Disc Golf History

While Tiger Woods was winning his first Masters in 1997, construction was starting for a different type of golf at Sipapu Resort. This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the world-class disc golf course at Sipapu. Even with its rise in popularity through the years, not much has changed in the world of disk golf. There seems to be something so satisfying about the “Ka-chink” a disk makes when it lands in the basket that keeps people coming back. Disc golf is a fun social event where friends can have a beer and compete against each other. It’s also great for families looking to get outside and spend quality time together.

disc golf Denny hole 10

When the Sipapu disc golf first opened on June 1st of 1997, the course was a bit different. The original course only had 18 holes with a Pro and a Recreational tee pad at every hole, with the 19th basket as a practice target. After a couple years Bill and Sue added a 20th hole and advanced tee pads to create the course we know and love. The original 18 basket course gave Sipapu its world-renowned reputation, so Bill and Sue aim to keep it as similar as possible to the original. The course features several river crossings, elevation changes, and exquisite fairways you won’t find anywhere else. 

disc golf original practice basket at bottom


Lifelong disc tossers, Denny Borski and Sipapus’ own Bruce Bolander coordinated the installation of the disc golf course 20 years ago. They hired Chris Meyer, a local DGA (Disc Golf Association) member, to design the original course. But why so much effort? They all had a passion for disc golf and believed in the future rise in popularity of this relatively new activity.

Sipapu was the first alpine ski area disc golf course in New Mexico and hosts tournaments and events from May to September. The first New Mexico State Doubles tournament was hosted at Sipapu in October of 1997, even with four inches of snow on the ground. Although the first tournament was a snowy success, the event was eventually moved to September. The New Mexico State Doubles are the longest continuously run disc golf tournament in the state. The tournament has recently seen record participation with over 50 teams this year!

The impressive course record is -11 for singles and -15 for doubles. This is based on the 20 hole course with a par of 60. But don’t expect to beat these record—just like in golf, the round can start off great, but after a few doglegged shots, your score can quickly go from par to a triple bogey.

disc golf 1st Ace Bill Leslie

Bill Leslie after the first hole-in-one.

Sipapu is considered one of the premier courses in the US and one that many people have on their bucket list. The baskets will be up

nature hole and most people’s favorite target is the 18th. It is a downhill tee off that features gorgeous views of the lodge. It’s even fun for noodle-armed players because it’s wide open and they can still launch their disc far down the hill. As players chase their discs down the trail, they walk through beautiful fields of wildflowers full of Wild Iris, Penstemon, Columbine, Indian Paintbrush, Daisies and Oregon Grape. Some tournaments at Sipapu even feature a “longest drive” competition from the 18th tee to the lodge, a distance of over 1000ft.

May through September while the snow is off the ground. Families staying at Sipapu can try out their hands at disc golfing by renting equipment from the main lodge or bringing their own to play for free.