Rain or shine, upwards of 30 disc golf enthusiasts — from as far away as Vernon and Kelowna — couldn’t stay away from the tournament to start the season.
Kamloops Disc Golf Club (KDGC) launched the 2014 Doomsday season opener at the Dick Hart disc golf course in Heffley Creek on Sunday, May 4.
“We put in nine (Doomsday tournaments) last year, and plan on doing the same this year,” says Chris Wilson, member of the KDGC. “Typically we start and end our year at our Rose Hill course in Kamloops, but that said, this year (sees) our 100th event so we started in Heffley, and (the third tournament of the year) will be the 100th at Rose Hill.”
KDGC has been putting on these tournaments for over a decade. Since then the landscape has changed with the impact of the mountain pine beetle — causing B.C.’s premiere course at Rose Hill to be partially logged, but also inspiring the development of new and expanded courses.
The 18-hole course at Dick Hart Park in Heffley Creek is an example of this development. Long-time Sun Peaks local Peter Smith has been playing disc golf in the Kamloops area since 2000. Wanting to have a venue closer to home, and seeing the course potential at Dick Hart Park, he appealed to the Heffley Creek ball club to begin development. With that secured, he built the course that’s now hosted five Doomsday tournaments.
“(The Heffley Creek course) is beautiful; it’s amazing how essentially one individual put it together in the area,” says Wilson. “It’s drawn tournaments and players and there’s been a ton of interest in developing courses in the (Heffley Creek) area.”
Smith explains the four year project has been a big one — from dropping trees, to planning the layout, building tonal targets, and tidying up after wind storms and vandalism. To keep it dynamic, he also has his eye on developing the terrain across the road from the park as a viable venue for a new course.
“I think (developing the course across the road) would be great — it has great potential. It’s slightly more wooded (than the existing course), with big open fairways from the beetle kill, more elevation and larger area,” explains Smith. “I showed it to (other local golfers) and I see that it’s never fallen away as a potential.”
And more course development goes right back to the volunteer club’s vision of really bolstering the disc golf scene in the B.C. Interior, while looking toward hosting more tournaments.
“We’d love to bring more, and higher end tournaments, to the area,” confirms Wilson. “We’ve been approached by a lot of people who are playing in that area, and Heffley is a beautiful course. Unfortunately for a high level tournament, a PDGA sanctioned tournament, there are certain requirements for having baskets, specific tee pads et cetera, and if residents want to see the full growth and start to bring in (larger tournaments) a small investment for baskets would be a great investment.”
Visit the Kamloops Disc Golf Club website for more information.