Disc golf, though perhaps more under the radar than other sporting activities, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is starting to emerge again as reopening processes begin to take place around the world.
In Cranbrook, the Wycliffe Disc Golf Course reopened on Friday, May 15. This park closes every year for the winter, but was delayed reopening this year due to COVID-19. The RDEK required the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club (EKDGC) to post signage indicating their policies for keeping players safe.
The EKDGC’s rules for safe disc golf are as follows:
Physical distancing of six feet at all times is required. Groups are limited to four people maximum. Do not approach the first tee pad until it’s clear and do not touch other people’s equipment. Only one disc is allowed in the basket at a time and you must retrieve your disc without touching the basket or chains. Finally the club asks that people refrain from congregating in the parking lot following their rounds.
It is important to note that a failure to abide by these rules could result in the closure of the area’s courses.
In other news, the EKDGC has been working continually to improve the quality of disc golf available to the people in the East Kootenay. At the end of 2019, the club received a grant in the amount of $12,250 from Columbia Basin Trust, through their Basin PLAYS Capital Improvement grants.
The club has been using those funds to improve the quality of the area’s courses and making them more youth-friendly.
At the Idlewild disc golf course nine new holes with baskets were installed making it a full 18-hole course, designed to be a good place to play for kids and beginners.
Parkland Elementary School’s nine-hole course got a facelift as well, getting nine new baskets designed and built by Vancouver-island based Dan Walker. Walker’s baskets are top of the line, designed to withstand all the different types of weather Canada has to offer with high-quality, galvanized steel.
Wycliffe Disc Golf Course, the most challenging in the local area, will be made less daunting to newbies with the installation of amateur tee pads, providing a shorter position to attack the beautiful holes of that course.
The EKDGC has plans to further grow the sport in the East Kootenay with hopes of building a course in Kimberley in the near future.
On an international level, the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) recently approved a five-step process that will allow for their sanctioning of tournaments once more.
This process for phased reinstatement of sanctioning took effect on May 14. Part of these measures is a mandate that a provincial or national government authority must issue directives that allow for organizes, competitive sporting events to resume.
This means that tournaments could start happening again here soon, but in the meantime, the local courses are available for your enjoyment, provided the rules are respected.
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