Disc golf course ready for action

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— The Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. has opened a new par-36, 9-hole golf course at the base of the ski area.

Best of all, there are no greens fees.

Ski area Director of Resort Services Mike Degroff said the ski area welcomes the public to play a round of "flying disc golf" on the Headwall Trail at the base of the ski area, free of charge. The course was installed this week and the fairways have been mowed.

"It's something we've talked about for a few years," Degroff said. "We're starting to hear a lot of mountain resorts are putting these in and we wanted to create a little more activity at the base."

The object in flying disc golf is to "hole out" by spinning the disc toward a free-standing pole draped with chains that funnel down to a basket the equivalent of a hole in traditional golf. Disc golfers typically aim for the general area of the chains in hopes that they'll guide the disc into the hole, Degroff said.

The official discs are smaller, denser and more aerodynamic than the chewed up plastic disc gathering cobwebs in your garage.

People who want to get serious about flying disc golf can stop by Ride Sports in Gondola Square and rent or purchase discs made specifically for disc golf. Course layouts are also available at the shop.

Degroff recommends that enthusiasts who want to break par should carry a "quiver" of at least three discs a driver, mid-range disc and a "putter."

"You really need a disc designed for golf. It's not easy," Degroff said. "It surprised me."

Ride Sports carries 15 different styles of discs ranging in price from $10 to $15. Rentals are $4 for a single disc or $9 for a set of three.

However, anyone with a good old Frisbee is welcome to enjoy the course. The first tee box is at the base of the Headwall chairlift, Degroff said. The course is 330 feet long, and the general direction of play is uphill. It includes a pair of par 3s along with two par 5s and five par 4s.

Ride Sports is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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