While Caribbean beaches can make you lazy, ski towns spark something inside of you to explore and try new things. As the heat of summer subsides and the crowds begin to thin, it’s the perfect time to try something new: Disc Golf! Over the past few years, our entire crew has joined in on the fun. While golfing is expensive, Disc Golf is the polar opposite. For around forty bucks, you can pick up some discs and start playing this game for FREE! Here’s some of the best ski resort Disc Golf courses in the US.
Disc Golf, What’s That?
Bob Hope once said that “Golf is a good walk gone bad.” If that’s true, then Disc Golf is a good hike made excellent. Throughout ski-towns in North America, nearly every one of them has at least one Disc Golf course.
So, what exactly is Disc Golf? Similar to golf, there is a series of holes (disc golf baskets) with predetermined pars (set of throws) to get your golf ball (disc) into the hole (basket). For Disc Golf, each hole has a sign telling you the distance to the basket and how many throws you get… so no guessing. You will be an informed player.
How To Select Your Discs
Like starting any new any sport, it’s better to begin with the minimal amount of gear and go from there. So, what do you need to play Disc Golf? First, it’s good to start with three discs:
These can be purchased at any typical sporting goods store. If you are in South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Sports LTD offers a good selection. On the North Shore, Tahoe Mountain Sports has the best overall selection ranging from Innova, Discraft and Vibram brands. To help with your selection, each disc will be marked if it’s a putter, driver or mid-range disc along with other fun (and important) facts.
Best Ski Resort Disc Golf Courses
Every state and province in North America has amazing Disc Golf courses, but ski-towns bring it to the next level. They do this by giving you amazing views, beautiful scenery and the ability to squeeze a hike in WHILE you’re playing the sport. Here are just a few of the more majestic courses out there:
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
It has everything you want in a Colorado hike and a Disc Golf course. The natural beauty makes this one of the most picturesque courses in Colorado. The smell of fresh pine leads you into the woods, but have no fear, the course is well marked so you won’t get lost. Granite, sage, pine and mountain views abound. Benches along the course, made out of old snowboards, also add a nice touch.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Spectacular is the only description for this course. It’s over 2.2 miles in length and starts with a 400′ downhill shot from an elevation of 10,300′! Breath taking views are all around you as the course winds its way up and down the slopes of Mt. Crested Butte. Good variety but beware… the rough will eat your discs.
Vadito, New Mexico
It is all about towering views and fun up and down ski hills with big elevation. The holes are in and around, up and down the actual ski runs. A bunch of hills, some water (the Rio Pueblo) and many trees. There’s even a store, a restaurant and lodging. It’s the whole package!
What’s better than one course? How about two super courses at one of the Northeast’s premier ski resorts. The Base Course is on ski trails and through woods at the base of the mountain. If that isn’t interesting enough, the Peak Course requires a chairlift ride up the mountain. Most of the holes are then cross-hill or downhill with significant elevation changes. Sugarbush even hosted a PDGA National Tour event in 2007 and an A-Tier in 2008.
Crystal Mountain, Washington
In the summer, this dapper ski resort near Mt. Rainer sets up its course. What a beautiful area! If the restaurant is open at the top of the mountain, consider splurging and doing a weekend dinner ride up the lift. The course starts at the base of the ski resort and traverses and climbs upwards followed by some big downhills back to the infamous bar, the Snorting Elk.
Bijou Community Park
South Lake Tahoe, California
There are many courses around Lake Tahoe including the Kirkwood Mountain Golf Course. While Kirkwood might be a beautiful course and hike all in one, for a beginner, it might be a bit too challenging and leave you frustrated. Instead, we recommend checking out Bijou Park. Located right smack dab in the center of town, it features 27 holes that offer a challenge for all skill levels. The second nine holes are where the views become incredible. Bordering a beautiful alpine meadow, they give you 180-degree views of the surrounding mountains including Heavenly Mountain.
Disc Golf isn’t about power but technique
One last thing to highlight is that Disc Golf is more about technique then power. We learned that the hard way… so before even stepping onto the course, we highly suggest watching the video below. And don’t forget to have fun! For more about the history of the sport and a few more tips, check out our more in-depth article on how to play Disc Golf.