In Disc Golf We Trust
A look at the community-minded Brant Disc Golf Club
Maichina Veri, April 26, 2022 // Brantford, OntarioEnjoying a beautiful day on the disc golf course. Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio.
“Golf is the loneliest sport,” said American professional golfer Hale Irwin. The quotation goes on the explain a deep lesson on the character of man, but the opening line packs a truthful punch – golf is lonely. Golf is a sport played as much against the self as others, and one that perhaps takes itself a bit too seriously, but the spinoff of disc golf, a welcomed deviance, is a sport that allows room for fun and community. BTOWN sat down with some leaders of the Brant Disc Golf Club (BDGC) – Josh Colwell, Tim Hockin and Craig Snow – to learn about this variation of golf that is taking Brant by storm.
Disc golf is a sport much like ball golf except that it’s played with flying discs you toss, instead of balls and clubs, toward a chain basket. “It’s a good way to get exercise and a hike in. If you asked me to go for a hike for five kilometres I’d say no, but if you asked me to go disc golfing…” Josh trails off comically, coming back to state, “It’s good medicine overall really.”
“It’s a good alternative,” says Tim, “We think of golf as this thing that’s an elitist sport. This is the sport for the avid outdoorsman.”
Disc golf is a great activity for all ages. Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio.
On a note against elitism, time and time again through the interview these men stress the same thing: disc golf has an excellent and open community.
“Most people, when they come out, are nervous because they think they have to be good enough to play league,” states Craig, “but it’s more about the community and meeting people. It’s the most welcoming community you’ll ever be part of.”
The community is one of their favourite things about the sport, next to being out in nature, so it comes as no surprise that the BDGC gives back to the local community as well. From cash donations to food drives and youth clinics to working with neighbourhood associations, the BDGC supports as much as they can. Even on the course, the generosity can be seen as all three describe handing discs out to people to play the game. “That’s kind of a thing we all do – we have extra discs in our cars and if we see someone who is interested in the sport, we run to our cars to give them a disc. It’s that pay it forward thing. You hope that’s how it continues for every generation,” Tim describes.
"From cash donations to food drives and youth clinics to working with neighbourhood associations, the BDGC supports as much as they can. Even on the course, the generosity can be seen as all three describe handing discs out to people to play the game."
The club is growing “scarily fast” according to Craig, and the others agree. Disc golf was and remains a pandemic-safe activity and the BDGC found their membership drastically increase over the past two years to double its size. Though membership is expanding, the level-headedness and community aspect remains strong. “This sport has started with a grassroots movement. Even as it grows it keeps that same kind of feel to it. It hasn’t got that commercial feel to it,” Craig says thoughtfully.
A great collection of disc golf's most important element - the disc. Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio.
If you’re interested in this sport, which can be as low or as high impact as you’d like, is community-minded and is nature inspired, head to one of the clinics run by the BDGC to learn more about the ins and outs of disc golf. It’s a year-round sport primarily played on the courses at Mohawk Park in Brantford and Green Lane Sports Complex in Paris. All people of all ages and skill levels are welcome in this inclusive and supportive community. Tim, who used to be more competitive, now says, “I find myself rooting for everybody all the time.”
You can find the BDGC online at www.brantdgc.ca.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maichina Veri is a writer based in Brantford, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Montreal’s Concordia University and has a background in Journalism – Print from Niagara College.