A disc golfer golfs out of the mud, taking aim at a blue flag at the top of the hill, during the Sept. 26 HOpen tournament Sept. 26. (Facebook photo)

A disc golfer golfs out of the mud, taking aim at a blue flag at the top of the hill, during the Sept. 26 HOpen tournament Sept. 26. (Facebook photo)

Disc golfers enjoy experience at first Hope tournament

42 people hit the course Sept. 26 for the first of what the Hope Disc Golf Club hopes is many events

Forty two men and woman from around BC participated in the first-annual Hope Disc Golf Club tournament, which was held Sept. 26.

The club’s course is located on Kawkawa Lake Road, and Nat Baker said people came from as far away as Kamloops and Kelowna to play in the HOpen.

“People were overwhelmingly greatful that we put it on,” he said. “They enjoyed playing our course and it was good feelings all around. We’re already planning to do it again next year, and maybe make it a little more official.”

The tournament was unsanctioned. The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) has regulations for sanctioned events — different divisions for different skill levels, baskets at a certain height, tees a certain way — and the Hope tournament wasn’t able to meet all the requirements in year one.

“If you’re a professional disc golf player, you work for points,” Baker explained. “If someone comes and plays the tournament and wins, but finds out it was really easy because the baskets were huge or something, it shouldn’t count for as many points as another tournament might.

“So it’s just a standard in the disc golf world, and if we get our tournament sanctioned next year, we’ll draw more professionals to our field.”

Baker said the Hope course is close to being up to code.

“Some of the baskets might need tweaking, or we might need to get a couple new ones,” he said. “I haven’t looked yet at all the hoops we’d need to jump through.”

Baker said disc golf has thrived during COVID, as an outdoor activity well suited to physical distancing.

“We’ve seen a huge surge in people playing,” he said. “There are about half a dozen courses between here and Vancouver and most courses have their own clubs. There are tons of tournaments. The biggest course is Raptors Knoll Disc Golf Park in South Langley and they probably have a dozen different types of tournaments every year.

“Some of their big tournaments, they’ll get people from all over Canada coming out.”

Hope’s disc golf course opened around three-and-a-half years ago with easy basket layout for beginners.

“It’s grown since then,” Baker said. “We put another nine baskets in and added extra tees. Each basket now has two tees, and the extra tees we put in are harder. It’s definitely more challenging, where it was too easy before to pull in the ‘big guys’ who want a challenge. With the additions we’ve made, the course is big enough and attractive enough now to host our own tournament.”

Golfers paid $50 per person to enter the tournament. Each entrant got a HOpen disc to keep and top golfers received prize money.

For more info on the Hope Disc Golf Club, visit facebook.com