Shane Kilpatrick first took up disc golf in Yukon before moving to Ottawa for 10 years. Now he’s back on the scene with a title to show for it.
Kilpatrick placed first in the advanced division at the fourth annual Whitehorse Fall Classic disc golf tournament on Saturday.
“I thought it was a great tournament. It was a really great time, well organized, really good prizes, really good payout and really good people to play with,” said Kilpatrick.
The tournament, hosted by the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association (WDGA), was also the grand opening of the Solstice DiscGolfPark.
The nine-hole par-29 championship grade course in Kopper King/Takhini North has been a labour of love for WDGA members for a year and half. The association received a lease of the land from the Yukon government last year and the permission to build from the city in April. Members of the WDGA, like president Ryan Norquay, have put countless hours into bringing the dream to fruition.
“Everybody was in awe of how much work we did. Everybody was really happy with the course and the layout and the added challenges. I didn’t hear any negative comments,” said Norquay.
The course was originally going to be 18 holes but that got cut to nine because of space. The WDGA hasn’t ruled out expanding it to 18 in the future.
“We’d love to get there. Right now we don’t have enough land,” said Norquay. “All we managed to get was 21 acres and it’s tight in there. We used it all.
“We’d like to consider this phase one and hopefully we’ll be expanding in the future.”
The course is officially nine holes, but there was a 10th hole used by the advanced division golfers on Saturday. The 150-metre par 3 with a 20-metre of drop in elevation is a doozie — and played a part in deciding the outcome.
Kilpatrick finished the first round with a 35 (three-over with the 10th hole added in), one stroke ahead of Jesse Devost, who was one stroke ahead of Alan Hill.
All three carded a 39 in the second round, giving Kilpatrick a one-stroke win.
“We all made a few little mistakes here and there, so the second round was definitely uglier than the first round,” said Kilpatrick.
“Coming into the last hole Jesse was leading by a stroke and he had a bad drive. I took that opportunity and I threw a really good drive across the canyon for a pretty easy up-and-down three. Jesse was deep in the woods on the left side and struggled to get back out, so that gave me the win.”
Kilpatrick lived in Whitehorse for less than a year a decade ago and moved back in March with his family. He’s won a few tournaments in Ontario, but the Fall Classic title is his first in the territory.
He’s impressed by how far the disc golf community has come since he left.
“The scene has come along pretty well here. Ryan has done an amazing job of driving disc golf here in the Yukon. It’s really impressive to see what’s going on,” said Kilpatrick.
The tournament also included women’s, intermediate and team divisions, all of which played from the amateur tee boxes.