Riverbend improving disc golf course

If Palisade builds it, they will come. Or something like that.

That’s the thought behind tricking out the disc golf course at Palisade’s Riverbend Park.

Already the 18-hole disc golf course is held in high regard among disc golf players because of its natural stunning beauty, leading disc golfers to throw under mature cottonwood trees. Baskets set up along the banks of the Colorado River make for an additional challenge.

Supporters spent Sunday raising funds to bring it up to the standards to host the professional tournaments, called A Tier, according to the sport’s association, Professional Disc Golf Association.

To create the professional course, it needs matching baskets. Baskets must be similar, created by the same manufacturer. Proponents want to extend tee boxes to regulation size. The concrete pads are the starting pointing for players to play a hole.

They also want to create an additional site or pin for each basket, so the basket’s location can be changed depending on the type of tournament underway. In addition, they want to add signage at each tee, informing players of the next basket and throwing tips.

Already, supporters have sold all sponsorships to local businesses at $200 per basket, said Michelle Gossage, who is working to help raise money for the changes. The business names will appear on each basket, and companies can choose to reinvest in the advertising each year.

Businesses were quick to take advantage of the opportunity, Gossage said.

“I think it’s great advertising for our businesses. Not only that, it brings a number of people out to play the course.”

Before Sunday’s fundraising tournament, $4,200 had been collected for changes to the course. An estimated $6,000 will be needed to complete the changes. The work will be finished after the money is in hand, fundraisers said.

Updating the course has a secondary benefit of attracting more tournaments and players, which equates to tourist dollars.

“Some of these tournaments have hundreds of people that come,” Gossage said. “It would be nice to draw those people into town especially in the off- season. Riverbend Park is the perfect place to bring a big tournament.”

Russ Hamilton, who has been working on Watson Island’s disc golf course, said he and others are working on bringing Grand Junction’s course up to the same standards.

Having two A Tier courses in the Grand Valley should be a big draw for disc golf players. Professional players already seek out local courses when they are traveling through, he said.

“We’ve been trying to make Palisade and Watson Island highly competitive venues,” he said. “They complement each other so well. We’re going to be in the place where everyone wants to play.”

For information on disc golf tournaments and news, search Facebook pages for the Watson Island Disc Golf and Grand Valley Disc Golf Club.


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