, 2023-02-27 02:00:00,
Shamrock Park will be home to Saint John’s first disc golf course, opening early this year.
“We’re hoping to have the course built by the end of spring,” says Jeremy Rasch, president of Saint John Disc Golf.
The course, which is being designed with the help of Flickline Disc Golf, is projected to have 15 holes, with the possibility of up to 18 if design allows. A rendering of the possible setup is on the Saint John Disc Golf Facebook page.
The sport, which sees players throw specialized frisbees, or discs, into standing baskets spread out over a course, is gaining popularity. It’s similar to golf, except you don’t have to book a tee time – all the courses are free to use at any time.
The course was funded through the city of Saint John’s recreation budget and will cost approximately $40,000. Rasch says SJDG joined forces with another disc golf advocate in Saint John, Bryan Meary, and the organization became a non-profit in order to access the funding to bring the sport to the city.
“We just want people to have fun in the city, to grow the game, and to provide an additional, low-impact sport,” says Rasch. “I spent last weekend at Rockwood Glows, and the weekend before that at the Winter Festival in Rothesay teaching people how to play the game. It was a lot of fun. There’s a … lot of happy faces to try it. And I think that’s the most important thing is that it’s free to play.”
Rasch says the course, like the sport, is “low impact” on the environment.
“We use the natural landscape,” he says, adding that they may clear a bit of brush or level some areas off for safety on the course.
Just like traditional golf, there is a “tee”, a concrete pad where you make your initial throw toward the basket. The course will go through wooded areas of the park, adding to the challenge of the sport.
Rasch says the sport is gaining in popularity in Saint John, even without a course.
“I was shocked at how many people I’ve met from Saint John,” he says of his disc golf journeys to courses in the province. Originally an ultimate frisbee player, he says during the pandemic playing disc golf helped him beat the lockdown blues.
“I was travelling to Moncton, because you can play this by yourself. It was good for my mental health to get out, get active, do something… I would bump into random people that were also playing and some of them I would recognize from Saint John.”
He says the consensus from the Saint…
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