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Goldendale golfers find a new green at new disc golf course

 

Jaryd Cline

A group of golfers all toss their discs into the goal on Friday at Goldendale's new disc golf course near the Goldendale Swimming Pool.

There is a new place in town where anyone can go out and enjoy a round of nine, although for the new course outside the Goldendale Swimming Pool, you won't be needing golf clubs or carts, tees or golf balls, just discs and Frisbees.

Starting just past the Singing Bridge on NE Third Street and looping behind the swimming pool and little league fields at Ekone Park is a brand new nine-goal disc golf course constructed for anyone looking to have a good time. That is the course's most important rule after all. "The one who has the most fun wins," as stated on a large rules board right in front of the first goal.

That is what Central Klickitat County Park and Recreation District Manager Lori Anderson had in mind when she and the Central Klickitat Parks and Recreation board decided to go along with board member Erin Gray's idea to set up a disc golf course in Goldendale. Setting up a nice, family friendly course where the goal is to have fun and enjoy a game that, until now, couldn't be played in Goldendale.

"You can either just be out there having fun with a couple of discs or you can have a 12-disc set and be quite serious about it," Anderson said.

Gray and her husband, Travis, had spent lots of time at the disc golf course in Sorosis Park in The Dalles, and thought it would be a good idea to build a course at home, instead of forcing people to drive an hour and a half round trip to get in a round.

That prompted Anderson, who admitted she didn't know anything about disc golf, to drive to The Dalles in February and check out he course and the sport herself. What she saw amazed her.

"It was kind of crazy," Anderson said. "It was cold, wet, 40 something degrees. There was (sic) all these people there on a Saturday morning at like 10 in the morning playing disc golf."

"I was like 'Wow, this is pretty serious,'" she added.

She roamed the course with her dogs, and was instructed by a golfer to watch her dogs and keep them away from all the flying discs.

"This one guy had his 12-disc set and was all worried 'Hey! Get your puppy out of the way. These are my new discs,'" Anderson recalled. "So I quickly realized the different extremes of disc golf."

There is special equipment used by more experienced players. On http://www.innovadiscs.com alone, there are more than 60 different discs listed. All discs are then rated on categories such as speed, gliding and turning. Like regular golf, different discs can be used in different situations.

Last Friday, Anderson and a group of five lifeguards at the pool hit the course for a round of fun. Nobody had any fancy discs but everyone had a good time laughing and joking about how bad their throws were.

"I don't do very well at it, but, at the same time, it's fun just to get out," Hailey Bigbee said.

Jaryd Cline

Hailey Bigbee throws her disc on Friday at Goldendale's new disc golf course near the Goldendale Swimming Pool.

Everyone except Andrew Gerchak, who's a seasoned veteran at regular and disc golf, struggled. He's made back-to-back trips to the high school state golf tournament, and is routinely out on the course tossing the discs around.

"Andrew's kind of our local disc golf expert," Anderson said.

He's been playing since he was old enough to hold a Frisbee, he said, but loves the simplicity of the game.

"One of the better things about it is it's a very simple game," Gerchak said. "There's not very many rules to it. You just literally throw the Frisbee into the basket as well as you can."

Anderson is hoping the new course will draw many people when the weather starts to warm up come springtime.

The course officially opened a few weeks ago, but Anderson and the rest of the Parks and Recreation committee are planning a big kick off event in the spring.

 

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