, 2022-09-30 02:00:00,
Disc golf is a sport for everyone, said Skylar Schalit, one of the founders of HotRDG (Heart of the Rockies Disc Golf) disc golf course at Vandaveer Ranch, which opened in late December.
The other founders are John Sztukowski, Craig Schuchman, Daryl Huschka and Jenny Majeski.
Disc golf has rules similar to golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, it uses three types of discs: drivers, which are thin and have sharp wings; the midrange, which are slower and more accurate; and putters, which are the slowest and blunted, usually used for a range within 60 feet. The target is a tall metal basket, Schalit said.
Participants can play solo or with a group of people. For tags, considered a normal match, usually 12 people are playing, Schalit said.
HotRDG was initiated as a nonprofit in December 2020, the organization was founded in 2021, and the baskets were installed in late December.
Schalit started playing disc golf in his early 20s when he moved to Salida in 2004. Disc golf is the ultimate “aprés sport,” he said, meaning that it is easy to play at a fun level with a diverse group of players.
Schalit comes from a background of many sports, including snowboarding, skiing, lacrosse, basketball, track and mountain biking. “I like sports,” he said. “I really enjoy being out in nature and I really enjoy athletics and learning how to get better.” Disc golf is a change of pace because it is more casual than other sports, he added.
He and other founders wanted to start a disc golf course in Salida in part because they saw a need for it – most other resort towns have a disc golf course, Schalit said. Salida needed to up it’s game.
When Schalit returned to Salida after spending more than a decade on the Front Range, he was interested in starting the disc golf course and rallied with some friends to make it happen. When the city purchased the Vandaveer property, Schalit presented the idea to city officials. The city’s approval and funding came through, and the team set to work preparing the course and building trails to hike, which turned out to be the difficult part of the job, Schalit said.
The best part of starting the club has been the club itself, Schalit said. Referring to the other founders, he said, “The five of us have been friends for a while.” He enjoys watching the community grow and seeing new faces, however,…
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