Steamboat Springs It didn’t take Ron Pannesi long to think of the best disc golf course in Northwest Colorado.
Pannesi said with the course at Steamboat Ski Area closed because of logging operations, the recently opened course at Dry Creek Park in Hayden serves as this corner of the state’s best.
“Right now,” said Pannesi, who designed the Hayden course, “it is the best course in Routt County.”
The course opened Sunday thanks to a grant from LiveWell Northwest Colorado.
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association formed LiveWell Northwest Colorado to receive and allocate funding from LiveWell Colorado, a Denver-based nonprofit group.
LiveWell promotes physical activity and healthy eating opportunities.
Amy Wilson, who is on the Hayden Town Parks and Recreation Board and also is the Hayden representative for LiveWell Northwest Colorado, said after spending time in the park hiking, biking and cross-country skiing she thought a disc golf course could fit.
“It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” Wilson said. “It really uses the whole possibilities of the park with the pond. Ron did a really great job designing it. I had no idea the potential. It’s so professionally done.”
The Hayden Town Council approved the course, and Wilson worked with the Steamboat Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department to contact Pannesi.
Pannesi said he spent roughly 30 hours walking the course before coming up with a design. A crew of volunteers showed up Saturday to help build the course, in addition to members of the Hayden Parks and Recreation team digging holes for the baskets.
By Sunday, Pannesi put up the baskets, and by Monday he’d made the first hole-in-one on the course.
“It’s a big deal,” Pannesi said. “The community of disc golfers is growing really, really fast.”
The nine-hole course features two sets of tee markers, one short and one long.
The course has four holes that are played over or along a pond and two holes where a creek comes into play, including Pannesi’s favorite hole, No. 6.
“It’s very picturesque,” he said. “It’s relatively challenging.”
It’s also the only permanent basketed course in Routt County.
The course is open from sunup to sundown and is free for users. The course will stay up during the winter.
— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com