Located near Cathlamet (Cath-LAM'-met), in Wahkiakum (Wah-KI'-a-kum) County, WA, in the hills near Skamokawa is the site of the first disc golf course in Southwest Washington State. From humble beginnings, but with natural gifts of diverse forests, meadows, and a richly varying topography, the course at Lucky Mud Farm has become a gem for our sport.
Designed by two experienced disc golfers with unique qualifications, the course has been called, "the best in the state," by Cliff Towne, editor of the PDGA Course Directory. A collaboration of Lowell Shields, and Adam Fletcher, gave this course its beginnings six years ago.
Adam grew up playing on this land and I've known him all his life. Now the Club Mud Course Keeper, I often had the young Adam and his brother in my care every Friday and Saturday night while his parents earned their living playing music. I own a portion of the acreage on which the course is placed. When the course began, I removed the barbed wire fences from our subsistence farming days.
Adam, always athletic, took a job at a local park and later gained a degree in recreation. He settled north to work in his field in Bothel, WA. Terrace Creek became his home course where he met Lowell Shields, nine-times Washington State Champion, arborist, and course designer. Adam invited Lowell here to show him what Adam knew was potentially perfection for locating a course.
Though my disc golf experience was from the firsbees and telephone poles days, I didn't hesitate when asked if the course could occupy part of my land. I got a mower for my tractor and fairways began to be carved out of the long fallow pastures. The dirt tee pads, tire baskets, and lots of weeds to hide discs were what was to improve every year. At any given point in the process, it's seemed like slow progress, but just six years in, the results have been to me, astounding. Adam and (on edit) his wife, Sara, have worked out fairways through the mature second growth of fir, cedar, spruce, hemlock, alder, understory shrubs, and ferns. The touch has been light and the result is a forest terrain that is welcoming to human and elk, alike. Only four trees have ever been cut to open fairways.
The grounds are populated with dozens of does and fawns in the daytime and a herd of elk at night. For this reason, the entire area is posted "no hunting" and the course has been designated as a "wildlife sanctuary" and "dog free." Sorry, leave Fido at home or expect to leave him in your car.
The somewhat remoteness of our course makes crowding non-existent. The great B&B, The Inn at Lucky Mud, (www.luckymud.com
) makes the golfing getaway the way to go. But even if all you can do is the day trip, the golfing is top flight. If I'm available (and I usually am), I'm happy to guide (if'n I can huk too). I do this service for the golf and the attaboys. The best course in the state will keep getting better so long as I can still keep after it (good Lord willin' and the tractor don't break).
Adam's parents, the innkeepers, prefer anyone coming here to call first and let them know you're coming (360-795-8770). The golfing is free, but if you want to help us in providing this course, there is a tip jar to buy diesel fuel and baskets. We are at 23 holes, hoping for 27.