Disc golf pros help with $10K improvement to Grass Valley’s Condon Park course
At age 15, while most of the world had still not heard of disc golf, Gregg Barsby had already committed himself to becoming a professional.
At that time Barsby was still learning and falling in love with the game at the Condon Park disc golf course in Grass Valley, but now after 17 years on the Professional Disc Golf Association circuit, he’s hoping $10,000 in improvements slated for the course will provide young, local talent with the same challenge that made him the 2018 PDGA World Champion.
Nevada County has already developed a history of excellence in the young sport, featuring well-used courses in Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Nevada City and Truckee. The county is home to nearly 300 registered players and many legends of the sports, including Barsby, Hall of Famers Johnny and Geoff Lissaman, and 19-time Nor Cal player of the year Michael Travers, who designed the course at Condon Park.
Last month, the Grass Valley City Council approved fundng for a course redesign that would add nine holes to the 18-hole course and clear up brush that will create fairways that double as fire breaks. Travers will be part of the redesign team and said he wants to revisit his original 27-hole plan for the park from more than 25 years ago, though the exact direction is still up in the air.
“We originally wanted 27 holes but we were kind of just asking for as much as we could and were happy with the 18 we got,” Travers said, “Once the brush is cleared we’ll have a better idea of the layout of the land and how we want to design the course.”
AT HOME ON COURSE
Barsby said he credits his many hours at Condon Park practicing on Travers’ course with his development into a professional player.
“It’s a great course to really learn and earn your chops as far as technical abilities are concerned,” Barsby said. “That’s something I always look for and Grass Valley is a great catalyst to players getting more talented or being able to improve their skills.”
According to Barsby, once he reached the professional level he realized the course, with the difficult and varied throws it demands, helped him succeed on tour abroad as well.
“It prepared me for being not too intimidated when I go to other places, as far as shot-making and different routes. Condon Park is really good at experimenting with how to throw,” Barsby said. “For technical proficiencies I hold it in high regard because you need to learn a lot of shots out there to attack that course. Shot selection and having a deep repertoire of shots is Condon’s bread and butter.”
GROWING WITH THE GAME
According to Gold Country Disc Golf Association treasurer Mike Woodman, the upgrades will allow the club to hold more tournaments, accommodate more people in each tournament, and carry on the tradition of strong disc golf talent in Grass Valley.
“The course is really well-frequented,” Woodman said. “All different levels of players come and they take care of the park as well. All the activity makes it very family friendly and keeps out any unwanted characters.”
Barsby said he still practices at the course that developed his game when he gets a chance and even brushed up on the park’s challenges this month after the improvements were announced.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys have up their sleeves,” Barsby said. “Growing up at Condon Park I learned early how to maneuver the disc around. That’s where my roots are, that’s where it all began.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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