The 3 Best Disc Golf Courses in the La Crosse Area by William Nay

With a growth in popularity in the college and adult population, the recreational game Frisbee Golf or Disc Golf has seen a vast increase in courses and participants.  Players throw rubber Frisbees from the concrete tees to the metal pins.  Trees, lakes, rivers, and countless other objects lay in the way, to get the lowest score possible you must play to how your disc’s fly.  Knowing the different ways different discs fly; some may curve early, others curve late, some may try to hook back around, others may just fly relatively straight.  Knowing how your disc flies and how your throw works is key to getting the upper hand on the course par.  Different players have different variations of throws that work well with particular discs, this leads to a bond between the player and the disc and heartbreak if/when the disc is lost.

This article is here to tell you the three best courses in the La Crosse area.  For understanding these courses were measured in the following ways: difficulty (in terms of reaching par), distance from La Crosse, and price of using the course.  There are more than three courses in the area, however.  There are courses in Winona MN, Hokah MN, Onalaska WI, La Crosse WI, Sparta WI, Viroqua WI, and Black River Falls WI.

  1. Pettibone Park (La Crosse, WI)

Originally opened in 1901 Pettibone Park became well known for its beach looking across the Mississippi River at the City of La Crosse.  Pettibone Park is a perfect place in La Crosse for outdoor recreation with open space, volleyball courts, fishing, shelters and its disc golf course.  The park is maintained by the City of La Crosse Parks & Rec Department, making this disc golf course free to play!

The disc golf course was first organized in 2003, later renovated in 2014.  Since the renovation, the difficulty of the course has increased.  The new course winds around the north section of Pettibone Park, through the wooded area, before heading south along the waterfront.  Located right over the bridge from downtown La Crosse, this course is a perfect destination.  This course is an intermediate difficulty, with some difficult throws.  There is the possibility of losing a disc here, as with any course, but it is also a great course to get started on.  The whole course is primarily shot on flat land, through the backwoods and riverfront of the park.

  1. Twin Creeks Disc Golf (Hokah, MN)

Established in 2008, this Disc Golf course includes a mini-golf course, driving range, volleyball courts, and a shelter for parties.  Located 11 miles west of La Crosse in Hokah, Minnesota.  Five dollars will get you all day access to the 18 holes that include, throwing through wooded areas and over water hazards.  However, carpooling with at least 3 people will get free access for the driver.  The small shed between the driving range and the mini-golf course sells disc’s, drinks, and food.

One of the most fun courses in the area, begins by throwing on flat land through the woods and brush.  The course then moves along the first of the two creeks, working its way back to the parking lot before crossing the river on the sixth hole.  The course then crosses the second creek while shooting along it towards the back of the land incorporating higher and lower elevation, before crossing the creek again and winding back to the parking lot.

  1. Justin Trails Resort (Sparta, WI)

Located 8 miles south of Sparta, WI or 37 miles east of La Crosse, WI. This small resort opened its first disc golf course (Classic) in 1997 with 9 baskets, it went on to add another 9 in 2001.  However, they were approached to add another 18 baskets if they maintained the course.  In 2008 the course Big Brother was opened and made Justin Trails the number 1 for this list.  Five dollars is all it takes to disc either or both courses for an entire day!  Situated in a small valley in between a few bluffs, Justin Trails offers the most challenging course around and is voted eighth best in the nation by

This bed and breakfast resort also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for the winter.  When the weather warms up and the snow disappears is when disc golf takes over the resort, hosting multiple tournaments for all skill levels.  Be warned, this is not an easy course, while the main lodge does have a lost and found you may have to wait until next spring to retrieve your disc.  Don’t let this dissuade you, however, this is the most fun course in the area.  Plenty of unique holes, requiring different types of shots.

You won’t regret spending $5 for a round or two.  Big Brother starts by with a thousand-foot drive toward the bluffs then works its way up and around the ridge.  You end the course by shooting down the bluff towards the lodge.  Classic shoots up and along the opposite bluff of Big Brother before making its way down to the valley floor.  You then shoot across the lake before winding your way back to the lodge.

All in all, the La Crosse area has some beautiful disc golf courses.  Our little area makes use of the beautiful bluffs and rivers to make one of a kind disc golf experience.  With many courses to choose from, this list is just a snapshot of the La Crosse Area.  I encourage you to visit the three mentioned courses and all the courses in the area, they are all unique and are good for every level player.  Hope to see you out in the fairway this summer!


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