Mancation 2012: Denver Disc Golf (Part I)
Whew, what a trip!
I’ll start with that. Months in the planning and almost as long to finally get a review up on the blog. This past Labor Day, several of the Dogleg crew flew out to Denver for a guy’s weekend full of local brew tours, good eats, and of course, disc golf.
There is soo much to cover from our trip that it’d take me hours to write up. So I’m breaking this trip review down into two parts to spare you all the details. I’ll sum it up the best I can and try to focus on mostly the disc golf part of it. At the end I will also provide a link to our Dogleg Flickr account so you can see most all of the pics we took from our trip (Special thanks to Jason for submitting his pics and for being the only other one to take a camera).
We had been talking this trip up forever it seemed, but just couldn’t get it all worked out on finding that perfect weekend to go that all of us could make. It’s always nice to get away from your local routine courses, terrain and weather and branch out to something new. Something far away that has very different terrain and weather conditions. Here at Dogleg, all of us share a strong passion for disc golf and (the majority of us) good beer. Where else has an excellent selection of both? Denver, Colorado. Home to several big beer names as well as loads of microbreweries. Not to mention all the disc golf courses!
With so many courses to choose from and so little time, I had to turn to our Twitter friends for Colorado disc golf recommendations. North Colorado Disc Golf (@NoCoDG) shot us back some of their favs which included Johnny Roberts, Badlands and Birds Nest. They also told us we should really go higher up in the mountains and play Beaver Ranch. One minor problem, we lacked a car. The closest course to our downtown hotel was roughly 6 mi away. Too far to walk and about a 45 min bus ride…exactly. We walked most places or either took the bus. Either one, it took forever to get longer distances.
Johnny Roberts DGC (Arvada, CO):
Saturday, we decided upon Johnny Roberts DGC located in Arvada to be our first course of the trip. We checked into renting a car for the day, but everywhere around was rented out. So we took to the ol’ trusty local metro transportation of the bus route. After waiting nearly 20 min for the bus to come to our stop, we were now on a 6 mi journey to Arvada. 45 minutes later, we were to our stop in Arvada.. Don’t get me started on local transportation.
Anyway, after walking a few blocks we come up on the park. Doesn’t look like the best part of town, but heard that we just had to play this course for the history of Colorado disc golf. A couple of people calling it the “granddaddy” of Colorado’s courses. You could tell. The park was crowded and the signage wasn’t real clear of where the start of the course was from walking up to it. Hole #1 you throw across an open field, which seemed a bit dangerous for other people and young ones playing around and running through it. There were a few holes where you threw across the sidewalk, which also seemed a bit dangerous to pedestrians and bicyclists. One of my favorites parts of the course early on was the creek that runs through the park. This intertwining–very wide, yet very shallow–creek became a great obstacle through half of the course’s fairways. Several holes had the pin placement fairly close to the edge of the water. I thought this was pretty clever and as it required much more accuracy in laying up on your throws.
In general, this was a very tight course. It had several very narrow fairways off the tee pad with lots of trees and brush lining the sides. On the holes that had open fairways, you had to deal with pedestrians and young bicyclists crossing by as you were about to launch. I could see where people could get hit often. They had nice, concrete tee pads and decent signs on each hole. The sign’s graphics were a bit weathered, but were designed very well. Each tee pad sign had an actual photo of the fairway, prominent hole number, distance to each pin location, and an overhead graphic of the fairway. Awesome! But, it was a little difficult–once you got to the basket–to figure out where the next hole began.
[Review continued after the jump.]
Hole #6 was a longer hole and liked to suck discs into the creek off to it’s left. Not only did they roll into the creek, it left an almost impossible clear shot out through the thick brush. Here’s Joe tossing up towards #6’s basket.
Thanks to the tip from a few fellow locals, that there is no longer a Hole #8. Apparently Hole #8 line of throw used to cross back over Hole #7..all out disc war, right? Throwing towards one another and high speeds of spinning plastic. Hole #7 was neat too as you threw over the bridge down the creek line to a basket way off to the left alongside the sidewalk. Hole #9 was an Ace-able hole for sure. You tee off a slightly elevated pad and toss ~150 ft down to a lower pin placement on the edge of the creek. This is when the sandstorm hit. I mean hit hard! This is some of the hardest wind I have ever played in. The sky got dark and the wind blew furiously. Much of the course alongside the creek is dirt–which was where we were. I have never seen wind pick up dirt and blow it like that. It was ridiculous and you could hardly keep your eyes open but for a few seconds. Dirt, debris and leaves were flying everywhere. The wind storm lasted a good 15 or 20 min as we scurried as fast as we could through the next several holes. The wind in general made it very difficult to get in a good throw. Lots of our throws were picked up by wind changes and taken way off course. Bogeys and Doubles to follow.
The wind stopped, but the holes kept getting harder. More lines along the creek, more mandos, and tighter tee shots. Back 9 I fell apart and finished +7. All in all, I’d like to give this course at least another shot. Too crowded for me, but loved the challenging and technical game that it brings out of one. Not much for the scenery, I was expecting to be surrounded by more firs, pines and aspens..and hilly, mountainous terrain. I wasn’t going to stop at this course to my “Colorado Course”. I am, however, glad we got to play this one–especially to appreciate the history of Colorado Disc Golf.
Course Rating: 7/10