Friday, March 21, 2008

Frisbee party gone out of bounds

It’s too bad that a few bad apples had to spoil the whole basket for Magic Valley disc golf enthusiasts. It seems that with all abundant countryside farmland out there, that there would be more than a few options for other courses, where kids still in their single digits could share lighthearted smiles, alongside easygoing Idaho old-timers.

A few years back, a handful of disc-enthusiasts cobbled together a course in the mid Wood River Valley, adjacent to the rubbish transfer station. However, it wasn’t long before an agent of the BLM informed the players that they would need a permit to continue, so the course ended up being dismantled. It could be that a few bad apples here, also ruined a good thing, but I don’t know the full story. For a while, there was talk that a permit was being procured and that the BLM agent was being quite helpful with his advice, but then the efforts seemed to fade away. It would be interesting to hear from any readers out there, who were involved with this effort.

The relative inexpensiveness of installing and maintaining disc-golf courses makes a good argument for more local recreation districts and schools to embrace them; rather than the Disneyfied pay-to-play attitudes, which have now become so prevalent. Injuries rarely occur while playing and many courses are wheelchair friendly. The catching receptacle baskets are designed so that they can be easily moved out of the way, when multipurpose field needs arise. The baskets also lock down onto non-protruding metal bases to prevent theft and so that they can be shifted into different positions in the event of heavy usage - just as real golf holes are moved to help prevent wear and tear on the fragile greens.

Someday, I would like to see some snowshoe-disc-courses laid out around Southern Idaho. Maybe we could start with a prototype in the open area around Billy’s Bridge, just south of Prairie Creek. In fact, I find this idea so appealing, that I would compromise my earlier dignified Disneyfied stance and joyfully plunk down a small fee to avoid another Frisbee party gone out of bounds.

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