CV Disc Golf Club volunteers at work. Photo supplied

Vancouver Islanders giving disc golf a spin

Popularity of recreational sport growing in the Comox Valley

Disc golf provides an inexpensive means of playing a game while enjoying some time outside. It’s played like golf, but instead of hitting a ball into a hole, players throw a streamlined disc into a metal basket.

Each municipality in the Comox Valley contains a disc golf course. They are located at Coal Creek in Cumberland, Village Park in Comox and in the trails near Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay. There is no charge to play.

“We’ve seen a pretty big uptick in user-ship of all of our courses — unexpectedly,” said Jamie Branch, treasurer/past-president of the Comox Valley Disc Golf Club. “We thought we were going to have a slow year at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s actually been kind of a boon for us. It’s a recreational activity that’s been accessible for replacing some of the things where people are in closer contact.”

The CVDGC has about 80 paid members, though the number of recreational players is much larger.

“The growth of our club has been tremendous,” Branch said, noting $20 club membership fees contribute to fundraising efforts to maintain courses.

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The Lake Trail course is a result of a co-operative effort between club members, a couple of Lake Trail teachers and Campbell River resident Dan Walker, who manufactures basket targets. It was installed last year with 12 holes. There will be some altering to the course to re-route traffic from the creek. Last year, the club held an after-school program for Lake Trail students.

The Comox course contains an additional nine tee pads, and new signage.

“That course is in great shape,” Branch said.

Tee pads have also been installed at the Cumberland course. Surveys among users and the Village indicate interest to complete the Coal Creek course with another nine baskets.

“The Village of Cumberland provides $2,000 a year for maintenance and upgrades to that course,” Branch said.

Before COVID-19 hit, the club had run a yearly tournament. Last year, it raised about $2,000 at an event at The Park Golf Course in Comox. The money will help purchase portable baskets.

Branch notes a core group of about 20 club members who put in the time required to maintain and improve courses.

A long-term goal is to build a full-scale disc golf course, which requires at least an acre per hole.

“We’re looking at places where we can have at least 20 acres to make a course.”

The club had made headway on a potential project with the regional district, but plans fell apart due to issues with land use.

Due to a lack of Crown land, the club has turned its attention to private landowners who might be interested in having a course on their property.

“We’re certainly not opposed to building a pay-to-play course that is well maintained and has all the amenities,” Branch said.

For club information, visit the club website, its Facebook page or send an email to president@cvdiscgolf.com.

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Disc golf tee pad. Photo supplied

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