To people unfamiliar with the game, players call it Frisbee golf. With those who know of the game, players refer to it as disc golf.
Amongst themselves, it's simply golf.
Disc golfers call that other game with a ball and club, "stick golf," or, ball golf.
Ninety-eight people from around Colorado, as well as a players from Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma, came to Palisade over the weekend to throw a Frisbee around Riverbend Park " in the Grand Valley Finale " the last stop on Colorado's Thin Air disc golf tour.
"This is one of my favorite courses in the state," said long-time disc golfer John Bird, of Longmont.
Riverbend Park is located along the Colorado River in Palisade, with stunning views of Grand Mesa, and the Book Cliffs.
Bird threw Frisbees during the 1960s in high school. He began playing Frisbee golf in 1972.
"It was a much different game then," Bird, 57, said.
Metal baskets for dropping the Frisbees into, were added in 1976.
"Before that we just made up obstacle courses," Bird said. Targets were light posts, trees, rocks.
Like in a ball golf game, talking ceases, as a player tees off. The player concentrates, preparing to send a driver disc soaring toward the three-par basket hole.
Some disc golfers can throw Frisbees 400 feet or more. Touring pros can often throw up to 600 feet.
Like ball golfers, players often carry around a dozen or more assortment of drivers.
But "you can start with three," said Grand Valley Disc Golf Club president Rock Cesario. There's the sharper edged driver, the blocky putter, and a more rounded edge mid-range disc.
Cesario had never played in a competitive tournament before Saturday. The tournament was split up into 20 different divisions based on age, gender, and professional versus amateur status. Ages ranged from 13 to 65.
Cesario was asked by Disc Golf Club board member Bill Alderman to compete in the pro grand masters division along with four other men, including eight-time disc golf world champion Peter Shive.
"I'm out here with four guys I don't even know. Before it's over we'll probably all be friends," Cesario said. "I love this sport. It's just fun."
Mark Nielsen, of Highlands Ranch played another division, with Alderman.
Like Cesario, Nielsen and Alderman like the social aspect of the game. They've made friends from all over the country playing in disc golf tournaments.
"I used to play ball golf. Now I don't play at all. This is a lot more fun," said Nielsen, who's played disc golf for three years.
On the first throw, players try and land the disc as close to the basket as possible without going past it. There are obstacles along the way such as ponds, and brush " what's called "trash."
"You don't get any relief out of this game," Alderman said, referring to a player who was searching for his disc in the trees. "He'll have to figure out how to throw it out of the trash."
On his second throw at one of the morning tournament's 19 holes, Palisade resident Andy Stoner used a "tomahawk" throw to heave it over trees between him and the basket.
There's also the "thumber," the backhand, and the forehanded throw. There's even the upside down throw.
It's a game that can be learned, Nielsen said.
"Most people want to flick the wrist. It's really a pulling action. Sometimes you'll hear 'nice pull.' Imagine where you get power from pulling a lawn mower," Nielsen said.
While some playing the weekend's tournaments are relatively new to the game, others like Bird, and Geoff Hungersford, of Louisville, have been playing since the game formed in the mid 1970s.
In August, 1974, Hungersford helped his seventh-grade teacher Jim Palmeri put on the first Frisbee tournament in the world in Rochester, N.Y.
Palmeri got Hungersford and his free-style Frisbee-playing friends to play Frisbee golf.
"We loved it," Hungersford said. "It's kept me in shape my whole life."
"He'll (Palmeri) tell you he made the game up," Hungersford said.
"The truth is people have been throwing pie tins since the 1800s," Hungersford said.
World champion Shive, who came from Laramie to play in the Palisade tournament, competed in the same division as Hungersford over the weekend.
"When I first started playing 15 years ago, Geoff was my idol," Shive said.
It appeared to be a male-dominated sport Saturday, with only a handful of women compared to the number of men competing. Women compete in their own divisions.
"We'd like to see more ladies. The women who do play are fantastic," Hungersford said. He mentioned champion disc golfer Kathy Hardeyman of Colorado Springs.
"She has a bumper sticker that says, 'You wish you could throw like a girl,'" Hungersford said.
The Grand Valley Disc Golf Club also seeks to bring more kids into the sport, by holding clinics at various schools.
"We do it anytime we have an opportunity," said board member Alderman. We'd prefer to see kids outside playing disc golf, rather than playing video games all day, he said.
Golfers played two tournaments on Saturday, and one Sunday morning.
The pro-division players competed for cash prizes, with first place receiving more than $600, Alderman said.
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