Disc golf gains popularity in Saskatoon
While people think about hitting the golf course once spring rolls around, many are flocking to a different type of course in Saskatoon.
Disc golf is gaining major momentum in Saskatoon, according to Steven Fletcher, vice-president disc golf for the Saskatoon Ultimate Disc-Sport Society (SUDS).
"In two and a half hours you'll see over a hundred people. Ranging from a little three year old trying to play, to a couple of 80-year-old gentlemen playing six holes," said Fletcher.
"You walk and see groups of six or seven people at every hole. The city actually came to us requesting to see if there were any other parks that would suit for disc golf."
Right now the only course is in Diefenbaker Park, but the city and the society are planning a second course for the Rosewood neighbourhood in east Saskatoon. It's a new development and Fletcher said the park won't be ready until next fall.
The game is a combination of golf and Frisbee and originated in the United States, where it is extremely popular.
Players try to throw a weighted disc into a chain basket. The game is scored similar to golf, with each hole having a par three.
Some local businesses even have entire sections dedicated to disc golf equipment.
"Once we get the nice weather, like a bet you this weekend, we'll sell a bunch of discs," said Jay Woytowich, manager of Doug's Spoke N' Sport.
"It sort of goes throughout the year even, there's a lot of people that will play throughout the winter," he said, adding competitive players own up to 30 discs.
Both Woytowich and Fletcher said people like that the sport is affordable to play; the discs only cost about $30 and the course is free.
"Anybody who doesn't want to go out and spend $30 to play a round of regular golf can go out and play a round of disc golf and get a par on their first time out," Fletcher said.
Despite the growing popularity, Fletcher
stressed the importance of courses remaining free.
"The city may see at some point an opportunity to make a profit on it, but due to our strong relationship that we have right now, I don't see this coming in the next five or ten years," he said.
SUDS runs both an ultimate disc league and a disc golf league. Fletcher said the latter saw a 25 per cent boost in registration this year.
The society is putting on the Sask Open Tournament in August, which will draw professional players from all over the world.
Follow on Twitter: @BreezyBreMc