Beer and Disc Golf
Summer’s two greatest diversions, with no plaid pants
by Vanessa Salvia
The most satisfying sound to a disc golfer is the ching! of a disc landing in the target basket. Or is it the crack! of a cold beer bottle opening? Target basket? Open beer? Target basket? Open beer? Aaargh!
Since I don’t know anyone who enjoys disc golf who would turn down a cool, refreshing, alcoholic bottled beverage, I tackled two of summer’s greatest diversions at the same time by visiting our three local disc golf courses and drinking three seasonal brews.
First up was Westmoreland’s course and New Belgium’s Springboard Ale. Westmoreland has a basket to practice putting. The Springboard requires no practice to enjoy its crisp, bitter aftertaste. This most flavorful of spring beers is brewed with wormwood, Goji berries and Schisandra, an ancient Chinese herb to give your game more zen. Westmoreland’s cool, green, well-groomed views marry well with Springboard’s unorthodox herbal essences. At Westmoreland, you’re most likely to play behind a large group using regular Frisbees (Don’t bring regular Frisbees to a disc golf course, please. They don’t fly far enough, and playing the hole takes longer, which makes even the mellowest disc golfers want to throw their bottles at you, man.). Westmoreland is a convenient, quick nine-hole course right in town. As such, it’s good for beginners and is often crowded on weekends. But it’s the closest to a beer-buying place.
Laurelwood’s 18 holes qualify as a course only because someone walked a deer path and wrapped metal around a few trees, calling them targets. Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema qualifies as delicious because it’s super-duper creamy. Laurelwood’s layout amid thigh-high grasses and shadowy woods necessitates having a spotter unless you don’t mind losing discs at every throw or spending the entire day looking for them. The poison oak, bugs and blackberries rampant on this course require a beer to smooth over the rough spots, and this is a great one. It’s not called Crema for no reason; it’s like it was brewed with whipped cream instead of water. It’s almost not really a beer but an alcoholic vanilla cream soda. Unlike Laurelwood’s par threes, which are really more like par fours or fives (sixes?), Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema elicits only one thought — yum.
The course at Dexter lies near a lake, with beautiful views of the wooded hillsides surrounding it. Sierra Nevada Summerfest lager is light and refreshing. It’s surprisingly flavorful, with a bit o’ hop and a nice finish, much like the course itself. Dexter’s course is very popular with serious golfers — as Sierra Nevada’s beers are popular with serious drinkers — and is also a challenging course with a nice mix of open and wooded holes. Summerfest is not challenging, being among the most standard of the summer beers. The Chevron station on the way to Dexter — very convenient if you need to buy beer — has a nice, expanded selection of discs and accessories. And, in possibly the most enticing feature, after 18 holes at Dexter, the lake is only a few steps away, so jump in!
The clear winner? Target basket. And open beer.
For more info on disc golf, visit www.pdga.org, the Professional Disc Golf Association, for rules, a world-wide course directory and other related resources.