flying and chains are ringing as disc golfers rejoice in a new and improved season.
Enthusiasts from across the county are showing up in droves at the open disc golf courses in Eagle, Edwards and Avon, while the Vail and Beaver Creek resort courses are waiting for the snow to melt.
“It’s huge in this state, and I think Eagle County is really on the verge of embracing it as one of its already impressive list of attractions,” said Steve Klehfoth, president of Flying Eagle Disc Society, an organization promoting the sport in the county and the region.
From new baskets to course redesigns, beginner and advanced disc golfers have plenty to look forward to this summer.
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Currently, the Hole in the Sky course in Eagle is the only 18-hole public course open in Eagle County.
The year-round course is free to anyone, and the Flying Eagle Disc Society is putting finishing touches on a five-year remodel.
“That’s our home base. We host leagues there twice a week,” Klehfoth said. “I would say it’s pretty close to ideal right now.”
As part of the remodel, Hole in the Sky makes better use of natural features, has new concrete tee pads, tee signs, refurbished baskets (some hanging and elevated) as well as a few alternate pin positions to move the baskets around.
The nine-hole, year-round Singletree course in Edwards is on the north side of Interstate 70 with “awesome views,” Klehfoth said. Flying Eagle Disc Society helped design the course for Singletree Metro District, and new baskets were installed this year.
In Avon, the nine-hole Nottingham Park course has been redesigned and relocated to a better part of the park that does not interfere with the busy lake shoreline, Klehfoth said.
“That one’s really right smack in the middle of Avon, so you see a ton of people out there and a wide range of abilities going out to enjoy that,” he said.
Beaver Creek and Vail will open in mid-June, Klehfoth said.
“Those courses, you can’t beat the views,” he said. “It’s just incredible when you head up there in the summer.”
Beaver Creek’s course is located atop the Centennial Express Lift. Vail’s is atop Eagles Nest near Adventure Ridge and is “always evolving,” Klehfoth said of the area growing in summer activity.
Regionally, Peak One disc golf course in Frisco is open and Leadville will open once the snow melts. Glenwood Springs also has one of the “single most revered and challenging courses in the state,” Klehfoth said.
FUTURE OF DISC GOLF
Flying Eagle Disc Society is helping lead the way for disc golfers in the county and hopes to make it a destination spot for enthusiasts passing through.
“Ultimately the goal is to expand the infrastructure of courses. We worked really hard to make Hole in the Sky disc golf course kind of our portfolio piece,” Klehfoth said. “We want to really make Eagle County an actual destination for disc golf, whereas five years ago, it was something people drove by because of all the other courses down the road.”
Disc golf will makes its second appearance as a competition at the GoPro Mountain Games in June.
“It has grown ridiculously from what it was last year,” Klehfoth said. “We couldn’t quite fill 120 spots last year, and this year, it took less than a day to fill 180 spots after registration opened.”
Lenny Siegel, a board member of Flying Eagle Disc Society, is excited with the growing popularity of disc golf.
“The GoPro Mountain Games were one of the best events of the summer last year, one of the best events for disc golfers,” Siegel said, “and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it again this year.”
LET IT FLY
Relative to skiing and snowboarding, disc golf is a cheap sport. Discs, which vary similar to golf clubs (driver, mid-range, putter), are $7-$20, and the courses not requiring a gondola are free to play.
Flying Eagle Disc Society hosts handicap and tag leagues on Mondays and a random draw doubles league on Wednesdays, both at Hole in the Sky. The second annual Flying Eagle Open, a professionally sanctioned tournament, will be held in September with registration beginning toward the end of July.
“We anticipate the 100-plus spots to fill in minutes,” Klehfoth said.
For more information about Flying Eagle Disc Society, visit the organization’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/groups/FlyingEagleDisc for updates and event details.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.