Posted by: Jack | May 24, 2007

Disc Golf in Olympia

I’ve been increasing interest in disc sports among my co-workers at the Red Lion lately. A short while ago a bunch of us got together for a game of Ultimate which was a blast. Since then I’ve brought up the prospect of traveling to the terrible, but nearest, disc golf course which is up in Tacoma to introduce people to this excellent sport. I still find that a majority of people have never even heard of disc golf.

Just yesterday at work I was talking with one especially enthused co-worker about getting a group together to play up in Tacoma. But later, while still at work, the topic came up again and yet another co-worker said, “They just put in a course right by my house.” After further inquiry I found that this course was installed at Yauger Park which is less than two miles from my apartment so I decided to check it out immediately after work.

I arrived at the park to find a crew of people just locking up the display case at the start of the course. They had just finished installing the baskets minutes earlier. They were all very eager to tell me all about the three years they spent pitching this “pilot course” to the city and gave me all the phone numbers of people I should call to tell how excited I am about the new course.

Making my way to the first tee, I saw that the fairway was fairly short and narrow both horizontally and vertically as trees grew up and over the path. Not a bad hole for any player with at least a couple seasons of experience. The second hole was another case. I would approximate it’s distance at about 100 feet which is extremely short. The challenge of this hole is the lack of a fairway. From the tee their is basically no navigable flight path that a disc can naturally follow with the possible exception of a short range, under-stable disc thrown backhand and upside-down by a left handed thrower. As ridiculous as that may sound I actually think it might work. Such a throw executed correctly can result in a S-like curve of the disc arcing initially to the left and then banking sharply back to the right. But aside from this possibility, the hole is really just poorly designed.

Unfortunately, the entire course consists of 9 holes, all well under 300 feet in length. I don’t want to discredit the effort put forth by the course designers because given the size and layout of the park, achieving 9 holes is quite an accomplishment. However, it does worry me that this pilot course does not offer much of what makes disc golf so enjoyable and therefore may not attract a lot of praise from the community.

I was pretty happy with my play last night, having not played in about eight months. I finished with a score of -2 (using the standard all-par-3 scoring system). In retrospect however, I would likely set the course par around 23 rather than 27. So many of the holes should really only require an approach shot (from the tee) and a putt.

Any complaints aside, the course is certainly better than nothing and so I’m going out right now to play another round.


  1. I wonder if you’ve played the course lately? We just installed our 19th basket. The parks finaly gave us permanent status.
    Although sineage is still very bad, if you know your way around, the course is really developing. If you haven’t played in a while and would like to, I’d gladly show you around.

  2. i just read your article here. i am a disc golfer and i iwas excited to read, but as i read i became less enthused.

    you talk about “hole design”, how much design freedom do you really think there is at yauger park? trying to fit in a disc golf course around softball, soccer, waking paths, and a skatepark does not leave the perfect “design” situation. anyways hole #2 which is now hole #4 is a GREAT hole. any experienced disc golfer will tell you that. it makes you have control over your disc, not just trying to throw it as hard as you can. it used to be about 160 FT long, and now it has been extended to about 200-220 FT.

    my first reaction after readinig this article was “If you think Fort Stillicoom disc golf course is terrible, then you dont really have any business rating and critiquing disc golf courses. Stillicoom is the BEST course in Western Washington!

    i Totaly agree with what Chris said. you need to come out and play the course again. it is a full 18 hole course with at least 5 holes over 350 FT and a few others over 300 FT. they are starting up random doubles every wednesday night at 5 pm on march 11. why dont you play that and talk more with the people that have made this a great course for what it is built around.

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