The Story Behind the Disc Golf Park Opening Along Calgary's Rotary/Mattamy Greenway in June

The 27-acre course will have two artificial-turf tee pads and multiple target baskets for every hole, allowing a variety of skill levels to play.



Rendering of the David Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park.

Disc-golf renderings by Matt Hedges, Ground3

 

Treasure Richardson was at a Christmas party in 2015 when she found herself talking to then head of the Parks Foundation Calgary, Myrna Dubé. Richardson was sharing the story of how her husband David had drowned the previous summer while swimming on Vancouver Island. When Dubé said to let her know if there was anything she could do, Richardson, whose husband was an avid disc golfer, had an idea. “I said it would be awesome if I could do a memorial in David’s name and do a disc-golf park,” says Richardson.  

A week later Richardson got a call from Dubé saying disc golf, a sport where players attempt to throw specialized frisbees into a basket in as few tosses as possible, might be the perfect sport for a certain patch of land along Calgary’s Rotary/Mattamy Greenway.

That patch of land is now set to open in June as the 18-hole, David Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park. The 27-acre course will have two artificial-turf tee pads and multiple target baskets for every hole, allowing a variety of skill levels to play. Construction will cost roughly $700,000, all raised through donations and sponsorships.

Calgary disc golfer and Canadian distance record-holder Rob McLeod says the sport is steadily growing in Calgary and the new course will take pressure off crowded courses such as Baker Park. It might also allow the city to host the Canadian National Championships by 2019. “This course, from what we know, is the most funded course in Canada, potentially one of the most well-funded in the world. $700,000 is unheard of in disc golf,” says McLeod, who helped with marketing for the course and is also involved with programming.

Wade Horrocks of Ground Cubed Landscape Architects handled the course’s design, using his considerable experience designing courses for what disc golfers like to call “ball golf.” After completing the David Richardson Memorial course (his first disc-golf course) Horrocks is convinced the sport has a bright future. “[It’s] very democratic and affordable, whereas ball golf has some challenges introducing people to the sport because it’s expensive and takes a long time to play,” he says. 

Horrocks says what really makes this course special is what it means to those involved. “Hearing the story, you can’t help but be motivated to do something special.” 

Richardson says David would have been incredibly proud to have the park built in his honour. “He was a businessman and had quite a hectic schedule. Playing disc golf was his Zen moment,” says Richardson. “He’d just find so much excitement in it. When we went to a course and he saw the parking lot full disc golfers he’d say, ‘how awesome is this?’”

 

Disc-golf renderings by Matt Hedges, Ground3

Rendering of the David Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park.

 

This article appears in the April 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here.

 


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