Feeling at home on the disc golf range
Anyone looking for more information about the Roaring Fork Disc Golf Club can either call club president Matt Lang at 970-379-2742, or they can go to the club’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/71811679090/.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Andrew Tucker didn’t quite envision his carry on sport after high school to be something involving frisbees. Now, he’s more than happy that he made the transition he did.
“I played soccer, but I wasn’t able to keep going because I hurt my ankle,” said Tucker, a 2014 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School while playing disc golf on Tuesday. “This is really cool because I like to stay competitive, but I also like it because it’s a relaxing change of pace.”
Tucker is part of the nearly three-dozen members of the Roaring Fork Disc Golf Club, which has members spanning from Snowmass to Eagle to Grand Junction. The club, which has been in operation since 2002, gets together each Tuesday during the late-spring and summer months at one of three disc golf courses in Garfield County.
Granted, the club has been limited to playing the courses at either Sunlight Mountain or Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus since the high snowmelt runoff has put much of the course in New Castle underwater. Not that anyone is complaining, though, as many of the 12 people who were playing a round at CMC on Tuesday afternoon are regular weekly players.
And a lot of them, just like a lot of regular golfers out there, are hooked.
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“I can guarantee you that if you came out here just four times, you’d like it so much you wouldn’t be able to stop,” said Matt Lang, who is in his second year as the club’s president.
Unlike some golf courses which have high income and dress standards when it comes to playing the course the members of the local disc golf club are anything but judgmental. a Simple $20 annual fee not only pays for the annual membership, but it also helps pay for course maintainice at all three sites in Garfield County.
The skill levels vary tremendously, too. The 34-year-old Lang, for example, has only been playing for four years. Another player, 26-year-old Cory McGrath of Glenwood Springs, played on a club team at Colorado State in Fort Collins that played with the Rams when they went to the national Collegiate Disc Golf Championships in Augusta, South Carolina. Another member, 31-year-old Aaron Pinkerton of Parachute, is a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association and has been playing since he was 19.
No doubt, there’s enough diversity among the membership to keep newbies flowing in while keeping some humility amongst the older players.
“You can come out here at any time, and a lot of the older guys will take the time to give you pointers on how to play,” Pinkerton said. “It’s good to make sure that everyone feels included.”
The guys like Pinkerton, as laid back as they are, still take the game pretty seriously.
For example, Pinkerton has a backpack he carries with him on course that carries 22 discs, almost like a golfer carrying a set of golf clubs around the course. Each disc serves a different purpose, with sleeker, more aerodynamic discs proving better for long-distance throws and others proving more useful for shorter “chips” or “putts.”
Each disc costs, on average, around $10 to $15, with big spenders forking out around $25 to $30 each. Some discs, according to http://www.wrightlife.com, can cost close to $150.
Serious players also rack up a lot of mileage on their cars. Tucker was a part of a doubles team that won a tournament in Montrose earlier this month. This weekend, more than 100 players from around Colorado are expected to descend on the CMC disc golf course for the Solstice Soiree Disc Golf Tournament, which takes place Friday through Sunday.
In the meantime, for some members of the Roaring Fork Disc Golf Club who didn’t get into the tournament this weekend, Tuesdays are days they always look forward to.
“To me, one of the best things about this club is just getting together with the guys every week,” Lang said. “That’s something I always look forward to.”
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.