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Scenic location north of Powell River draws disc golfers

Course at Craig Regional Park now complete; technical layout challenges players
Powell River Disc Golf Club member James Mack [left]
LAUDED LAYOUT: Powell River Disc Golf Club member James Mack [left] and qathet Regional District chair Patrick Brabazon are at the 18th hole of the newly completed disc golf course at Craig Regional Park, north of Powell River. The new course has been lauded for its layout in the scenic location. Paul Galinski photo

Craig Regional Park’s disc golf course is now complete and regularly drawing disc golfers to play in its scenic location north of Powell River.

qathet Regional District (qRD) chair Patrick Brabazon said he thinks it’s a wonderful way for people to get out in this pandemic time. The regional district funded the infrastructure for the course.

“Disc golfers can play and enjoy other people’s company, keeping social distancing,” said Brabazon. “They can get physical activity and maybe even get a hole-in-one.”

James Mack, a member of the Powell River Disc Golf Club, responding to Brabazon, said holes-in-one are fairly rare but they happen more often than in traditional golf.

“We had a member get one here just the other day,” said Mack. “I splashed out on chains a couple of times this past week.”

Mack said the layout of the disc golf course at Craig Regional Park is absolutely fantastic.

“The regional district has been absolutely amazing in its response to developing the course, expanding it and allowing us to have a part in designing it,” said Mack. “They have taken a lot of our feedback and have implemented a lot of the various ideas we have suggested. It’s been seamless.”

Mack said the disc golf course is being used regularly.

“It’s a gem of a course and people love it,” he added.

Mack said the course at Larry Gouthro Park in the city is nice and Sunset Park is beautiful, but the Craig Park course is like a postcard.

“It’s gorgeous in here,” he added. “You get into the trees and it’s just amazing.”

Mack said the Craig Park course is not very long but it can be quite technical, especially when players get into the woods.

“It can really bite you,” said Mack. “You can score well but you can also get into a lot of trouble. It’s offering a good challenge for every player.”

Mack said the location is suitable for hosting tournaments, which have been held on Vancouver Island during the pandemic, abiding by regulations set by the BC Disc Golf Association and the public health officer. He said pre-pandemic, Powell River hosted three major tournaments, with players coming over from Vancouver Island to play at Sunset Park. The Craig Park location would be a very viable location for a tournament in the future, he added.

Mack said the regional district has installed some top-line equipment, helping make Craig Park a great course. He plays it as much as he can.

“I am hooked, for sure,” said Mack.

He said local disc golfers are able to run club days, operating in a safe manner with COVID-19 protocols. A core group in the city is really passionate about the sport and wants to grow it because they see how beneficial it is to the community, he added.

Mack said a number of people before him did a lot of work getting the courses established in the region.

“Our thanks to them, and the city and the regional district, for the work that has been done to establish these courses,” said Mack. “There’s good variety, and on each of the courses, we play variations as well, so at Gouthro, for example, there’s five or six different layouts you can play there.”

Regional district manager of operational services Patrick Devereaux said he wanted to thank qRD parks and properties supervisor Regan Keil, Mack, and the Powell River Disc Golf Association for the work that has been put in, making the Craig Park course the facility it has become.

“We’re very happy with the end result,” said Devereaux.

The regional district made use of existing topography at Craig Park and no trees were felled to establish the disc golf course. Devereaux said one issue was the location of the tee boxes to make sure the club was satisfied with the length and technical difficulty of the course.

“It’s fully functional now,” added Devereaux, “and ready for play.”