Disc Golf is a summer ace for Okemo

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LUDLOW -- The Maples at Okemo Disc Golf Course hosted the Okemo Ace Race, sponsored by Discraft, on Aug. 14. Fourteen flying disc aficionados competed. Contestants played 36 holes of disc golf, with one shot per hole from special tees ranging from 10 feet to the chains to a distance of more than 130 feet. Aces, or holes-in-one were the only scoring shots. Contestants used special Discraft Ace Race prototype discs and played for a grand prize of a disc golf bag filled with premium Discraft discs.

The first Ace of the day came on Hole 9 during the first round, with the most aces, 17, occurring in the fourth and final round, making the end of the Ace Race very exciting. After more than two hours of play, the 2010 winner with six aces was Ryan Bartlett, of Castleton. Dan Webb, of Killington, and Orin Sheldon, of Chittenden, both finished with five aces to round out the podium.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, disc golf is typically played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc. The sport was formalized in the 1970s, and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest number of strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, the fewest number of throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target "hole."

The Maples at Okemo Disc Golf Course offers play uniquely inspired by Vermont’s maple sugaring traditions. The tee boxes for each target include an interpretive tour of sugaring history and the process for making maple syrup. The natural wood of the target posts pays homage to Vermont’s state tree, the sugar maple. Authentic galvanized metal sap buckets atop the posts bear the number of each hole, and metal tubs topped with chain roofs serve as the destination baskets for final throws.

The longest hole, No. 7, at The Maples at Okemo Disc Golf Course is 451-feet long. The shortest hole, No. 6, measures 132 feet. No. 8 is the course’s signature hole, and requires players to throw across a brook through a narrow opening in the trees or to lay-up on a bridge before making a final approach shot. The course was designed by Adam Ford and built by Okemo staff.

Players should check in at the Jackson Gore Spring House, where they will receive a score card with a course map and some basic guidelines for play. Discs are available for rent and for purchase at the Spring House also.

For more information about The Maples at Okemo Disc Golf Course or other events and activities Okemo has to offer in summer, call (802) 228-1600 or visit okemo.com.

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