Blog  ::  What Do Disc Golf and Restoration Have in Common?


What Do Disc Golf and Restoration Have in Common?

By Lynda Nelson/ March 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

First off, let me explain what Disc Golf is.  Often mistakenly called “Frisbee Golf”, disc golf is played with smaller, heavier and thinner discs than the typical Frisbee.  There are discs designed specifically for putting, short range drivers, approach shots and long range drivers.  The game of disc golf is played much like regular golf, minus the clubs.  There is a tee, and at the end of the fairway, a basket, which is the target for the disc.   Each hole, dependent on distance, is either a Par 3, 4, or 5; however, most courses are Par 3s and 4s.  The world record for distance in one throw is held by a sixteen-year-old for 836 feet!

The first permanent eighteen-hole Disc Golf Course in Reno, known as “The Ranch,” was completed at Washoe County’s Rancho San Rafael Regional Park North Entrance on May 21, 2011.   The front nine of the course weaves around through what used to be irrigated and grazed agricultural pastures, and the back nine zig zags back and forth through native sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and wildflowers.   The course upkeep is done cooperatively between the Reno Disc Golf Association and Washoe County.   Nevada Land Trust has become involved recently to address some of the concerns with restoration of the abandoned agricultural pastures on the front nine of the course.

The agricultural pastures on the north side of McCarran within Rancho San Rafael Park have not been irrigated for many years due to complications with the water delivery system.  Over the course of those years, most of the timothy, tall fescue, orchard grass and meadow fescue grasses that were growing have died off, leaving in their wake a sea of weeds.  The weeds make it virtually impossible to walk through the pasture, let alone play disc golf.   Many discs are swallowed up never to be seen again until winter when the weeds have died.  

NLT is working with Washoe County and our contractor, Soil Tech, to “re-establish” the native sagebrush, rabbitbrush and wildflower areas that were prevalent in the region prior to the area being converted to agricultural pastures.  We have installed four native shrub gardens within the front nine portion of the course with approximately 80 plants per garden.  The plants are watered by a system utilizing Dri-water, which are quart sized containers of water held in gelatinous form.  The water is slow-released to the plants and needs to be changed out every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. The funding for these gardens was proved by Washoe County, Nevada Division of State Lands Question One Program, and Nevada Department of Agriculture grants.

The conceptual plan for these older pastures is to get the native shrub vegetation established along the outside the fairways of the course, and within the fairways, reintroduce a drought-tolerant, traffic-withstanding perennial grass that will reduce weed infestations and soil erosion. 

Come take a look at their progress, or better yet, join us on Saturday, April 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to help change out the Dri-water this Spring and give these plants a thumbs up!   Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the north entrance to the Rancho San Rafael Park ball fields and head to the NW corner of the parking lot for the meeting location. Give us a call at 851-5180 for more details!

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