Local Club on Learning Curve

The history of the Kamloops Golf Disc Club is brief. It has only officially existed since March 2000.

“As far as disc golf courses go, this is an anomaly,” KDGC member Clint Andersen said. “It happened really fast. Once the Rose Hill site was declared, the neighborhood association was notified. We had a meeting in late March of 2000, where we presented the idea to them. There was no opposition, so we got the green light and the funding ­ $6,000 ­ to put the course in.”

The total cost for the Rose Hill course was less than $25,000.

By Easter 2000, the club had a nine-hole disc catcher course and a nine-hole “tonal” course.

Tonal poles are landscape ties driven into the ground and covered by oven pipe. When struck by the disc, the pipe delivers a loud “bong” sound indicating successful completion of the hole.

In contrast, disc catcher baskets require more skill. The baskets are welded to a galvanized steel pole. They sit 32 inches above the ground and measure 26 inches in diameter; above each basket hangs twenty chains, which cushion the disc’s landing.

The course is 6,200 feet in length, par for the course is 58, the longest hole is 515 feet and the shortest is 219 feet. Fairways are sometimes 40 yards wide, but many of Rose Hill’s holes have fairways less than 15 feet wide.

Today all of Rose Hill’s old tonal poles have been replaced by disc catcher baskets.

Andersen said the Kamloops club is attracting new members all the time. Some players heard about the club through friends, while others unexpectedly came across the remote course on a Sunday drive.

“It kind of trickled out that there was a half-decent course up here,” said Andersen, who is a program director with the Kamloops Parks and Recreation department. “And after our first tournament in June, Dave Knutsen, one of the better players in the province, said he was very impressed and he started spreading the word. We’ve gotten rave reviews.” Brent Ross, the club’s president, designed the layout.

Ross, a utility clerk at Overwaitea, used to play ball golf but said he doesn’t think he’ll ever go back to that game.

“I was very seriously into ball golf, but I’ve given it up because of the cost. It gives me the same joys and frustrations as I have with (ball golf), but disc golf is easier to learn and master,” said Ross.

“We have one guy who started last year, he was a plus 30 (handicap) at the beginning of the year and by the end of the season we had him down to plus 15. Try taking 15 stokes off your score in ball golf, it’ll take a lot of lessons and a lot of money too.”