Disc Golf Course open at James Lee Park (w/ video)

Photo courtesy of Mike Holcomb

Photo courtesy of Mike Holcomb
A basket on the James Lee Park disc golf course in Indian Hills

by Joey Crandall, joey@carsonvalleytimes.com

When Indian Hills resident Mike Holcomb was first introduced to the sport of disc golf 18 months ago, he was instantly hooked.

The problem was, there was no place locally he could play.

“It’s a lot like real golf, but of course you are throwing a Frisbee,” Holcomb said. “A friend introduced me to it and I just loved it.

“When I started playing, though, Dayton was the only course not buried in snow and I could only get out there once a week. I was up there one day and I ran into 30 or 40 guys from the Tahoe Disc Golf Association. They’d come all the way down to play there. I thought if they were willing to drive that far, then certainly there would be interest down here. I thought I’d see what the parks in our area had to offer.”

Mike Holcomb getting his disc out of a basket on the James Lee Park Disc Golf Course

Mike Holcomb getting his disc out of a basket on the James Lee Park Disc Golf Course

He started close to home, sending Indian Hills General Improvement District General Manager John Lufrano a three-page note on the virtues of disc golf.

“He started asking about it and I had been involved in establishing the disc golf course at Zephyr Cove,” Lufrano said. “Mike has really been the driving force behind this, and it’s exciting to see it coming together.”

Lufrano invited Holcomb in to chat.

“That was a fortunate turn, having John involved,” Holcomb said. “He asked me to write up a proposal, I did about 20 to 30 hours of research online and basically came up with a pamphlet.”

Holcomb presented his idea to establish a disc golf course at James Lee Park at the following Indian Hills General Improvement meeting and received unanimous approval.

Holcomb solicited sponsors for the various necessary equipment and did the bulk of the grunt labor himself over the next 12 months.

Some of the undergrowth and brush that was removed for the James Lee Park Disc Golf Course

Some of the undergrowth and brush that was removed for the James Lee Park Disc Golf Course

He plotted out an 18-hole course, obtained the finances for the first nine baskets, and with the help of IHGID grounds crews, had them installed and fully-playable by January.

In the time sense, Holcomb said he’s seen as many as 30 people out on the course checking it out.

The funding has been secured to order the final nine baskets and the plan is to have them installed by March 1.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it is a really, really fun sport,” Holcomb said. “I’ve been very happy to see the response so far. Disc golf is a much more popular sport than you’d think, and there are people driving through all the time looking for a course.”

The course has been listed on a national course-finder for disc golf enthusiasts called DiscGolfCourseReview.com.

“I always played ball golf, but as I got older and had a family, I didn’t have the time or the money to go practice and play,” Holcomb said. “When I got turned onto this, it’s free. My son and I can come out and play and bond. It costs us nothing to do. You go get a $7 disc from the store and you are set. The whole family can come out and play.”

For the serious disc golfer, discs are made for every range of shot – much like putters and drivers in traditional golf.

“We’re doing this the right way with the hope that we’ll eventually be able to host tournaments here and hopefully draw some tourism revenue into the community,” Holcomb said. “I’ve been to tournaments where you have 100 people coming in.”

While the course will soon have 18 completed baskets, funds are still being raised for tee boxes, permanent signage and an information kiosk to map out the course for players.

An example of the tee signage being prepared for the course

An example of the tee signage being prepared for the course

“It’s a fun course,” Holcomb said. “We’ve hidden some baskets behind a big bush or things like that and put one kind of up an island in the hills. There is some challenge to it. What I didn’t realize when I started was that the district owned the property behind the park. That opened up a lot of space for a good-sized course.

“The views when you get over on the back nine are pretty incredible down into the Valley. When it’s all done, you’ll walk 1.5 to 2 miles when you play the course. It is a great workout.”

The etiquette of the game is very similar to traditional golf – whoever is furthest away from the tee goes first, whoever has the lowest score goes first on the ensuing tee pad. Players are asked to repect the neighboring properties of the course and be quiet when teeing off near private property.

“This will be really nice to have one in our backyard and in our community,” Holcomb said.

Anyone interested in donating to help complete the course can contact Holcomb at mhulkman@gmail.com or contact the Indian Hills General Improvement District office at 775-267-2805.

For more information on the disc golf course, visit https://www.facebook.com/carsoncitydiscgolf?fref=ts

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