Since December Cranbrook’s dedicated disc golfers have been keeping their skills honed, despite all courses in the area being buried beneath the snow. Every Wednesday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the gym at Kootenay Christian Academy, enthusiasts of the ever-growing sport gather in a putting league.
The league was Kristy Shields’ idea, explained Ben Loggains at their meet up on February 7.
“A putting league is kind of a thing that’s taking off across North America, especially in the northern states and Canada,” Loggains said. “People that can’t keep playing disc golf all winter long, they have a way to keep their skills sharp in the winter.”
He said they have seen higher than anticipated turnouts each week, with about 10 to 20 disc golfers in attendance each night. The league’s success has been bolstered by the support of some of Cranbrook’s local businesses, explained Shields.
“It’s just been getting bigger and bigger every week,” she said, “and it’s just really cool that the sponsors have helped us out as much as they have for something kind of really left field I guess you’d say.”
Shields said that the Heidout has provided them with around $100 in gift vouchers, that they raffle off $10 at a time each week and Funhogz has supplied them with disks that they’ve been giving out.
“It’s just an incentive and it’s just been really awesome. I love coming every week and I know the guys have been getting into it,” said Shields.
Entry each Wednesday is $10, or $5 for women. The first segment of the night is formatted as round robin, one-on-one games. Players score points up to fifteen by shooting at disc golf baskets placed across the gym horizontally from themselves; three points for a basket, two points for hitting the chains and one point for bonking any other metal, minus the pole.
The next half is comprised of a horseshoe-type game, where players putt around obstacles, between trees, off the walls and left-handed.
At the end of the night they also have a long-shot contest, with players trying to put their disc through the basketball hoop across the gym from them. Success in this challenge earns the player the ace pot that is paid into each week.
The league will also be holding a fundraiser for the newly constructed Wycliffe Park Disc Golf Course, which opened with an extremely successful tournament this past fall, before the park closed for the season the very next day, leaving players yearning to get back on it next summer.
Funds raised will go towards installing concrete tee pads and other needed elements at the impressive Wycliffe course. Meanwhile, the putting league has helped to slake Cranbrook’s disc golf addiction.
“It’s keeping me hungry, that’s for sure,” said Loggains, who said he’d been warming up prior to the night shooting at a basket in his garage. “I’m hoping to go to Worlds next year so it’s nice to keep the skills sharp for when we go south.”