NewsIdaho Backroads

Actions

Lake Walcott State Park provides a destination for disc golfers

Posted at 8:46 AM, Nov 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 10:50:40-05

Idaho Parks and Recreation has 27 state parks scattered across the Gem State providing multiple recreation opportunities and several of the state parks have disc golf courses.

I've always heard good things about the course at Lake Walcott that hosts the Idaho State Disc Golf Championship, I'm on vacation this week, but I brought along my discs and stopped at Lake Walcott to check out the course.

The course was built in the 90s and it has 21 holes with a good mix tight lanes to throw through, some open holes, an island hole and varying lengths of distance as baskets got put in back on 2017.

"We have almost every shot you can imagine," said Colby Andersen, the tournament director for the state championship.

Andersen lives nearby in Rupert and he won the Lake Walcott Open earlier in July, but the state championship they hosted in August was one of three A-Tier tournaments in Idaho this past year.

"It brings in over 200 players and 400 people to the community," said Andersen. "We get people nationwide coming we have had people from Canada… Alaska and Australia, we have had some top pros come to this tournament and Matt Bell has won this tournament.

The Professional Disc Golf Association ranks tournaments and A-Tier is one step down from the pro series and the major tournaments, to achieve this status it must be a regional tournament that has been successfully ran as a B-Tier tournament for several years.

Other requirements include needing a PDGA membership to compete, the tournament must go on for multiple days with a minimum of 54 holes and there must be 100 percent payout from the entry fees plus a minimum of $3,000 cash added to the pro purse.

If I'm being honest I have played in a tournament for probably more than a decade, but I enjoy the game because it is affordable, it helps me get exercise and it is something that I can do with my family and friends.

Andersen has also tried to grow the game by raising money to give baskets and discs to local elementary schools, he says his initiative has been going well and he got a lot of help from the disc golf scene in the Treasure Valley including 208 discs.

"Oh man the disc golf scene in Idaho is phenomenal," said Andersen. "I can go to Boise reach out and say hey I’m coming for a tournament, people will let me crash on their couch it is so awesome the community creates friendships for life."

Lake Walcott offers several other recreational amenities they have a boat ramp, a bird watching trail, a campground, picnic areas and it provides easy access to the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge next door.

Obviously many of those activities are not possible during the winter, but it was beautiful in its own way as I saw a group of whitetail deer and really enjoyed how the moving water on the snake bumped up against the ice on the lake.

Idaho State Parks have an admission fee, the best way to enjoy the parks is to purchase an annual pass for $10 when you register your vehicle, daily passes for Lake Walcott were seven dollars so you pay off that pass in two trips.

In the Treasure Valley we have Eagle Island State Parks, Lucky Peak and the Bruneau Sand Dunes close by, Eagle Island has a disc golf course and so does Massacre Rocks State Park, Niagara Springs and Lake Walcott in the southern part of Idaho.