P.E.I. to host National Disc Golf Championships in 2018
More disc golf courses being built as sport grows
P.E.I. is well known for having some of the best golf courses in the country. Now, the province is gaining a reputation for having a top-ranked disc golf course.
The Maritime Disc Golf Association (MDGA) will host the National Disc Golf Championship, on P.E.I. next year.
"We're beyond excited," said Ben Smith, president of association. "This is has been a plan for the last three years."
Smith said the MDGA's bid to host the tournament was well received and the event was given A-tier status, the highest status ever given to a tournament in Canada.
The tournament will be held at the course at Hillcrest Farms in Bonshaw, P.E.I., which is ranked as one of the top 10 disc golf courses in North America.
"This course is an absolute gem, there's no question about it," Smith said. "It's a treasure that's found it's way around the world here. We have more requests from players internationally to come and bookmark this course than any course that I have been a part of."
The event is expected to attract 200 competitors, including the top female player in the world and two of the top 10 males.
Disc golf is one of the fastest-growing recreational sports across the Maritimes, said Smith.
The Maritime Disc Golf Association now has 100 active members who have competed at events all over North America.
Smith the course at Hillcrest Farms can see as many as 100 players per week during the summer months. Throughout the winter, there are still at least 30-40 players who come out on a weekly basis to play the game in the snow, he added.
Charlie McCardle tried the game once at Hillcrest Farms and said he was immediately hooked.
"It was super easy-going," McCardle said. "It was a super laid back game and anyone can get into it."
McCardle said he wasn't a regular golfer before he discovered disc golf because of the expenses that come with it, but disc golf is far less expensive and more accessible. He said he's only played a few courses, but Hillcrest is one of the best.
McCardle is in the process of building his own disc golf course in Middleton, P.E.I. It's set to be completed in time for the national tournament and it will host three of the rounds.
The MDGA said there is also a third course in development on P.E.I.
"We believe that this game is just really going to take off," Smith said. "In the last three years, we've averaged three new courses a year we believe that that number will probably double after this."
The national championships will be held September 14-16, 2018.
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With files from Tom Steepe