The Kootenay Up and Down disc golf tournament, held in Cranbrook from Sept. 25-26, was a massive success and highlighted the tremendous recent growth of the sport, with nearly twice the number of registered players it had in 2019.
The 2019 Up and Down had 65 total players and this year there was 128 players coming from all over B.C. and Alberta primarily, registered in 11 different divisions. Divisions ranged from recreational men and women, which is perfect for new disc golfers or disc golfers new to tournament play, to Men’s Pro Open, where some of the best players in the country battled it out.
Around 50 players played in the optional mixed doubles round on Friday evening at the beautiful and challenging Wycliffe Disc Golf Course, giving players the chance to practise the course ahead of the event and mingle with other like minded disc golfers.
Cranbrook’s senior’s disc golfing collective the Chain Rattlers were out in full force throughout the weekend, playing in the doubles on Friday and cheering the players on, shooting photos and spotting on some of the more blind holes.
There were also long drive and putting competitions and two different vendors set up selling all the discs and accessories the players could ask for.
Saturday each division played one round at the College of the Rockies course and one round at Wycliffe. The weather throughout the weekend could not have been more perfect for disc golf, with temperatures in the mid 20s and low winds, at least up until the final round for the advanced divisions which resulted in higher scores than the previous two rounds.
Divisions were organized and measures put in place to accommodate all current COVID-related regulations.
“It was an honor and privilege to be able to host and run our PDGA B-Tier event during these times,” said tournament director Serge Gosselin of Fernie. “With many PHO guidelines to follow and tons of communication with players leading up to the weekend, I was very impressed and proud of our disc golf community.
“The respect, understanding and patience every one showed was incredible. From what I gather, I think this may have been the biggest PDGA event in Kootenay history at 128 players, split up into two pools over two separate courses.”
Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer added yet another win to his already blistering season, and did so with gusto, coming out ahead of second place by 12 strokes.
“Always a blast playing in my local event, seeing all the new players that come out every year is awesome,” Hanemayer said. “Having one of the best courses in western Canada to play on is really something that has kept me interested in playing disc golf.
“More and more people are starting to figure out that we have great disc golf in the Kootenays which should only grow the sport more. The disc golf scene has grown so much over the past year and here’s hoping it grows more.”
Hanemayer suggests that anyone interested in trying disc golf out should head to FunHogz in Cranbrook to pick up some discs and check out the Cranbrook Disc Golf Facebook page.