Disc Golf at A Colorado Ski Resort? Yes, It's A Thing and Yes, You Should Go

Submitted by Andy on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 10:18
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Winter Park
View over Winter Park - Katie Weiseman 

Disc golfing may be one of my new favorite summer activities. The rules are similar to regular golf; you throw your frisbee disk into a basket at the end of a course in as few throws as possible. Disc golf is great because:

1.  You don’t need to be good at it to have fun

2.  It’s inexpensive

3. It’s a fun way to spend time outdoors with friends.

Plus, Colorado’s mountains make for extra beautiful courses.

Did you know that some ski areas convert their runs to disc golf courses during the summer months? Winter Park, A Basin, and Snowmass all host summer disc golf courses.

This past weekend, a friend and I tried out the course at Winter Park and we had a blast. There were only four or five other groups on the course while we golfed, so it was very much a low-pressure environment. There were no groups impatiently waiting for you to finish your hole (which was good because I hadn’t played disc golf since middle school) and unlike regular golf, you just show up and start playing. There’s no need to reserve a tee time.

Best of all, you can soak in the gorgeous views from the mountain while you play. There were even some challenging holes that took you through the woods adjacent to the ski runs. Disc golfing on Winter Park’s course was a little like an adventure and a game rolled into one.

Here are some tips to have a great day on the Winter Park course:

  • Buy an activity pass for the chair lift ahead of time. You can save $5 when you buy the pass online. You’ll also save time by filling out Winter Park’s waiver online. 
  • Hiking out to the course is not recommended. In theory, you could forgo the activity pass and hike up the mountain to the course. But, as one of the Winter Park employees frankly put it, “That’d be brutal.” The course itself is about 4 miles long so unless you’re looking for a longer workout, it’s better to get a lift ticket.
  • Disc rentals are available at Winter Park’s resort. You can also bring your own.
  • Get there early-ish. If you can get to the course by 10 a.m., you should have plenty of time to do the whole course before the afternoon summer storms pop up.
  • Wear hiking boots or shoes with traction. I thought hiking boots would be too much, so I just wore an old pair of running shoes. There were a few times when I wished I had sturdier shoes, especially when my disc landed way off course.
  • Bring a small backpack and plenty of water. Most of the other disc golfers we saw on the course had a backpack for their disks and water. We made our plans on the fly and didn’t think about bringing a bag with us. We stuffed our raincoats, water bottle and discs in a drawstring bag. While that did the trick, I think bringing a day hike backpack and even filling your reservoir or a big water bottle, is not a bad idea.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen. We spent about 2.5 hours walking the disc golf course at about 9,500 feet elevation. I can only imagine the shade of tomato red I would have turned had I not put any sunscreen on.

After our game, we used our activity passes to take the alpine slide back to the Winter Park Resort area. I am here to say alpine slides are for adults, too.

The scenic Gondola ride was also included, so we took advantage of that and snapped some beautiful pictures of the mountains.

gondola
Winter Park Gondola - Katie Weiseman 

Winter Park was the perfect place to give disc golf a try. The vibe was super relaxed, and even if we didn’t make par on any hole, we still enjoyed the adventure and the views of the Rocky Mountains.

 

Katie Weiseman
Katie is a graduate student studying International and Intercultural Communication at the University of Denver. Originally hailing from the Midwest, she still remembers her first-time laying eyes on the Rocky Mountains and falling in love.  In addition to exploring mountain trails, Katie enjoys checking out Colorado’s craft breweries and scouting the Front Range for the best scoop of ice cream.

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