Flying discs crowding airspace over park

Officials consider moving Frisbee golf course as they try to chart course for facility

Aaron Simpson of Grand Junction putts during a game of disc golf with friends at West Lake Park. Simpson said he feels that the course is the best in town, but that it’s neglected and water collects in puddles on the green. “It’s a swamp,” he said.

Avid disc golf player Chad Pasterz has seen the close calls when the flying, plastic orbs whiz over the heads of children playing on equipment at Westlake Park.

The park is lined with a generous walking path near the intersection of First Street and Orchard Avenue, behind West Middle School. The park long has served as both a playground for children and a disc golf course.

But as it steadily has become more popular, the likelihood of discs spinning into other park users is becoming more of an issue.

“It’s grown so much since I first started playing here,” said Pasterz, who started playing the sport at the park about three years ago and now plays the game five times a week.

Grand Junction Park and Recreation officials hope interested park users will weigh in on the issue during a 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting at the park.

A 3.5-acre parcel to the west may be a better location for the Frisbee golf course, but city officials want to hear what people think of that idea. Already, some of the tee-off locations have been realigned at the park so that discs are not being thrown too near the playground and a canal.

“That little park is heavily used,” Grand Junction Park Superintendent Mike Vendegna said.

“Ninety-five to 99 percent of the time,  people are very courteous.

Occasionally, he said, a player will have a disc “shank off and come close to the playground.”
Vendegna said parents with children playing at the park have voiced concerns about being hit by a disc.

He said the area to the west, which is a little bigger than the course at the park, may be a better site for disc golf players because it’s not a grassy area and would be a better surface for playing the game.

However, the area does not have the same dips and obstacles as the park, one reason why Pasterz said he enjoys playing the course.

“It doesn’t seem like it would be as much fun to play there,” he said.


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