After a day of travel from Santa Fe to Parker, Colorado followed by two days of learning how to encode archival finding aids in XML, I was ready to throw some discs. I had been waiting for this chance for over a month--hoping to find a couple good quality courses in the south Denver area. My nephew, an incoming freshman quarterback at one of the D-1 Colorado universities in September is new to the game; but he was just as excited to get out and play with me as i was to get out and play. It was exactly his 4th time on a course and had just received as a graduation present from my mother a beginner set of discs--150 class--and a nice Innova bag.
After a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, we set out for our first DG destination: David Lorenz Park off of County Line and Holly Road. The park was disc golf only course, which was nice, but the deafening sound of the E-470 interstate was not only a distraction, but terribly annoying. The course was muddy; Colorado has had a very wet spring and early summer, and the course was terribly maintained. The weeds were thick and up to our knees; wet with condensation to boot; our shoes and socks were soaked by the 3rd hole.
The course was very straight forward. Some uphill, some downhill, plenty of OB with a creek running on the south and west edge of the park that came into play on 5 or 6 holes. After birdying holes 3 & 4 I was feeling pretty good. Then came 5. Backhanding my DX Beast (I usually forehand the sucker) I turned it over and it floated 400 feet to the right--it looked safely in the center of a large field of weeds. Little to my knowldege there was a patch of nasty thistles--about 30 square feet of them--waiting for my favorite disc; needless to say, three of us gave up looking after about 20 minutes. It was a real downer. The next 4 holes had poison ivy in play--that was fun--while I struggled to make par the rest of the round. My backhand was off; my forehand was non-existant; and rollers were not an option. Despite the two early birds and several par putts over 30 feet, I had a terrible round--ready to move onto our second destination.
After a bit of breakfast we moved to Exposition Park in Aurora. This course had a fairly high rating and was mostly a short, open, grassy course with water in play several times. The tee boxes were to die for; perfect concrete pads, narrow in the back--wider in the front--with the hole # and distance imprinted in the concrete. It was really nice to play on grass--something I haven't done in several years. The course followed a clockwise rotation around three lakes which made for a wonderful change. Most of the holes were very shot--250-375 feet--but many of them had the lakes no further than 10 paces from the baskets--risk reward at its finest. There were several ace run holes and I heard lots of chains get rattled from the many groups of dedicated frolfers playing the course. Walkers, runners, bikers, and other pedestrians littered the walking path that meandered throughout the course--but they were good spectators, cheering good shots and boosting spirits on poor ones.
Still reeling from the loss of my Beast, I threw OK; It could have been much better. I had 4 birds bounce out of the chains while the lake intimidated me to lay up on more than a few holes. All in all, the Expo Park course was fun, casual, and a great course for a leisurely round of DG. Unlike David Lorenz Park, I would recommend the course to anyone visiting the Denver area. A few photos of each course are located on my page.
It was then off to one of the local disc retailers, Dog Leg Discs, only a few blocks from Expo. This was a great store--they sold every manufacturer, great minis, helpful staff, and were easy going and great to work with. Its always a pleasure to find a disc-golf only store in the area. I bought a new cheetah and valk to make up for losing my beast--we shall see what the outcome of that might be.
That evening was off the hook--left the kids with grandma and went to the Electric Daisy Carnival--a electronic music festival hosting a full complement of carnival amenities and 7,000 kids of all walks of life--at 30 i thought I'd feel old--but the vibe hadn't changed since my last party in 2003--the music was great, the vibe was better, and the people we met were phenomenal. We left the party at 3 a.m. after being there for 6 hours--and drove 2 hours to Winter Park--where we crashed.
Tune in next time for my report on Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA course north of Tabernash, CO we played Monday, June 15.