Sports

Disc golf is catching on all over Vancouver Island

Steve Buck takes aim at the basket at the Mount Washington disc golf course. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
Steve Buck takes aim at the basket at the Mount Washington disc golf course.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Disc golf players can enjoy one of the most scenic settings in the Comox Valley owned by David and Lynda Dutcyvich of 3L Developments Inc. The course is situated on 460 acres behind the red gate on Duncan Bay Main, as you turn left off of Forbidden Plateau Road. It's known as Fir Meadows by the players and Riverwood by businessmen.

The late Craig Dieno and Blake Walton approached David eight years ago looking for a space big enough to play after Kin Beach became too busy with folks enjoying the beach front. Thanks to the Town of Comox, a 9-basket course across the street from the Rec Centre on Noel Avenue, filled the void.

After Craig, Blake, Stuart Lister, Geoff McNamara, Colleen McDougall, and a few others laid out the original course at Fir Meadows, it was reworked, and perfected, and expanded to 23 fairways. Now with a total of 27 in the making, Fir Meadows is on its way to being a flagship course in the Comox Valley.

Who can remember on which fairway that amazing ace happened? At Fir Meadows the fairways are named for their character and more often than not, the names fit beautifully. You’ll have to come out to see what we’re talking about.

The course is built and maintained by Comox Valley Disc Golf Club volunteers. With 3L Developments Inc. as the number one sponsor, Fir Meadows offers a piece of disc golf paradise in the Comox Valley. The other contributors are the mountain views, all species of native trees and some exotics from back when the logging companies planted orchards. You’ll see a plethora of wildlife…robins, rabbits, owls, flickers, hawks, deer, occasional black bear and dog walkers. (Don’t worry, the black bear is more scared of you than you should be of him).

Disc golf addicts know that “disc” is the fastest growing sport in North America and is every bit as challenging as ball golf. And ball players might argue that it can’t be that hard to throw a piece of plastic any direction you aim. Ha! Try it!

Did you know that as of 2015 Canada has a professional Ultimate Frisbee team playing internationally and is a demonstration game at the Olympics with disc golf nominated to be next?

Like ball golf, disc golf starts from a level pad and the idea is to throw the disc towards the basket, or target, sometimes more than 100 metres away at the other end of the fairway. Par 3 is typical. Red, blue and occasionally white pad locations mix up the course and give players with the need for speed a chance to really let the disc fly. In case you think you have to be a big tough guy to play, petite Paige Pierce, the US women's champion, stands 5'5" and can throw a disc more than 400 feet!

Officially the target is a chain link basket 48cm tall and 56cm in diameter. If a course can’t afford baskets, tonals made from a stove pipe or empty propane tanks mounted on a post work well. When a basket is hit from the tee, disc golf players call them aces. Eagles, birdies and bogies (just like the other guys with the Ping shirts) carts and Big Berthas, are common and familiar terms.

Another feature of disc golf is that there are no tee-times to book, nor green fees to pay. Having said that, volunteer membership to CVDiscGolf Club, is $20 which goes toward hosting tournaments, course maintenance and currently to maintain and build more courses. Donations at Cvdiscgolf.com are greatly appreciated!

Surf some of the many websites online for advice on how to drive, putt and select a disc. The cost of a driver, midrange and putter set is around $45, or less at the Blue Toque on 5th Street or Happy’s Source for Sports on 6th Street in Courtenay.

If you are looking for a specific disc from the major manufacturers you can contact CVDiscGolf members like Dan Walker to satisfy your craving. Yes, that’s what it is, an addiction for a walk and definitely chuckles with friends, family and rivals. CVDiscGolf would like you and your family to join us.

Another special thanks to David Dutcyvich for the use of the land, the crew at 3L Developments Inc, Laurie and Anne Niel,   for donating a tractor to pull our homebuilt grass mowers “Dino” and “Chewy” around to keep the fairways groomed. Rick Weippert got the tractor running before the property's caretaker Mike Barrett handed over the keys. Now we have Ian McQuade’s truck and our own tractor to pull the mowers. If only we could find a little plow to level a few of the fairways.…

We'd also like to thank sponsors like Adam Amlami at Sure Copy on Cliffe Avenue for printing our tee signs and course map, the men at Cumberland Cement for the concrete pads, Courtenay Car, SunWest RV, Jeremy's Scrape Metal, the ReStore for the expired propane tanks, and the generous people in the Valley for lawnmower engines to keep Fir Meadows looking great.

The Comox Valley Disc Golf Club is currently building an 18-hole course in Cumberland, in the Coal Creek Historical Park, and built a nine-basket course last summer on Mount Washington. Also in the Valley Dan Walker, Mike Bouilanne, and Wanda Barker put together an 18-tonal course called the Coal Shoots situated on the right side on the Comox Logging Road toward the Rod and Gun Club.

In case you’re leaving the Valley and looking for a change of venue, Campbell River, in character for public access to dozens of parks, bike trails, beach fires, boulevard walks, has an 18-hole basket course placed along side the skate park, ball fields, bocce ball, and other facilities inside the SportPlex property.

In Nanaimo you will find Bowen Park, a huge manicured 18-basket course with volleyball courts, swimming, picnicking and everything else you could hope for from a community park right downtown for all to enjoy. On the way to Nanaimo, Hans and Christine Stussi have set up a course at Qualicum Bay Resort. Park your car and go play.

There are no fees at any of these parks. If you are interested in playing disc golf, the Comox Valley Disc Golf Club hosts clinics on a semi-regular basis.  Join our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cvdiscgolf/), and stay up to date on what is happening in the local disc golf scene.  Happy hucking!

 

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