In the early 2000’s Badco Disc Golf Club was asked to do a Disc Golf demo for a local Motorcycle club.The Iron Pony Express is a sponser of the Rocky Mountain Village Easter Seals of Colorado, Empire Colorado. So we went to Greeley Colorado for the Iron Pony Express motorcycle Rally. A week later we were asked to come out to the camp in Empire to meet with the Camp director about a possible disc golf course. The Rocy Mountain Village is located at exit 232, I- 70 and us 40 the Winter Park exit, South side of I-70. It is 180 acres nesteled up against the mountain. The camp is a retreat for variety of group the main group being physically challenged kids. The camp has the normal things like biking, hiking fishing, tennis, basketball,softball and hores back riding. it’s also a summer camp for kids from all over the state. We were asked to design and construct a disc golf course, which we jump at the chance. we spent the first year clearing out trees to make a fairway you can ask Mike Webeter about that. Our first targets were made of 4×4 post which Jeff and Tim Panis help to construct. The second year we held the Worlds Biggest. We borrowed temporary basket from the Wrighlife. At this time the Applewood course was closed and I bought the baskets and put them on the course. We made up chainz pole for the rest of the course and started having tournament to raise money for more baskets. Several years went by and we had baskets on 27 hole and 1 practice basket. From 2005 to 2008 the course was rockin. I mean great disc golf, live bands, food, drink, lodging and camping. It was a great place to play disc golf and enjoy the outdoors. We raised money for the camp and all was good. In order to play the course all you had to do was go to the main lodge sign in and give a small donation and play the best disc golf you could imagine. The rules were simple, No smoking, no alcohol on the course, pack in your trash and pack it out, the normal stuff. Two restrooms were provide with running water (can’t get that at a public park).
SO WHAT HAPPENED? Disc golfers begain to disrespect and disregaurd the rules.Smoking on the course (cigarett butts), water and beer bottles, trash, and urinating in public (childrends camp). I”m talking main lodge parking lot behind the restroom not in the restroom, while children were present. Golfers started parking out side the fence so not to have to pay the donation fee or check in at main lodge.They were caught by camp director, they tryed to argue, police were called on more than one occation.Camp director said to much no more and closed the course to the public.Which also included the Badco disc golf club who raised money for 23 of the baskets. The course has been closed for two years. I meet with the director and CEO of Easter Seals to plea our case. With no luck. After two years it looked like things were cooling down and the course might reopen, then I got a call from the camp someone stole 9 of the basket from the course. I replaced the empty pins with chainz pole so the campers could still play the course and to show good faith.Which bring us to now.The camp has a new director and she has agreed to give us a second chance. She has reviewed the situation and has agreed it wasn’t Badco’s fault. So what were are going to do to show good faith is to hold a tournament. The Thunder Mountain Doubles. We hope by doing so we can show her and the CEO that not all disc golfer are bad people. Thunder Mountain Doubles May 14th and 15th, we hope to get a good turn out. So if you played the course in the past, or heared of the course but never got the chance to play it, if you don’t do anything else for the sport this year PLEASE come out and play in the Thunder Mountain Doubles. It may help to reopening the course. We are trying to get the camp to set up a face book page and take registation to play the course at a $ 5 per person fee, sign a waiver, give your tag plate and drivers license numer. You can co to www.badcodiscgolf.comcast.net to see the many pictures of the course we have posted though out the years.I feel only through your participation will we be able to reopen the course to the general public. I have set up the Thunder Mountain tournament for May 14th and 15th. Check out the CDSA web sitefor registration and more information. I will have regisrations forms so call me at 303-808-6776 or email RonniDRoss@Hotmail.com. WE need your help it may be you last chance to play the best mountan course in the area. So please come out and support the course and help the Rocky Mountain Village of Colorado, who help physically disabled chideren.What a better reason to help? Believe me I know times are tough. Thank you for your support. ***** bless you all. Thank you for supporting the sport of disc golf.
Here is a link to the 2011 Thunder Mountain event page on CDSA Website with PDF mail-in registration form.
Ronnie D. Ross / Thunderchief