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Board considering adding disc golf course at Foothills

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By Deborah Swearingen

Disc golfers may soon have a new course to play in South Jeffco.

At a July 25 board meeting, the Foothills Park and Recreation District heard from Mike Hanson, who proposed creating a disc golf course at Foothills Golf Course. No motions were made, but the board agreed to allow Hanson, a district employee and avid disc golfer, to continue moving forward with his plan.

Hanson said the course could draw people to the golf course during traditional down times and create new revenue for Foothills.

“Colorado has the 10th largest PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) membership in the country,” Hanson told the board. “There’s a large population of disc golfers not only in the metro-Denver area but also the foothills area.”

In addition, Hanson mentioned a lack of quality disc golf courses in the metro area, particularly those housed on traditional golf courses. There are no 18-hole courses that allow players to play on manicured grass in a 20-mile radius, he said, and there are just two other courses — in Leadville and Manitou Springs — on traditional golf courses in Colorado.

Baskets, tee pad mats and tags are among the only expenses required to get the course off the ground and running. Tags are used to encourage competitive play among regular disc golfers.

“Everyone has a number on their tag, and every time you play a particular course with other tag members, you play for those tags,” Hanson said. “The idea is that, in a year, whoever has the No. 1 tag is considered the best for that tag group.”

In total, he estimates the project would cost $6,985 and says it could break even within a few months of opening if they charge $15 for 18 holes.

Positive reactions

The overall reaction to Hanson’s plan was positive, and board members and golf staff commended him on a thorough presentation.

Initially, Tom Woodard, director of golf at Foothills, said he was skeptical about the plan.

“But as you can see, he does a very good job,” Woodard said.

He did note that Broken Tee Golf Course, which is about six miles from Foothills, also is planning a pay-for-play disc golf course.

“The thing that excited us initially was that we would be the only golf course in the market (with disc golf),” he said, adding that it would be important to consider whether the market is large enough to support both courses.

“However, we love the idea. We think it’s a very good idea,” Woodard added.

Director Tony Esolen questioned the plan to sell merchandise in the golf course pro shop, since the course already scaled back due to online competition. Otherwise, Esolen was in support of the plan, as long as some more thought went into the decision to sell inventory.

Other board members reacted favorably, too.

“I do love the idea. I think if the golf department’s on board that’s a win-win,” said board president Tim James. “I might actually come out and play.”

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042.