ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Disc golfers are expanding the sport in Albuquerque, and city golf courses are hoping to make a few extra bucks off it.
Until now, disc golfers’ only option was to play at local parks but say the new, permanent 18-hole course along the green at Ladera Golf Course on the west side is a nice upgrade.
“Roosevelt Park is phenomenal but we do have the park life to deal with there and this is such a nice reprieve,” disc golfer Brandon Bailey added.
There are already disc golf courses at Roosevelt, Ouray, and Montessa parks, but this is the first time disc golfers will be able to use a city-owned golf course. They’ll share the course with traditional golfers. Groups will have to wait for them to finish their holes just they would with regular golfers.
“It runs along the executive nine with us running into the natural terrain with some great obstacles for us to try and navigate around,” Albuquerque Disc Golf Association President Marcus Eye said. The setup is a collaboration between the Parks and Rec Department and the Albuquerque Disc Golfers Association.
Parks and Rec Director Dave Simon said this can also help bring in more revenue for the courses.
“There are times during the week during the day when regular ball golf play use drops off a little bit and this is kind of a perfect way to fill in the cracks,” Simon explained.
He said this disc golf program testing phase through the summer will determine if they can add disc golf to other city courses. The ADGA said they’d also like to play at Puerto Del Sol and Los Altos.
Bailey said nationally, the Professional Disc Golf Association has more than 140,000 players registered in North America and that the active core group of players in Albuquerque has likely tripled in size over the last 10 years with the potential to grow.
“I believe it’s one of the fastest-growing sports in New Mexico, if not, other parts of the country because it is free in most places,” Bailey added. “Guys like us will gladly pay the greens fees to play in such a beautiful place and unique environment.”
“It’s draw is just the low cost and the easy-to-pick-up ability of the game. It’s a sport that’s really easy to play for beginners,” Eye added.
Like regular golfers, people playing disc golf have to reserve a tee time during the pandemic to avoid crowds gathering at the clubhouses. It’s $13.50 to play 18 and the price goes up on weekends.
The park’s budget covered the cost of the baskets for just under $2,000. The department also has portable baskets it plans to put at city parks.
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