On Sept. 9 and 10, 65-ish disc golfers of all levels descend (ascend?) upon the Ski Santa Fe disc golf course for the second annual Ski Bueno Classic disc golf tournament, and tournament director Marcos Castillo can hardly wait. A 10-year vet of the sport and longtime tourney organizer, Castillo plays at the pro level and is constantly bringing together new players of all ages, creeds and skill levels through his company, Elite Brothers Disc Golf (elitebrothersdiscgolf.com, where you can also register for events across the state). And though the Ski Santa Fe course is usually open to the public, this one's a closed event, kids—but if you keep an eye out for next year, you'll be slingin' disc (a term we just invented) before you know it.
So, what's the allure of disc golf?
There are many different types of allure. One, it's afforable to play; two, it's relatively easy to learn; and three, there are courses almost everywhere. Most are free to play, and the general camaraderie of the community is great. There are many types of people who play.
Why do so many skiing locations have courses?
They're perfect for disc golf. They have all the different types of terrain and challenges we like, like up and downhill, through the trees. They have a lot of infrastructure already, and ski areas are looking for ways to get people on the mountain during the summer. Almost every ski area in the state has a permanent course.
Why do you guys hate the word 'Frisbee' so much?
The best comparison I've heard is that if you go up to someone who's very into table tennis and call it ping-pong. ... The way disc golf is growing, we're trying to legitimize our sport. There are professionals who play. The negative connotation of the sport is the stoner hippie hanging around flinging a Frisbee; that's not us.