Disc golf players are swinging for the fences in attempts to reverse a decision by the City of Calgary to remove a disc golf course at North Glenmore Park.
The sport combines ultimate frisbee and golf, in which players try to get their disc into a basket on each hole and complete the round with as few throws as possible.
The course was installed in spring of 2021, with the help of the Calgary Disc Golf Club.
It wasn’t expensive.
The city paid just over $500 to supply the gravel, holding up posts — or so-called “tonals” — which make a ringing noise when frisbees strike them.
“It was just a matter of getting some fence posts and getting some pipe to slide overtop of it to make a little bit of a noise when you play to it,” said Calgary Disc Golf Club member Jim Stevens.
But it was meant to be a temporary installation: city officials hoped it would provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation during the pandemic.
“A temporary amenity doesn’t require full engagement with a community, which helped provide this outdoor amenity to Calgarians as quickly as possible,” said the City of Calgary in a statement to Global News.
It’s unclear whether frustrations from some Lakeview community members played in to the decision for the course’s removal.
“A couple of the residents complained about it being disruptive,” said Kyle Chiasson, a disc golf player and the owner of Gander Disc Golf.
“We’ve really tried to work with them to make sure we’re as low impact on the area as we could.”
The City of Calgary suggests with pandemic restrictions now lifted, the pressure on city parks has eased.
“Calgary currently has more disc golf courses than any other municipality in Canada, and the city continues to work on balancing the needs of a variety of emerging sports,” the city said.
The city currently operates three permanent disc golf courses, but there are at least four others — like the one at North Glenmore Park — operated largely by volunteers.
But players said an 18-hole course like the one at North Glenmore Park is a hot commodity.
“The sport itself has boomed exponentially in the last year or two. And so all the major courses in the city are just overcrowded,” said Bryan Laker, a Lakeview Village resident and disc golf player.
“You can show up and you might be waiting 25 minutes before you even just get a chance to play.”
“I don’t see why we should be kicked out of here when there’s nothing going back in,” added Chiasson.
Joe Himmens with the Lakeview Community Association also suggested a number of community members had launched complaints about noise and damaged gardens.
But Himmens said overall, the community supports the city leaving the course where it is.
“Let’s let it run for more than one season, perhaps into next year — maybe give it a full 12 months — and then review whether it’s caused any negative impacts to those residents that are back onto it, or with the community more generally,” said Himmens.
The contract for the course ends at the end of October.