Calaveras Disc Golf Takes off

Calaveras Disc Golf: Six Beautiful Courses

Golf enthusiasts of another kind have a reason to flock to Calaveras County now.  Disc golf courses—or Frisbee golf as some know it—are popping up all over the county, giving outdoor enthusiasts yet another reason to come to the area for an extended stay.

Disc golf in Calaveras | Josh Bridges
New Hogan disc golf | Josh Bridges

For those not in the know, disc golf is just like traditional golf with birdies, pars and bogeys, minus the clubs, carts and special shoes.  And instead of hitting golf balls, you throw specialized Frisbees or “discs” toward a designated target in as few throws as possible.  Disc golf courses, which tend to be in beautiful outdoor spaces and parks, even follow the standard 9-hole or 18-hole configuration. That’s the gist, but there’s plenty more to know about the game.  For a full explanation, including rules, check out the Professional Disc Golf Association site.

Calaveras disc golf
Feeney Park disc golf in spring

Calaveras Disc Golf: So, you want to play?

Perfect for groups of friends, families and even couples, disc golf is a fun and affordable way to explore the area’s parks and natural spaces.  Like traditional golf, you may be on the course for a good chunk of the day. Pack a cooler and be prepared with snacks and plenty of beverages…errr, water.

Need discs before you go?  Sierra Nevada Adventure Company (SNAC) in Murphys and Arnold sells a variety of options.  A small upfront investment for a few discs is all it takes to have a free outdoor activity option not only on Calaveras County’s five great courses, but in other great locales all over the country. You can get details on the disc golf tournaments available in the county from their website.

Calaveras disc golf - White Pines
White Pines disc golf

Calaveras Disc Golf: The Low Down on the Courses

  • New Hogan Reservoir in Valley Springs:  Offers two 18-hole courses with rolling hills, gorgeous oaks, challenging holes and great views of the reservoir.  Day use fee $4.  Overnight camping also available. Best time to play:  Year-round, October thru May if you prefer cooler weather.  Getting thereHeading east on Highway 12, turn right at CA-26W. Continue onto Hogan Dam Road.  Turn left onto New Hogan Parkway. Continue into Fiddleneck Day Use Area.
  • Feeney Park in Murphys:  Tree-studded 18-hole course close to downtown Murphys’ restaurants, shops and over 20+ wineries.  Best time to play:  Year-round.  Getting there: Heading east on CA-4, turn right onto Pennsylvania Gulch Road.  Feeney Park is immediately on the right behind Michelson Elementary School.  Course maps available at SNAC on Main Street Murphys.
  • White Pines near Arnold:  New 9-hole course dotted with pine trees and conveniently located next to White Pines Lake and the Arnold Rim Trail for added recreational opportunities.  Best time to play:  March thru November (year-round depending on snowfall). Getting there:  Heading east on CA-4, turn left onto Blagen Road in Arnold.  Follow Blagen Road to White Pines Lake.  Course begins at far end of the lake.
  • Rick’s Revenge in Bear Valley:  Scenic and wooded 18-holer situated at over 7,000 feet.  Best time to play: June thru October (depending on snowfall).  Getting there: Heading east on CA-4, turn left on to Bear Valley Road.  Course maps available at Bear Valley Adventure Company (first building on left).
  • Plug Ugly in San Andreas:  Calaveras County’s newest 18-hole course at Alex Quinones Community Park in San Andreas opened in 2016.  The course, which overlooks ball fields, was developed by the San Andreas Recreation and Park District, and features tone poles decorated by local artists.  Getting there:  Heading north on Highway 49, turn right onto Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas. In about a mile, turn right on Park Road at the Plug Ugly sign.
Calaveras Disc Golf | Jill Seale
Plug Ugly disc golf course | Jil Seale