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Thursday, September 29, 2016

5 p.m. is tee time for Elysian Park disc golf players

It’s late Monday afternoon shortly before 5 p.m. and the members of the Chavez Ridge Disc Golf Club have once again gathered in Elysian Park to play another round of their favorite sport. They unpack cases packed with neon-colored assortments of discs (don’t call them Frisbees, a trademark brand name), carefully position themselves on rubber, skid-proof mats and then fling the discs through a forest of eucalyptus trees in one of the few disc golf courses in Los Angeles.  The goal is to get the discs to land in metal baskets that are the equivalent of golf holes.

The 18-hole  Chavez Ridge Disc Golf Course, located north of Dodger Stadium and above Solano Canyon, has a reputation as a tough course, where trees and steep hillsides pose challenges for even the most experienced players. “The disc will hit something and then roll down the hill 300 feet,” said club organizer and Eagle Rock resident Steven Valencia.  In fact, Los Angeles area players have a phrase  to describe this mishap common to the Elysian Park course: “You got Chavezed!”

Still, that does not keep members of the club and others from showing up on Mondays at 5 p.m. for a doubles game.

Disc golf players had originally wanted a course located lower down the hill to provide for wider fairways. But after spending seven years negotiating with the Recreation and Parks department as well as neighborhood groups, disc golfers settled for the current location, which opened in 2006. Club members tout Chavez Ridge’s central location – the nearest other courses are in La Canada-Flintridge, La Mirada and Sylmar – and panoramic views. The 18th hole basket – partially painted a shade of Dodger Blue – overlooks Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyline.

The Elysian Park course’s central location makes it easy for some of the Chavez Ridge Club members to squeeze in some playing time after work.  Despite their passion for their sport and the hilly course, some of the players concede friends and families have a hard time understanding  their interest in disc golf.  “The usual response is ‘What is that?'” said Brandon Valverde of Glassell Park .



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10 comments

  1. I came upon one of the baskets while hiking in Elysian Park a couple of years ago. Never seen anything like it—thought I’d stumbled on some space alien landing site or something. Found some signs, went home and looked it up. Who knew??

  2. Not in youre life

    Lame

  3. I first played the course three years ago. After growing up in La Mirada and playing their long and open course I thought Chavez was one big mess. Then I moved to Echo Park and was forced to learn how to safely play the course. I’m now a much better all around player with the ability to throw multiple shots on any hole. Chavez Ridge has forced me to learn to throw fore hand, tomohawks, anhyzers, and straight down the middle. I’ve even learned that sometimes one just needs to chuck the disc and hope for the best. I used to love it till I played it. Chavez!

  4. Two Stroke Swing

    Lovely course. I once saw a guy SCREAMING at his brother’s disc as it careened down a ridge, “RUN HERSCHEL, RUN YOU FUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  5. Real players don’t bring lame bags full of discs.

    We only need one disc and the bag is for the beers.

  6. We love the course! It’s great to get a good size group up there for a game. But it helps to have a spotter.

    I did run into a group of rude golfers on the the way up the ravine while I was hiking with my son (we hike up almost everyday). But most often the golfers are chill good people.

    P.S. great Beatles mix in the vid!

  7. chavez is the shit. that course is great and close. and the peebles that play up there got game!

  8. Here in norcal, but I am glad to hear about Chavez Ridge, I hope to make it my home course soon, I love LA.

  9. Check out this comedy clip about disc golf shot on this course in Elysian Park. Funny stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stsHBtHp_DI

  10. fantastic views, fun people and lots of challenging shots. make a trip to east side deli afterwards and you’ll have a perfect day.

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