By Paul Rodgers
There’s certainly no short supply of entertaining programming at the upcoming Sam Steele Days, but one specific event caught my attention more than the rest. Before I moved to this neck of the woods just two short weeks ago, I was Googling to determine whether there were nearby disc golf courses. Not only did I discover that indeed there were, I also was delighted to be informed that one of my first assignments at the Townsman was to be covering the Sam Steel Disc Golf Tournament.
I’ve discovered, through talking to “Teepad” Brad, one of the organizers of the tournament working alongside the Kinsmen, that this 12-year-old event has the lowest entry cost ($10) and has the latest start time of any disc golf tournament in Canada.
Brad says that their prize system is a 100 per cent pay out — any money or prizes gleaned from the tournament go right back into it. He said he has been playing disc golf “longer than there’s been dinosaurs” with a hearty laugh, and told the Townsman what he loves about the sport.
“Probably started in the ‘90s playing disc golf,” he reminisced. “I love the sport, basically, one of those stories where it saved me. So when I was depressed, and failing, disc golf was a discipline that saved me. So personally it became a big part of my life with the lifestyle, the enjoyment and the fact that it’s a sport where anybody can play; low cost to get in and everyone in the family can play.”
Brad enthusiastically stated that while there hasn’t been an official league or club since about three years ago, interest is blossoming.
“We’ve watched the small, local, tight knit, group of people expand into a very wide, growing base of people that has brought newcomers to the area,” he said. “We welcome anyone with open arms. There currently isn’t a defined club or league, but we’ll be developing it.”
Disc golf, unlike it’s club-wielding predecessor, never requires tee-times or greens-fees.
“Anyone can get into the game with a small investment of discs, which would be $40. So a driver and a putter would be recommended for someone to start and a typical set would include a long range driver, a mid range and a putter.”
If you are interested in trying it out, the course is located on the College of the Rockies campus with another one currently being built in Wycliffe. Discs can be purchased at Gerick Sports or Funhogz Gear Exchange on Kootenay Street. Russ Peebles at Funhogz is described by Brad as being a long-running supporter of disc golf in the area, and he donates discs and disc bags as prizes for the tournament.
The tournament takes place at the COTR campus course at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday. Anyone needing more information about the tournament or who is interested in joining a league, or becoming part of a club can contact Teepad Brad at (250)-426-0400.