City of Melfort holding free disc golf workshop

MELFORT — The City of Melfort has purchased 12 disc golf sets that community members can rent, which will be utilized in their upcoming free disc golf workshop.

“It’s an emerging sport here in Saskatchewan, said Shannon Marshall, Melfort’s recreation manager. “It’s something that’s really gaining in popularity, and we were looking to expand our recreational capacity and what we can offer to the community and surrounding areas.”

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Disc golf has a similar scoring system as golf, with players competing to finish the course in the fewest number of shots.

“It’s played a lot like regular golf. You have a tee box that you start off from where you throw your disc, wherever the disc lands you have to throw from there.”

The biggest difference is that instead of hitting a ball into a hole, players throw a Frisbee-like disc into a series of baskets mounted to a pole set in the ground.

The Melfort Rotary Club installed a disc golf course at the Rotary Park in 2016, with funding from the Prairie North Co-op.

“We already have a great nine-hole disc golf course here in town, and we were looking just to kind of facilitate a workshop for people for the nuances for how to play disc golf, and just to create some exposure.”

Marshall said that while she sees people using the course, she sees fewer people playing the sport with all its rules and nuances.

“I think some people don’t even know that we have it, and we see quite a bit of people out using it, but we see a lot of people just with a single Frisbee,” she said. “I don’t know how many people have the actual sports set or know the nuances of the sport – how to stand, how to throw the disc. That’s what Disc Golf Saskatchewan will be able to help facilitate for us.”

Marshall said one of the biggest challenges the City of Melfort is facing with their new disc golf sets is how to safely rent them with COVID-19.

Sets contain a driver, a fairway disc and a putting disc.

Traditionally, such equipment would be rented from the Northern Lights Palace Pool office. With COVID-19 closing the pool, staff are left problem solving to find a new space.

“Ideally it would be the pool desk, open seven days a week,” Marshall said. “We’ll try to work on a plan for that and where people can pick them up. Just unfortunately, until we get the pool open it might not be available seven days a week unless we can do that.”

Members of Disc Golf Saskatchewan from North Battleford, will be leading the workshop, which will take place at the Melfort Rotary Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 18.

For more info, people can call the Kerry Vickar Centre at 306-752-4177.

The workshop will be open for all ages, and social distancing will be required.

Marshall said there are plans in the works for a night tournament using glow sticks once the pandemic ends.

“At night you really can’t ensure that people are standing far enough,” she said. “And that’s something that could potentially draw a huge, huge crowd, so we’re probably safer this year to just run the workshop.”

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