New 19-Hole Disc Golf Course Set To Open This Weekend
● By Jack Burger
Back by popular demand, the Steamboat Ski Resort will officially open the newly set Thunderhead Disc Golf Course on Friday, July 4 for the summer. This true mountain 19-hole course is set in a similar area to the resort’s original disc golf course between the base of Thunderhead lift and Bashor lift.
Through a partnership with the Steamboat Area Disc Golf League (SADL) and in conjunction with the US Forest Service, Steamboat Ski Resort was able to design a disc golf course that met the needs of disc players while also limiting the impact to the mountain environment. Some of the holes are similar to the original course which opened at the resort in the summer of 2007; while recent changes to the mountain due to pine beetle clearing and other mountain activity, which closed the original course, have created opportunities for a new layout.
“This course is a community effort,” says Lance Miles, mountain operations project coordinator for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “Every step of the way partners from the resort, the Forest Service and SADL shared input and ideas, as well as manual labor, to make this a premier course in the Rocky Mountains. We are especially grateful for the support and ongoing efforts of Peter Shunny, Robert Bringuel and Jason Ruemelin who helped rally everything from supplies to troops to make this project a success even before the first disc flies.”
The 19-Hole, par 59 Thunderhead Disc Golf Course spans a total of 5,541 feet across varied mountainous terrain. Most holes are a par 3, with Holes 9 and 18 offering the longest distance and a par 4 rating. Highlights of the course include short tight technical shots through wooded, hilly terrain and obstacles such as chairlifts, plus a massive 606 foot drive on Hole 18.
“This course is subject to different kinds of throws,” says Peter Shunny, president of SADL. “It challenges every disc in your bag, from short technical shots to long, over canyon shots.”
The course is set on Forest Service land, which means players may encounter wildlife. Keep a safe distance from animals such as moose, bears and elk. Players are asked to follow directional signage and stay on paths and bridges when walking the course, to help maintain the natural environment.
The Thunderhead Disc Golf course is open to the public and free to use; however, guests should bring their own discs. Scorecards and maps are available at the Information Center located in Gondola Square and online. Guests are asked to carpool to the Thunderhead Disc Golf course, as the starting location at the bottom of Thunderhead lift offers limited designated parking; parking on the street and in the resort’s slope maintenance facility is not permitted.
For more information on the Thunderhead Disc Golf Course, including an online trail map, visit steamboat.com/disc-golf