, 2022-09-09 16:00:52,
Disc golfers from across the country hit the course all week on P.E.I. at the 2022 Canadian National Championships.
More than 468 players representing Canada and five other countries came to the Island for the multi-day tournament.
Organizers say that’s the largest attendance ever seen at a Canadian event for the sport, which unlike golf uses a flying disc instead of a ball and club.
Tournament director and co-founder of the Maritime Disc Golf Association Benjamin Smith said disc golf exploded in popularity during the pandemic, with the player base in the region more than tripling in the last two years.
“We are very socially distanced, friendly, very easy to play outside, easy to keep the equipment clean,” he said.
“There’s something that has a bit of a mystique to it. These discs will shape and bend and do all sorts of things, and when you kind of unlock that magic, that secret sauce, there’s just this feeling that is so euphoric. It’s really hard to explain, and I think every person that is out here shared that feeling at least once in their life.”
The open divisions were held at the Hillcrest Farm course in Bonshaw, which was recently named the third-best disc golf course in the world based on user rankings on a disc golf directory app.
“Certainly Islanders should take an immense amount of pride. You have four of probably the top 10 courses in all of the country here,” Smith said.
“We get more requests from people from Finland and Sweden and all through the United States to come here and experience this.”
A creative sport
Disc golf has very similar rules to golf, with players trying to get a disc into a basket in as few throws as possible. But Smith said other than some standardization with regards to where you can throw the disc from, the rest of the sport is very free form.
“Everything else is creative,” he said.
“Some people physically can only throw one or two ways and that’s totally legal … Instead of a golf ball where you have to stand up and address it in the exact same way as everybody else does, you’re free to pick left, right, up, over, roll it sideways, backwards, upside down.”
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