Spring is in the air and so are the discs at Lethbridge College’s newest outdoor amenity.
A nine-hole disc golf course was constructed in summer 2021, on the north green space near the tennis court entrance.
“Adding a course to campus was something we’d had on our radar for a few years,” says Tanner Marcer, events and communications manager for the Lethbridge College Students’ Association (LSCA). “We knew there was a sizeable disc golf community in Lethbridge so when the pandemic began, we took a closer look at the project as an activity that would meet physical distancing guidelines.”
Disc golf is played much like traditional golf, but instead of hitting a ball into a hole, participants throw a special Frisbee disc into a supported metal basket. The goal of the game is also the same – to complete the course in the fewest throws possible.
Noah Higgins, a first-year Exercise Science student, is an obvious fan of the course. A member of the Professional Disc Golf Association since 2016, he’s currently the top-rated professional disc golfer in Lethbridge and among the top three in Alberta. And, from the ages of 15 to 18, Higgins was ranked the number-one junior player in Canada.
“The college course is a fun spot to play a casual round at since it’s beginner-friendly and easy to navigate,” says Higgins. “The only other courses in Lethbridge are at Nicholas Sheran Park and Peenaquim Park so this really fills a gap. And since I’m a student at Lethbridge College, I can play disc golf in between or after classes.”
What began as a pandemic-friendly activity to engage with students, employees and community members has quickly become one of the most popular pursuits on campus. Thanks to Udisc, an app used to record scores by disc golfers, the LCSA can see that in the four months between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, more than 2,000 rounds had been played on the college course. It’s been so well used that tee pads have had to be installed to protect the ground from eroding where people are playing.
“The course is an awesome addition to the already excellent facilities we have on campus,” says Jeff Hamilton, Exercise Science chair, who has a standing tee time with a group of colleagues each Monday. “The course accommodates all levels and is always fun. And I appreciate the opportunity to have informal meetings as we walk from hole to hole.”
The LCSA has hosted two tournaments so far, bringing in portable baskets to expand the course to 18 holes. One Disc Wonder had over 70 participants while the Double-Double event, sponsored by Tim Hortons, saw 30 people brave the chilly December weather. And, a student scholarship fundraiser, to support the Centre for Business, Arts and Applied Sciences, is in the works for May.
The disc golf course has been a hit with community members as well. “Whenever I’m out playing, there are families and parents teaching their kids,” says Marcer. “A group of seniors from a nearby neighbourhood was out there recently – some with their grandkids. I’m overjoyed with how popular it’s become and that it’s attracting players of all ages and skill levels.”
The Lethbridge College disc golf course is open for the public to enjoy when the weather allows. Visitors can park in lots O and N.