Colfax is home to an often overlooked resource, and one that draws in visitors from local areas as well as all around the state. Colfax’s Lewis Club Park disc golf course is commonly heralded as one of the most dynamic and challenging courses in the state.
Disc golf is a flying disc game in which individuals throw a flying disc at a metal basket that is equipped with chains to stop the disc. According to the Professional Disc Golf Association “the objective of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.”
The sport, which has similar course layouts, scoring structure and concept as its sister sport which it is named, has seen increased interest over the last decade. While it was first invented in 1959, the sport reached its modern form in the 70’s and has only seen widespread acceptance beginning around 2000, since which the number of registered players has more than doubled.
Colfax’s disc golf course was built as a nine-hole course in 1998 with funding from the Kiwanis Club, the city and other community organizations. Over the next several years it was expanded into a full 18-hole course, and one that would become known as one of the most challenging in the state.
“We come out here because of the challenge. This course really gets our blood going and then we’ll go play Newton or another course afterwards,” said Kaleb Sharp, a Dallas Center resident who travels to Colfax to play regularly. “The course feels like it is designed for a left-handed person with the way the holes bend and curve … most courses are the opposite, so you have to adjust.”
The course weaves over several acres of public land, letting players hike more than two miles of trails with constant elevation changes as they play the course. The fairways are often slimmer on the Colfax course than a disc golf player is used to. While some courses will have wide expanses of short-cropped grass, the Lewis Club Park course boasts many holes with a path no wider than 15 feet to the chagrin of many players.
“I love it out here, so we try to come back fairly often,” Chris Schurb of Dallas Center said. “My biggest complaint is that the lanes could be up kept a little better than they are. One used to go straight through the woods, and now it weaves back and forth a little from where they changed the path they mowed through here.”
While the course draws a lot of outside attention, including regular visits from the Des Moines Disc Golf League, it is also a great resource for local recreation.
Many players who live in Colfax or Jasper County like to visit several times a week, often mixing it up with the disc golf course in Newton.
“It’s an awesome course. I find a lot of discs out here that people have lost, it’s right here in town, and it’s better than most of the courses you’ll see in small towns around Iowa,” said Anthony Houle, Colfax resident. “All of the small towns have these dinky little nine-hole courses that are flat and boring. This is really challenging compared to that.”