General · 21st January 2010
How far would $8000 a year go for the community centre do you think? How far would $3000 a year go? Would it purchase new equipment? Help to organize events? Maybe pay for new programs or subsidize existing programs? I think the possibilities are wonderful to think about, and I wish to help make that happen. With Disc Golf.
How you might ask, can disc golf help the community centre in such a way? I have asked the same question and now I wish to share my dreams with you. In Campbell River, at the Willow Point SportsPlex is the Coopers Hawk disc golf course. Eighteen holes of fun loving pleasure that any and all can play. For free.
Should this be the end of the story the entire point would be moot. Last year alone the SportsPlex raised $8000 in sales and rentals of discs for people to use while playing the disc golf course right outside their front door. That's a ten dollar purchase price, or a two dollar rental fee. That means there are a lot of people walking around with discs in their hand, happy as a clam to be outside participating in a sport, that they can both afford and enjoy. Well worth the money in my opinion.
So I guess the next thought that would come to mind is population. Sure Campbell river has a much larger population to draw from than Quadra Island. As a matter of fact, last summer there were roughly two hundred people a day playing the course at the Sportplex. Some of those people I talked with directly, and they all agreed that if Quadra had a Disc Golf course, they would come across and pay it. That promotes tourism year round, and encourages money to be spent in our community.
Some were new players, some were repeats, and some were just walking around watching the game being played. After all, who doesn't like to watch a Frisbee fly? If you have never played the sport, you are missing the main feature. Pleasure. In no way, shape or form do you have to be "athletic" to play disc golf.
Every Sunday I watch people of all shapes and sizes, ages and sex play the exact same sport, each with a smile on their face simply because they were doing it. Sure, some of them really suck, and some are super stars, but they were all doing the exact same thing. Playing. I even ran into a group of Mom's pushing strollers complete with babies, drinking coolers, and flinging discs around laughing their faces off. At eleven in the morning! These ladies were hilarious! So I asked them,
" what's your favourite part of this sport?" and they answered loudly and happily,
"you're looking at it! we can come out here, play some 'golf' while "the husband" is at work and gossip with the girls while get some exercise"
Who can argue with that? It was a wonderful experience, and that is why I love disc golf. Never have I had a bad moment on the disc golf course. Unless it was of my own doing by missing that four foot putt.
That is why I wish to bring disc golf to the community centre. to encourage the use of the outdoors. Encourage personal challenge, and help people realize potentials they never knew they had.
In addition to disc golf players coming from Campbell River to enjoy our course, and community, there are hundreds of player on Vancouver Island, and outer islands alike that are hopelessly addicted to disc golf that would be happy to come and pay a new course. I have spoken with most of them directly during the tournament series that happens annually. The Island Summer Series hosted by Dan Walker of Qualicum Bay. People from Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, Pender Island, Salt Spring Island, Duncan, Cortes Island, Powell River, and Oak Bay travel to compete in the series. Pender Island, a.k.a. "the Pender Bender" is especially popular, followed closely by "Dawg Days" on Cortes Island. People from across the province, Calgary, and even Seattle come to these two events. Next year I have it on good authority that people will be travelling from San Fransisco to play Pender!
Last year 175 people showed up on Pender Island to compete for top marks, have fun and celebrate disc golf. All of these people, would love to come to Quadra Island, spend their money, and play our course.
I would like to bring Quadra Island into the Island Summer Series this coming season, to help promote the sport, and our community. The community centre has everything a fantastic course requires. Infrastructure is in place, and the woods surrounding it will make a great course. There is little that needs to be done, other than installing some tee pads, and baskets, some pruning of branches, and clearing of underbrush. The rest will take care of itself. Unlike a regular golf course, disc golf can be played and enjoyed without harming the environment around it.
Disc Golf is growing, and people are loving it! It is a world wide sport that is drawing huge crowds when some of the best play for pay. Last year the Professional Disc Golf Association paid out just over two million dollars in total purse payouts. Growing roughly 12% annually.
Seven years ago, my wife Colleen and I created a natural object course at Rebecca Spit just inside the yellow gates, in the green areas, and on pathways, we still play every day! As a matter of fact, there are still players at Rebecca Spit creating new holes, and playing whenever possible. Way to go!
In 2004, we were married in kayaks at the end of the spit, and then paddled into the harbour for lunch and a round of disc golf afterwards. It was fantastic! All that attended, had a blast and will never forget it.
If we are to bring a great sport like Disc Golf to Quadra, I am going to need letters of support, volunteers, donations, and land to use. 20-30 acres is prime, and the community centre has that. And more. If you wish to help, if you wish to play, please send me letters of interest. Even if you don't want to play, but think it is a good idea for the community, and community centre, write me a letter stating you want disc golf at the community centre. I will work hard with Sandy to make it happen.
I hope that you will see what the sport has to offer, and will help me bring it to the island.
Island Summer Series
2008 Advanced Mens Champion
2009 Pro Mens 2nd Place winner.
Comment by Sheldon Etheridge on 27th January 2010
Blenkin Memorial Park would be ideal! Great article Geoff! Disc golf is such a great way to get outside!