By Paul Kiser
“The Pebble Beach of Disc Golf” (Player comment)
Last week I spent a morning with a magnificent view of the Reno and in the background was the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountain range. It was a location that few know about and fewer know how to get to; however, my guide, landowner Thomas Hill Frost, knows this area well.
I didn’t visit the site for the view, but because Tom has built two 18-hole Disc Golf courses on 40 acres of land that are at best, challenging and for most of us, extreme. I haven’t played Disc Golf for years but after running into Tom at a Reno area Starbucks he peaked my interest enough to see what he has been working on for ten years.
Located above the Virginia Foothills area, southwest of the Truckee Meadows Valley, the Reno Adventure Park overlooks the southern suburbs. Tom and I walked the Green Course which is 18 holes on ‘kinder and gentler’ terrain, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for the flat grass-covered courses in a city park or on a college campus. This is a hill course with an occasional juniper or pinion pine tree that obscures the hole from the tee pad. The course can be played in tennis shoes; however, boots that protect the shins are recommended. I walked the course in street shoes and in the end had to dump dirt and sand out of my shoes and socks.
The Red Course is for the adventurous player. There is 600 feet of elevation change between the top of the course and the bottom with many holes dropping or rising 10 stories or more between the tee pad and the hole. There may be a more challenging permanent disc golf course in the world, but I can’t imagine where or why. Anyone who logs time on the Red Course will have earned her or his beer once they return to civilization.
One of the most challenging holes on the Green course is the 13th (of course, it had to be ‘13′.) The course is downhill with a few trees blocking the view of a hole that is set a few feet from a granite cliff. Overshoot the hole and you’re going to go for a hike. When we were there a red fox was at the bottom of the cliff. To my knowledge she won’t retrieve a lost disc for players, so don’t plan for help if you screw up.
It is important to note that this is a private course on private land. People must contact Tom (775.750.0776) to reserve a tee time, gain permission to access the course, and get directions. Tom will typically be willing to meet parties and guide them to the property, but please don’t cancel as Tom arranges his schedule to accommodate guests. Because of wildlife, no dogs are allowed.
Tom is a landscape artist and he is the great-great-grandson of the famous Yosemite landscape painter Thomas Hill (1829-1908). Tom is aware of the artistic value of his land and he wants to preserve the beauty for all. He has spent ten years working with Washoe County for easement access and use permits, and then he began installing the course piece by piece. His current project is to complete concrete tee pads on all 36 holes. Eventually he would like to have the property serve as a place for people to come and play, paint, relax, and enjoy.
Up to now the course has been a secret to Reno and the Disc Golf world; however, that is changing as more people become aware of this Reno treasure. Now that I’ve been there I could tell you how to find it…but then I have to…sorry, I’ve been watching ‘Chuck‘ too much. Call Tom at 775.750. 0776 or go to www.RenoAdventurePark.com for more information.
Paul Kiser writes a Blog at www.paulkiser.wordpress.com