This Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, Kingstonians of all ages will have a chance to try out the sport of disc golf at a special “Learn-A-Ment” event at Grass Creek Park, organized by the Limestone City Disc Golf Club. According to club member Jamie Corbett, disc golf has quickly become a popular activity throughout eastern Ontario.
“There are quite a number of courses in the local area, [like in] Brockville [and] Belleville. There’s one in Enterprise called Stone’s Throw [and], one up Highway 15 called The Styx. There’s [also] one on the grounds of RMC,” says Corbett.
Despite a number of courses throughout the region, the City of Kingston currently lacks a permanent and public facility dedicated to disc golf, something Corbett is seeking to change through events like Saturday’s showcase. “Everybody in our group is quite keen to get more people involved in the sport, so we came up with this idea. It might seem like an odd time of year, but we play all year round. And in fact, it looks like Saturday is going to be an okay day.”
The hope is that Saturday’s event further highlights the popularity of disc golf in Kingston, which could eventually push the City to construct a permanent course at one of its local parks. “I think the City has been pretty good; they recognize that there are courses in the area. There have been tournaments in the area. There’s a lot of interest as the game keeps growing.”
For those who are unfamiliar with disc golf, the sport has quite a few similarities to regular golf. However, instead of hitting balls into holes using clubs, disc golf participants throw round discs at elevated baskets. The sport is typically played on courses with nine or 18 baskets, with participants seeking to land their disc inside each target in as few throws as possible.
While disc golf was first invented in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until the Frisbee craze of the 1970s that the sport became a mainstream recreational activity, as courses began to open up throughout North America. Unlike traditional golf, disc golf is often seen as an accessible family sport, with many courses located at parks and other public spaces.
Despite the fact it used to be known as “Frisbee golf,” the sport has since evolved from a traditional plastic Frisbee as its main object, to a polypropylene disc specifically manufactured for disc golf.
Since its inception, disc golf has been a popular activity for people of all ages and athletic abilities. As Corbett notes, it has even become a professional sport in some parts of the world. “The people at the top of the game are now making serious money. They sign endorsement deals worth millions of dollars… The prize money for big tournaments is quite significant.”
In terms of its popularity as a recreational activity, Corbett says the local disc golf community grew significantly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic “because it was a way of getting outside. It’s a good sport for social distancing. It became increasingly popular over the course of the pandemic.”
This Saturday’s “Learn-A-Ment” will take place at a temporary course set up at Grass Creek Park, located at 2991 Highway 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Experienced disc golfers will be on hand to provide some tips for those trying the sport for the first time. The event is free of charge and will feature a raffle and other prizes.