Coal Creek, CO
Leave it to the artists of Boulder to create their own epic courses!
"Scott, a Coal Creek resident who preferred not to give his last name, first played disc golf in the ’70s and began designing his own course on his and surrounding neighbors’ property in the early ’90s. “My buddy said you gotta play disc golf in these woods, so we started tagging the trees with surveying ribbons. We would just hit the trees that had the ribbons on them,” says Scott. He met his wife of 15 years, Diane, when she came to play on his course, and soon they were tracing the paths between the holes as many as four times a day while their two cats and two dogs trailed behind them, respectfully watching as they putted.
Over the past four years, new residents and fellow disc-golf enthusiasts Brad Dickson, Will and Bryce have helped extend the course. Dickson at first fashioned baskets approximating regulation style out of barbed wire and rusty metal, but the group has added a new twist. Many of the holes have unique themes conjured from items such as climbing equipment, mountain bike parts, horseshoes and train spikes—for the hole bordering the tracks, of course. The neighbors now have an 18-hole course and a mini nine-hole course for putting practice, which together span four properties.
Courses like Scott and Diane’s conform to their natural surroundings, encompassing numerous trees, boulders and sharp drop-offs, plus property lines that are considered out of bounds. Both Dickson and Colwell warn newcomers of a unique hazard on one of the holes—a dog behind an invisible fence on the left. When a disc sailed into his territory, the ever-watchful husky scooped it up and galloped around with it, finally depositing it 50 feet back in the wrong direction from the hole. (Is this the equivalent of the ball golfer’s water hazard?) At another point in the game, Dickson climbed 30 feet up a tree to retrieve his driver. Sometimes even that level of tenacity won’t bring a rogue disc back: Story recalls a day when an off-target disc landed on the coal car of a passing train."