NEW DISC GOLF COURSE OPEN IN WIND­SOR

Disc golf grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity in Hants County thanks to new course in Wind­sor

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UN­DER­HILL WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA Ca­role.Mor­ris-Un­der­hill@hantsjournal.ca

A new golf course has opened in Wind­sor, but it’s not for folks tot­ing a ball and spe­cial­ized clubs.

The course is for those armed with Fris­bee-like discs.

Ear­lier this sum­mer, the Clifton Es­tate Disc Golf Course opened on the grounds of the his­toric Hal­ibur­ton House Mu­seum prop­erty. Armed with a satchel car­ry­ing fly­ing discs of vary­ing sizes, avid disc golfers com­pete to see who can fin­ish the course un­der par. It’s a sport that’s open to all skill lev­els and ages and doesn’t re­quire ex­pen­sive equip­ment to get into.

“As far as the discs go, the discs are very in­ex­pen­sive. They only cost about $20 per disc. Any player can cer­tainly get away with play­ing with one or two discs for the rest of their life if that was de­sir­able,” said Ben Smith, a strong com­peti­tor who car­ries be­tween 20 and 30 discs when com­pet­ing.

“That facet, the com­pet­i­tive player, only rep­re­sents about five per cent of all disc golf. The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are just go­ing to buy a disc or buy a cou­ple of discs and are go­ing to go out with their kids on a Satur­day af­ter­noon or they’re go­ing to play af­ter work some nights,” said Smith.

“You’re look­ing at a very mod­est in­vest­ment of less than $50 to play un­til you lose those discs,” he added.

The Wind­sor course is free to use, as is about 95 per cent of cour­ses world­wide, Smith said in a phone in­ter­view.

“There’s 187 — although that num­ber is prob­a­bly over 200 — pub­lic cour­ses in Canada. About 95 to 96 per cent of them are free,” said Smith.

“The game it­self was cre­ated and made into a pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion in the 1970s. It slowly but surely made its way across North Amer­ica and has been grow­ing steadily in both pop­u­lar­ity and player-base ever since,” said Smith.

“It re­ally took off, so to speak, around the 2000s and is com­ing to fruition now with close to 50,000 cour­ses world-wide.”

The Wind­sor lo­ca­tion is the lat­est course to open in Nova Sco­tia, bring­ing the to­tal in the province up to 10. The near­est disc golf lo­ca­tions are New Minas, Water­ville and Ham­monds Plains.

Tony Gal­lant, Tony Wood, and his sis­ter, Adri­enne Wood, were the driv­ing forces be­hind get­ting Smith to help build the course in town.

“The game it­self is fun all around. The thing that I think is re­ally great about it is the ac­ces­si­bil­ity. It’s su­per af­ford­able to get into — you es­sen­tially need a driver and putter disc,” said Tony Wood, the co-owner of the Spoke & Note in down­town Wind­sor.

The shop not only sells the equip­ment but also of­fers $5 all- day rentals to vis­i­tors look­ing to try the sport out.

“That’s what I re­ally like about the sport. It’s su­per easy, not ex­pen­sive, and it gets you out­side.”

Wood said they have been rent­ing discs out pretty well every day since the course opened.

“The re­ally wild thing is how pop­u­lar it has be­come al­ready,” said Wood.

The grand open­ing was held in June.

Due to how ac­ces­si­ble disc golf is, Smith said it ap­peals to a wide cross-sec­tion of peo­ple.

“Be­cause the game is so in­ex­pen­sive and it’s ap­pli­ca­ble to any age, any gen­der, and it’s avail­able 12 months a year — and you can play it solo or with a bunch of friends — we find that you just never know what kind of sub­group is go­ing to come up and get in­volved,” said Smith.

“At the root of this game, you’re sim­ply throw­ing a disc and watch­ing it fly,” he said, not­ing some play­ers don’t even keep score.

Smith, who was a found­ing mem­ber of the Mar­itime Disc Golf As­so­ci­a­tion, said Wind­sor’s lo­ca­tion of­fers vis­i­tors a nice walk in a beau­ti­ful set­ting.

“If you play the Wind­sor course, there’s nine bas­kets but there’s 18 pos­si­ble tee-pads. If you play all pos­si­ble 18 holes in the lay­out, you’ll walk close to three kilo­me­tres and we’ve never had a per­son say they felt tired or felt (that it was) la­bo­ri­ous to try to walk three kilo­me­tres. It just feels like a very plea­sur­able walk in the park.”

CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UN­DER­HILL

Disc golf en­thu­si­ast Tony Gal­lant show­cases his skills at one of the tees at Hal­ibur­ton House Mu­seum.

CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UN­DER­HILL

Tony Wood, co-owner of the Spoke & Note on Wa­ter Street in Wind­sor, dis­plays the typ­i­cal equip­ment re­quired to play disc golf. The store sells and rents the gear, with a full-day rental cost­ing $5.

CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UN­DER­HILL

Tony Gal­lant can of­ten be found at the Clifton Es­tate Disc Golf Course, which is lo­cated at the Hal­ibur­ton House Mu­seum prop­erty, in Wind­sor, on Tues­day evenings prac­tic­ing his skills and help­ing get other peo­ple in­ter­ested in the sport.

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