It’s not uncommon for elementary schools to have a soccer field or a baseball diamond or a swing set. A disc golf course, however, is uncommon.
Golden Horn Elementary has broken the mould, unveiling its new disc golf course at a grand opening on Wednesday.
It is the first school in the territory to have its own course.
“We’re pretty excited. This is a first for Yukon education,” Marc Senecal, executive director of the Yukon Schools Athletic Association. “It will be used by multiple schools as well as the Yukon Schools Athletic Association.”
“This land here — we call it ‘the pond’ — the school has used it for multiple events, like the Pine Grove Run goes through here, and it’s a wonderful area but it was not being used other than a little bit outdoor science class and whatnot,” he added. “It was zoned non-development land and I was able to, through multiple meetings over a year, to get lands to give Golden Horn permission to use this area.
“Some schools have portable baskets, but this is the first permanent baskets that are cemented into the ground on a school property.”
The Golden Horn Disc Golf Course, in the neighbouring woods just north of the school, is an executive course with 18 par-3 holes. It is just the third course in Yukon with permanent steel baskets as targets. It is also open to the public and free to play.
The course was four years in the making and cost just under $15,000 to construct, said Senecal, who spearheaded its creation.
“The monies came from Golden Horn Elementary School, so Yukon Education and therefore Yukon government,” said Senecal.
Though Senecal quarterbacked the development of the course, he didn’t go it alone. He used tools, equipment and expertise supplied by executives of the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association (WDGA).
“I hope it’s the beginning of a trend of schools with disc golf courses. That’s where they belong,” said WDGA president Ryan Norquay. “I really like the location, in the community right next to the elementary school. It’s a quick lap; you can finish all 18 in under an hour.
“It’s perfect for new players or players who just want to get through a quick round, get out with one or two discs and have everything you need. A mid-range (disc) would be perfect for every shot on the course.”
Following a barbeque and speeches, disc golfers — experts and first-timers — took to the course to try it out, but not before a ceremonial first disc thrown in by Premier Darrell Pasloski.
The new course will also be the scene of the WDGA’s annual Ace Race hole-in-one tournament on Sept. 25.
Solstice course sees first hole in one
Construction of the new Solstice DiscGolfPark isn’t quite done yet, but a hole in one has already taken place.
Whitehorse’s Alan Hill logged the Whitehorse course’s first ace in Thursday league night last week.
“The baskets are in but the tee pads weren’t in, the sign posts aren’t in, so it’s not officially finished yet but I did get an ace — the first ace on the baskets,” said Hill.
“That was my second ace this year at league and that one was worth $100. We had enough money in our ace pot to pay $100 for that ace.”
Hill, who is on the executive of the WDGA, drained it on the 66-metre par-3 eighth hole.
His first ace of the season in league play was on hole 16 at the Mount McIntyre course in June.
Construction of the new 18-hole championship course began in late spring after a long process of land and grant applications. When complete the course, located near Yukon College in the McIntyre Creek area, will meet the requirements of the Professional Disc Golf Association, allowing Whitehorse to host major tournaments.
The WDGA will host a Solstice course grand opening tournament on Oct. 1.
“It’s great. Just this weekend we got the club together and we built eight of the nine tee pads. I think in the next week we’re going to have all the tee signs in fully — at least have the posts cemented in,” said Hill.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com