I finished my vacation with two different courses, making it a total of seven Colorado courses over the span of seven days. But more on the courses later. I would first like to address the last two courses I played.
The first was Ghost Town Country Club and Disc Golf Sanctuary. A private course, it came highly recommended...but you won't be recommended to play it by this author. The course offered an atmosphere and uniqueness unmatched in my 10 years of playing disc golf. It is built in the mountains south of the gambling town Central City along a line of old gold mining claims. The remnants of mining activity remain; old buildings, mineral tailings, and old equipment dot the course as it winds through the pines.
The course was $3 per person to play one round; $5 for 2 rounds. The owner Brian was amiable and kind and gave us good directions around the course (he ran out of maps the day before). The first 5 holes were very tight--too tight--only a thumber could clear the trees, but perhaps I'm not as accurate as they expect players to be. It was a matter of survival throughout these holes. It tended to open up on 7, then 9 onward. Some great views and shots were available, multiple tee boxes were offered; 15/16 were played on a duel fairway and teebox.
Here is my issue with this course. Too much OB. The course rules (painted on a rusted piece of mining equipment at the first hole) read "if you don't like OB, play somewhere else". I really don't mind OB--but I do mind this much OB; and its not the idea of OB that bothered me, its the reason the OB was there. It was meant to protect the neighbors property, which surrounded the course. The course seemed to me to be put together haphazardly wherever they could fit baskets (most of which were terrible, rusty, homemade baskets). Another issue with the course is the proximity to neighbors homes, vehicles, and property. There were specific strokes penalties assessed, e.i. "2 stroke penalty for hitting the house with white and red trim". This is ridiculous. The whole round you are worried about pissing off the neighbors and hitting somebody or going on their property (always labeled "no disc golfers beyond this point") not enjoying a round of golf.
All in all, I'm glad I played it, however, I won't be going back. It was good for a round--that's it. There are plenty of courses around that are free, are worry free in regards to hitting somebody's house, and are not so restrictive (a word in which I prescribe as an oxymoron towards the mantra of disc golf).
After getting back to the Denver area Saturday, my nephew and I decided to travel to Cottonwood Creek park in Colorado Springs. An obviously popular course in the center of town, it was well marked, easy to maneuver, and had a good mixture of holes. Few complaints with this course. There were plenty of holes to birdie and just as many that were difficult to deuce. My main concern with this course was the amount of players. We got there at 7 a.m.--by the time we left around 8:15, the course was almost full. Fairways seemed to cross each other and some tee boxes were in direct line of baskets from other holes. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who have caught a disc to the dome on that course.
My list, in descending order of the seven courses I played is as follows:
1) Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area DGC
2) Pioneer Park DGC, Hot Sulpher Springs, CO
3) Expo Park, Aurora, CO
4/5) Snow Mountain YMCA DGC, Tabernash, CO
4/5) Cottonwood Creek Park DGC, Colorado Springs, CO
6) Ghost Town Country Club and Disc Golf Sanctuary, Russell Gulch, CO
7) David Lorentz Park, Lonetree, CO
overall, my main issue with all of the courses is lack of variety in basket locations...I only found one course of seven (cottonwood creek) that had more than one basket location.
There you have it. The end of my travel blog--but I have probably forgotten something and will repost other thoughts down the line.
One more thing, when I arrived back to Santa Fe and got back on my home course of Arroyo Chamiso, I discovered that it was as good or better than any of the seven courses I played in Colorado. It is longer, has a better variety of tees and basket locations, has good equipment, and is easy to get around.
Its good to be home.