Members of the Calgary Disc Golf Club are asking the city to rethink its decision to remove a temporary course in North Glenmore Park by the end of October.
The course near the Glenmore Reservoir was installed in 2021 to provide additional outdoor recreation space during the pandemic.
With many Calgarians returning to travel and other activities, the city says the pressure on the park system isn’t the same.
“A temporary amenity doesn’t require full engagement with a community, which helped provide this outdoor amenity to Calgarians as quickly as possible,” said Rachelle Nuytten, with the city’s communications department, in an email.
“These temporary measures are not required in the way they once were.”
Amber Chiasson, a disc golfer and member of the Calgary club, says she doesn’t believe the city’s reasoning is adequate.
“I definitely don’t support it. I mean, just because COVID is over, these disc golfers haven’t quit and they’re not quitting and the sport’s only growing. So we really do need the space to play in,” she said in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.
Disc golf is like regular golf but instead of hitting a ball with a club, players throw a plastic disc that looks like a Frisbee, and they aim for a target that looks like a basket made of metal chains.
The City of Calgary runs three permanent disc golf courses and a number of temporary ones with the help of the disc golf club and some community organizations.
According to the city, Calgary has more disc golf courses than any other municipality in Canada.
The sport is rising in popularity, too.
Baker Park in northwest Calgary — one of the permanent, 18-hole courses — was recently recognized as the fifth busiest disc golf course in the world by those behind the UDisc App. It allows competitors to search disc golf courses and keep track of their scores.
Chiasson argues that keeping North Glenmore Park, and adding proper baskets and tee pads, could help alleviate the traffic seen at Baker Park.
“And it’s quite a technical course and it’s just a really beautiful space. It’s central Calgary, so everyone from all over Calgary can access it, and it would just be a huge shame to lose it,” she said.
Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner says she’s engaging with the city’s parks team to find out why the course isn’t being made permanent.
“It is my understanding that the course has been well received by users and the community (with a few exceptions),” she said in an email.
“Overall, I’m supportive of outdoor park amenities across the city. We saw behaviour changes and new sports adopted through the pandemic. It would be a shame to ask people to rethink their recreation again.”
Chiasson says she’s also heard that some residents with yards backing onto the area are unhappy with the course’s placement.
But she argues disc golfers are enjoying and taking care of an otherwise underused portion of North Glenmore Park.
“We really do want to be in this space,. We think it’s a great use of the area … it would be a huge asset.”
7:18Disc golf course closure
With files from Nathan Godfrey, Chris dela Torre, David Bell