Vancouver disc golf players hope pop-up event turns into more support for new courses

On Saturday, one of Vancouver’s pitch and putt golf courses replaced golf balls with frisbees to showcase a sport that advocates say is growing in popularity – especially during the pandemic – and needs more space in the city.

The Van City United Disc Golf Club has partnered with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation to create a temporary disc golf course at Rupert Park Pitch and Putt.

Club member Gagan Singh said the 192 Saturday tee times available at the course for $20 per player were booked in less than 10 minutes after online reservations went live.

“There’s a huge demand,” he said of the sport in which players aim and throw discs at steel poles or baskets.

The goal of the sport is to hit a post or land the disc in the basket with the fewest throws possible, much like golf.

The sport is known for its low barriers such as reasonable cost and easy to learn skill level.

“It’s a sport you can play for free. It’s actually very inexpensive,” Singh said. “It’s a sport that people can play together in the sense that you can play with your kids.”

A backpack full of discs for disc golf. While some players like having multiple discs to play, the sport only requires one, which supporters say helps make the sport accessible. (Radio-Canada News)

At the Rupert Pitch and Putt course on Saturday, many players said they were drawn to the sport at the start of the pandemic because it was a low-stress activity that allowed them to safely gather with others. other people outside.

“It’s a lifelong addiction,” said Chris Robson, who has been playing for 22 years.

WATCH | Disc golfers invade Vancouver’s pitch and putt to showcase the sport:

Vancouver disc golf advocates host pop-up event to showcase the sport

Vancouver disc golf players want the city to add more courses to meet demand 2:17

Vancouver has three free public disc golf courses: Jericho Hill on the grounds of the Jericho Hill Community Center, Little Mountain in Queen Elizabeth Park and Quilchena on Magnolia Street.

Disc golf supporters like Singh and Robson say development plans threaten the future of the Jericho Hill and Quilchena course is outdated because the course is located along the park trail, which can create dangerous conditions for walkers , cyclists and other people using the park.

“Over the last year and a half, it’s exploded,” Robson said of the growing popularity of disc golf in Vancouver. “We need more resources, we need more space.”

He hopes the pop-up event will convince the Park Board to invest in updating the courses it has around the city and even adding more to meet demand.

Several members of the Régie des parcs staff participated in the Rupert pop-up event, as well as some commissioners such as Dave Demers.

“It’s a great sport, it’s super accessible,” he said. “It’s like a walk in the park with a purpose. It’s a lot of fun.”

Demers said the Park Board is looking to host more pop-up events in different areas of the city in the future.

“There is obviously a high demand,” he said.

What about private lessons?

Singh says he also hopes private lessons could eventually emerge in the city. This could provide the conveniences that some players are looking for and ease the burden of public courses.

“There’s an appetite for paid classes. You have access to a bit more privacy, you have access to food, concessions and restrooms.”

Michael C. Ford