After decades of being bounced from paying to play on private courses, sneaking in and out of guerrilla courses, and working hard to create pop-up courses, Greater Victoria disc golf players have a public course of their own.
Saanich Parks has agreed to a one-year pilot project for a semi-permanent, free-to-play nine hole disc golf course at Layritz Park. If successful, the project would be extended for the foreseeable future. And it’s already popular.
Something new at Layritz: the 9-hole disc golf course is a one year pilot. It’s basically a secret and it’s already drawing dozens at 5pm each day pic.twitter.com/FuNzLHopQG
— Saanich News (@saanichnews) October 11, 2018
The free course is already up and running. It’s had as many as 30 people on some nights just through word of mouth. The targets are tonal poles and the course makes use of the natural landscape of Layritz where it meets VIATEC Park. The start is situated next to the VIATEC Park entrance.
Getting the course has been a long time coming for members of the South Island Disc Golf Society, who designed it with Saanich funding it.
On Sunday (Oct. 14) SIDGS and Saanich will hold a grand opening from 2 to 4 p.m.
“Our ultimate goal as a non-profit that started 5.5 years ago was to get to where we are today with a fully sanctioned, free-to-play public disc golf course,” said Dan MacDonald, president of SIDGS. “We are very excited about this and very hopeful that this will be a long-term course. We are grateful to Saanich.”
Saanich also installed a single disc golf target at McMinn Park this summer with nine cement pads.
“The McMinn Park target is the equivalent to putting practice,” said Jason Jones from Saanich Parks, who partnered with SIDGS to create the Layritz course. “It’s a way to introduce disc golf to people.”
Disc golf has been on Saanich’s radar since it published its comprehensive youth development strategy for 2016 to 2020.
“Youth kept asking for more non-traditional sports such as disc golf,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see other municipalities create one now that Saanich has one.”
Saanich is even installing a playbox at Layritz (sometime soon) specifically to stock with discs for the course. Users just have to phone a rec centre and register their email to get the code for the playbox. There are also discs in the playbox at McMinn.
Prior to the Layritz disc course SIDGS had already partnered with Saanich Parks to hold pop-up disc golf introductions at Lambrick, Hyacinth and Layritz Parks, using a set of portable disc golf targets that Saanich bought. SIDGS also had a pay-to-play disc golf course on the edge of Prospect Lake Golf Course and forest area that ran for years but moved to Metchosin Golf and Country Club when Prospect Lake shut down.