, 2023-04-18 18:17:07,
Whether you Anhyzer, Hyzer, Tomahawk, or backhand your disc at the Optimist or Pessimist disc golf courses in town, you know you’re playing the game on premier courses in Colorado.
“I have played, I think, around 250 courses around the country, [in] 25 states,” said Brush resident and disc golf player, Wayne Carlson. “I would rank Fort Morgan in my top five of all the courses I’ve ever played.”
Both courses are located inside Riverside Park, with the Optimist course established in 2002 and Pessimist in 2015.
The Optimist course originally started with 18 holes but has grown to feature 28 holes according to Basil Molina, a disc golf player and Fort Morgan Parks and Recreation General Maintenance Worker. Molina has tended to the courses since each of them was opened to the public.
Molina, who has been with the department for 45 years, has been playing the game for 15 years. In that period, Molina has become fond of the game and is a part of the Morgan County Disc Golf Association.
“If you just look at both of the courses at a high-level view, they are built around the woods,” said Mile High Disc Golf Club Tournament Director, Kyle Harrigan. “Most of Denver is kind of a mountain/desert climate and doesn’t have as many trees like the parks in the open areas that we get from the places like Fort Morgan. The courses out there are built around woods, and they force you to play every shot in your (disc golf) bag. Because of that, Pessimist and Optimist are two of the best courses in the entire state.”
Harrigan called Pessimist a pro-level course that features 18 holes, with the eighth hole having a distance of 693 feet from tee box to hole. The care and commitment Molina and the parks department have put into courses has led to pro-level, or A-trier tournaments, being held there.
The two biggest tournaments that come to Fort Morgan are the High Plains Challenge and National Armature Disc Golf Tour Premiere. The former is held in June that brings hundreds of pro-level players out to the area. The latter is a recent tournament that Harrigan said was brought to the area because the courses are “trailered” to the players that play in it.
Even though the sport of disc golf can be looked at as an alternative sport, Harrigan and Molina said city officials are starting to see the two courses, and the sport, can generate tourism dollars while highlighting the city. Even though Molina doesn’t see himself as an ambassador for the game in…
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