Someone in Whitehorse really hates the sport of disc golf.
For the second time in as many months, an entire disc golf course has been rendered unusable following theft of its “tonals” – the targets for each hole – last week.
All 18 tonals were stolen from the Solstice DiscGolfCourse next to Yukon College, it was discovered Thursday.
“It seems very vindictive … My mind thinks it’s just somebody who doesn’t like the sport,” said Ryan Norquay, president of the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association (WDGA).
“It just doesn’t make any sense to me. We’re a very healthy activity.
“I’m so baffled, so confused by it.”
In the middle of October, unknown culprits stole all 18 targets from a course in Takhini North that neighboured Solstice.
In that case, the tonals and their posts (or supporting strings) were removed. The resulting holes in the ground from the posts were even filled in and smoothed over.
This time is was a sloppier job. Last week the tonal posts – and what appeared to be ATV tire tracks – were left at the scene of the theft.
“It seems like this one was taken in a haste … They didn’t pick up any of the strings or the temporary wooden posts that were holding the cans. They just took the cans,” said Norquay. “It’s even more suspicious than the last theft.”
With the destruction of the two courses, local disc golfers might not have much of a winter season.
Whitehorse’s only other course at Mount McIntyre can’t be used during the winter because it shares land with the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club and golfers are asked not to tread on the groomed trails.
Courses at Judas Creek and Annie Lake are also seasonal.
“We’ve been playing regularly and it was the only winter course we had to play, and now it’s gone,” said Norquay. “We’re without anywhere to host league tomorrow (on Sunday) and without anywhere to get out and enjoy this warm weather we’ve been having.”
“I like the idea of repurposing some chimes and getting them out there,” he added. “We can’t let this get us down. We need to keep playing our game.”
The Solstice course was never meant to be a permanent one. The plan was to replace it with a world-class course next year, pending approval from the Yukon government’s land management branch.
With approval, WDGA will receive funds from the Community Development Fund and a huge discount from Discmania, a manufacturer of disc golf equipment out of Finland that hopes to break into the
Canadian market, to help pay for the roughly $70,000 course.
But with such a price tag, the stakes are even higher. The WDGA hasn’t ruled out the use of motion-capture cameras or stakeouts of courses in the future.
“Looks like we’re going to have to do something of that sort,” said Norquay. “It was something that was recommended by Parks (and Rec Department) when they found out about Takhini going missing. I wish we wouldn’t have to deal with it again. It really makes me wonder about our city and about the outlook of others.”
When Norquay spoke to the News on Saturday, no information on the disappearance of the Takhini or Solstice tonals had surfaced.
Anyone with information on the missing tonals is asked to contact the WDGA at email@example.com.
“(We have) no leads, no suspects. If anybody has any information, we’d love to get our equipment back, no questions asked,” said Norquay.
“We’re not going to let this spoil our fun. We still have our discs and we’re going to keep on throwing them … We’re not going to back down because they think we shouldn’t have a course, I know we should.
There are a lot of supporters who think we should as well.”
Contact Tom Patrick at