The Course

Scenic shot of hole 18

"[Bengal Ridge] in Pocatello has to be seen to be believed. It is without a doubt one of the most unusual, different, unique, and wild courses in the world...This course is very cool. This is one of those stops you have to make if you think you've seen it all in disc golf."

     -Scott Stokely

Bengal Ridge, the Idaho State University disc golf course, is a fun, rugged, challenging course in the desert foothills of Pocatello, Idaho. With sagebrush, junipers, and seasonal wildflowers, it provides a scenic and enjoyable departure from the "grassy park" norm, and is a great course for beginners, advanced players, and experts. Get off the grass and head for the hills!

The course has no OBs (out-of-bounds areas), and no mandatories. It is located at 2450 East Terry Street (also called Buckskin Road), in Pocatello Idaho.


Select a hole on the map to see details
or use the text links below the map.

A = Advanced Tee
B = Beginner Tee

course map -- click a hole for details
Detailed Description With Photos
Front Nine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Back Nine 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

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Distances are listed in feet.
Expert players use advanced tees.

B Tees 4351 ft.
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Distance 274 245 229 271 265 169 222 252 325 179 137 286 260 245 288 235 282 321
Elevation +14 +35 -14 +29 +36 -19 -4 -47 -21 +45 +12 +13 +28 +39 -30 -6 -32 -33
Par 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 5 3 5
A Tees 6106 ft.
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Distance 274 399 406 395 422 276 330 413 403 304 274 286 260 245 392 461 282 574
Elevation +14 +24 -34 +27 +76 -36 -17 -77 -21 +59 +45 +13 +28 +39 -42 -57 -32 -44
Par 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 4


Doug Smith and John Lee met at ISU in the fall of 1997. Both had moved to town from areas where disc golf courses were relatively common: Doug from the Cincinnati Ohio area and John from Augusta, Georgia. Doug had played disc golf since the late '70's (although not very well, he feels compelled to add), while John, a relative newbie, had been playing only since '94. Their first game together was flinging discs around the ISU Quadrangle at object targets, while trying to avoid hitting any of the course obstacles (other students sitting around). While the Quad was convenient (John was able to push a baby stroller the entire way), both agreed something was missing. Chains. Pure and simple, the sweet sound of chains was but a dim memory from back east. They became men with a mission.

The major breakthrough occurred during the winter of '97 when Doug contacted the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) about their Matching Basket Program. Mark Ellis (PDGA competition director and administrator of the matching basket program) informed Doug that the PDGA would buy 9 baskets if the university were willing to buy 9 baskets and maintain them on University property. With this information in hand, Doug approached the University looking for space and funding for the course.

The prospects for a location did not seem ideal, as the only options on campus seemed to be heavily used by other students. The Director of Campus Recreation, Doug Milder, expressed enthusiasm for the project and referred the two would-be course designers to Scott Campbell, the Assistant Director of Landscape and Design for ISU. As it just so happened, ISU had recently purchased 96 acres about 1 mile east of the main campus that the University wanted to develop into a recreation area. Having many hills, ridges, and gullies covered almost entirely in sagebrush and juniper, the land posed a bit of a dilemma for recreation, as there were no flat areas large enough for the traditional baseball or soccer fields. The proposal for a disc golf course could not have come at a better time, as it presented a possibility for developing the land for recreation without major landscaping. Doug and John loaded up a few bags of discs and headed out to the area to see what potential the land held for interesting holes. After several hours and a couple of misplaced discs, their unanimous response was an unqualified "Oh, yes!"

The next step was to find funding for the University's half of the baskets. Campus Recreation agreed to fund just over half of ISU's share of the baskets, if ASISU (the ISU student association) could fund the rest. ASISU President Mike Willits and Vice President Missy McElprang supported the project and were successful in getting the remaining funds approved. So, with funding in hand, land waiting for a course, Doug and John headed for the hills to lay out the holes.

With flags as tees and 5-gallon buckets on posts as holes, a rough course started to emerge. Many hours were spent tossing discs, discussing the relative merits of a par 5 uphill vs. a par 3 downhill, and picking weeds out of socks. At one point, Doug was out test-playing some holes when an odd thing happened. He drove on a hole that made a dogleg right, and as soon as his disc went around the corner, a different disc came whizzing back at him! As it turns out, Randy Nordquist, whose house is on the edge of the property, had set up an object course there with his sons! He was delighted that the University was putting an 18-hole disc golf course with baskets in his back yard, and soon became a very enthusiastic participant in the planning and construction.

At long last, the course was laid out and the time to order the baskets was at hand. They decided to purchase Innova DISCatchers because of their low price and high visibility. After a call to Tim Selinski at Innova, a lesson on University ordering policies, and more calls to Mark Ellis, the baskets were delivered one magical day near the end of July! Doug and John, along with Randy and his son Chad, spent several weary days trudging up and down hills, with baskets and bags of concrete on their shoulders. By early August, ISU had a real disc golf course!

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