The North Fork Valley now has its own 18-hole disc golf course.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Delta County Fairgrounds Disc Golf Course was officially opened to the public. Located on the south side of the fairgrounds, the course is the first of several projects planned for the facility, said Delta County administrator Robbie LeValley at the dedication.
Built in the cottonwoods and along the North Fork of the Gunnison River, the course is considered both unique and challenging.
LeValley calls the fairgrounds a "public gem." The county's 2010 fairgrounds master plan identifies short- and long-term goals and calls for increasing economic diversity, creating more local events, providing a place to showcase the area's youth, and promoting local arts and industry.
LeValley said that about a year ago the Board of County Commissioners put together a committee, including North Fork Pool, Parks & Recreation District administrator Lenore Cambria and Delta County Fair Board member Teresa Burns, to discuss ways to meet the goals of the master plan. During a brainstorming session a lot of ideas were suggested by the committee, and disc golf took off, said LeValley.
Commissioner Mark Roeber, who represents District 3 and the North Fork area, used his Colorado Lottery dollars, limited to use in parks and recreation related projects and development, to pay for the course.
Disc golf is arguably the fastest growing sport in the country, said course designers Brett Burch and Marc Alton with the M.O.D. Squad (Montrose, Olathe, Delta) Disc Golf Club. They, along with M.O.D. Squad club members Casey Smith, Tracy Smith and Derick Burch attended the course dedication. They fielded questions about the sport and the equipment and gave demonstrations and instruction in how to throw the special discs used in the sport. Roeber and Hotchkiss Mayor Wendell Koontz were among several attending the dedication to try their skills at throwing a disc.
The game is played much like golf and involves tossing drivers, putters and other specialized discs into a metal chain basket. The object of the game is to have fun and play the course from beginning to end in the fewest throws. Rules and a map are posted at the start of the course.
The course is the first of several projects proposed or in the planning stages. LeValley said construction of up to six horseshoe pits, which could accommodate tournaments, is anticipated to be completed by next spring.