Plans for disc golf course advance

Site would be in open space behind metro district admin building


The Highlands Ranch Metro District, in partnership with South Suburban Parks and Recreation, is considering a disc golf course in the open space behind its administrative office, south of Plaza Drive and west of South Broadway. The proposed 60-acre course, dubbed the West Fork Disc Golf Course, would have 18 holes.

At a March 26 metro district board meeting, directors approved a conceptual design study for the course's parking lot and pedestrian crossing — the bulk of the project's $335,000 cost. Pending approval from South Surburban's board of directors, it would cover $100,000.

The parking lot would be located off South Broadway, just north of a business park with Walgreens and Tokyo Joe's.

“It’s purely conceptual design at this point to see if it will even work," said Nick Adamson, the metro district's natural resource manager.

South Suburban is closing its existing disc golf course east of David A. Lorenz Regional Park, 8422 S Colorado Blvd., on April 14 as it begins construction on a new facility. That has some players of the sport worried about their options in the south metro Denver area.

In the competitive game of disc golf, players throw plastic discs at elevated, stationary metal baskets placed throughout natural terrain. The concept is similar to traditional golf — you want to hit a target in the least number of throws.

"It's really just hiking and throwing," Chris Reed, an avid disc golfer from Highland Ranch, said.

Highlands Ranch has an existing nine-hole course, Martin Walworth Disc Golf at Grace Presbyterian Church, off Sante Fe Drive, between Town Center and Highlands Ranch Parkway. Some high schools in the area also utilize courses, which have limited hours for the public.

In its 2016 capital improvement planning process, the metro district added a disc golf course to its three-year project forecast, with proposed implementation occurring in 2019. Such a course would enhance recreational opportunities in the community, according to metro district staff.

At the March 26 meeting, Reed and several other disc golfers — from Highlands Ranch and surrounding communities — voiced their support for the proposed Highlands Ranch course. The sport, which they describe as competitive, convenient and family-oriented, has a strong following in the metro Denver area, they said.

“It's kind of surprising, with Highlands Ranch and what a great community it is, that there is not a good disc golf course,” resident Janell Smith said. “It's a great sport at the activity level, it's inexpensive for people.”

Aside from the occasional mowing, maintenance of the type of course is relatively low, according to Adamson.

In the next month, Adamson and his staff will bring before the board a conceptual design for the parking lot, as well as feedback from adjacent businesses and neighbors. Metro district staff will mail postcards to property owners and go door-to-door, according to Adamson.

As for a timeline on the disc golf course, Adamson said: "We don’t have a determined date at this time. We want to first make sure that we’ve heard from the community."


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