Foolin’ around on April 1st, 2012. A Notable Round in Bala, ON.

I’m back from a bit of a hiatus from posting on PDG….but had a pretty cool notable round worth sharing this past weekend.

I guess it would be classified as a form of ‘monkey golf’ putters only, and the first object course I had played in years and years.

While away for the annual ‘boys weekend’ with my best friends from university (a tradition that we all look forward to annually), we had a fun round playing around the cottage property and up the cottage road…..with a pretty exciting tee shot off a neighbour’s dock. (We’re playing across the water to the far cottage – a bigger challenge with a putter in your hand…)

Sadly, I turned over my disc and (quite impressively) buried it a good 200 feet from shore. I hope to go swimming for it in June or July when the river warms up….The picutre below shows our 2nd to last hole – and what a beautiful end of day we had before hitting the deck at the cottage.  My partners had some impressive shots I will try to upload by video soon.

I have to say that the conditions were perfect, for golf and also for just being outdoors in Muskoka. Warm (warm enough for April 1st), Sunny, calm, no bugs. Perfect. It helped to have  a cold keg of Beau’s Lug Tread Lager to stay hydrated.  (Try some soon if you haven’t already….. very tasty).

Image

It reminded me of why I love this game though: a walk in the woods (or a park) with friends, laughs and just a bit of structure and friendly competition. With a big steak dinner waiting after the round…

Remember if you don’t live near an established course, it can be a lot of fun making one up! Get out there and throw!!

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Showa Kinen Disc Golf Course, Japan

I had a very notable round today with my brother in Japan.  We found our way to Showa Kinen Disc Golf Course just outside of Tokyo.

Here’s a link for more information on the course.

I’m currently on a 10-day visit to see him and his family over in Tsukuba City (pron. Skuba), Japan. Tsukuba is about 45 minutes north east of Tokyo by train – in Ibaraki prefecture (quick geography lesson…)

The train ride took about 2 hours (changing lines twice through Tokyo) to Nishi-Tachikawa Station.

Here’s a train shot from exiting Shinjuku station which is Main Tokyo train line, on the way to Nishi-Tachikawa, which is about 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station.

Interesting traveller’s fact:  Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the world – over 3.5 million travellers daily!

Looks way better at night!!

It’s amazing that since my last trip (3 Years ago) Iphones have been invented and there’s english apps for everything, inlcuding linking trains for a trip like this!

These are actually caution signs....

Showa Kinen Park is very large, with a waterpark, and large BBQ area, soccer fields, basket ball, bocce etc.  Lots to do (and of course 18 holes of disc golf!).

The course was a lot of fun, a very scenic lay-out under a canopy of trees much of the time.  It was quite short (holes measured in metres, not feet – longest was around 80m, 260ft) compared to the GTA courses I usually play.  We really only needed a putter and mid-range disc, but lots of tricky tee-shots  and there were a few bogeys out there…..

We got to play this 3 times, re-named it 'Scramble-Par'!

We didn’t know what to expect on seeing other golfers out there, but the disc golf course was actually quite busy.  We had a chance to play two separate nine holes with different groups.  One group had a few guys who had played the 2010 Japan Open tournament.  I’m glad my brother is fluent, I didn’t have much to add to conversation. (‘nice shot!’ etc.)

Fun Card.

Also, I was impressed by he different ages of people we saw playing (and practicing disc golf)!  There were several golfers over 60 and one guy who looked in his 70s!  Great to see.

We played 45 holes on the day.  Which for the length may not seem like a big day out, but the weather in August is VERY hot and humid.  We were constantly drinking water and were both soaked with sweat by the end of the day.  (100% humidity doesn’t allow for much evaporation.) I wore my white shirt for the day…..

My shot of the day was hitting a basket on #11…..missed the ace.  Still waiting.

Overall, an amazing day on the course. I would happily call this a home course, if it weren’t so far away.  Put it on the wish list if you’re in Japan.  Very easy to find from Tokyo.

Fore!

 

 

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Basket Installation

After almost two years of planning, it was very satisfying (VERY satisfying) to slide the first basket into place on the course.  Jim (our amazing parks liason) was present and took a putt to mark the occasion too – and sunk it.  Newest member to the DG family I think.

Thanks to Steve, Josh, Toddy, Mikey Y, Kim and Greg for all the help last night.  It was a very efficient process which took about two hours and allowed for a 7pm tee-off to test out the course.

Rudy, a fellow blogger and veteran to the game of disc golf had a drop in and visit on his way home.  He snapped a few pics which are posted on his blog (I’ll update mine with more colour when I have a chance to upload some pics).  Thanks Rudy.

Greg had the honour of sinking the first birdie of the course – well done.  Lots of groans on baskets hit from the rest of us.

We did have some minor modifications on a few baskets as some of the cement leaked into the sleeves, but nothing a reciprocating saw couldn’t assist with – an effective attitude adjustor.

It was pretty cool to look around the park which was just grass, hills and trees and finally see baskets scattered around.

Have a look at the Discgolfontario.com website for directions to the course and a map.

The actual installation phase of this project was made possible by the hard work of the City of Toronto workers who installed all of the sleeves and cement (36 placements, all within 5 days).  I missed the opportunity to see this part of the project, but Rudy has some pictures on his blog.

They have been amazing to work with through this process and are really on-side for this course project.  I was surprised to find out they have already put up some Disc Golf signage on some of the existing signs – pretty cool for Day 1…

(Thx for the picture Iceman)

If you do spend time in the park, please help to take care of it, respect the other park users and say a big thanks to any of the city workers you do see.

Cheers.

Adge

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The Shire – Tournament Weekend

What a great weekend to play disc golf in Ottawa area!

An Annual tournament hosted on private land drew over 50 golfers from all over Ontario and parts of Quebec.

The course was set up primarily on our hosts land with a few holes on friendly neighbour’s and an adjoining public park.
After a warm up round and a few hours of catching up with friends, I had my first Glowy golf experience – attaching LED lights to your disc and firing for chains in the dark. Really fun – and easier to locate your disc than daylight rounds believe it or not.

There was a great campfire both nights (which is probably still burning) and some great Stanley Cup hockey between Vancouver and Boston in the background.

We had the excellent talents providing the Soundtrack of the weekend (DJ tunes kept spirits high)

Food was superb (and ample!), provided by neighbours as part of the weekend.

Really a great weekend on so many levels. Got to hang out with Toronto locals, and get to know the Ottawa gang better – and first time hanging out with the Montreal crazies. You guys all rock.

I’ll be back for sure. If this sounds like fun check out the calendar of events on the ODSA website: http://www.ondisc.org/?page=ODG or other local events held by clubs at www.discgolfontario.com, and if you need any DG equipment go check out www.ultimatediscgolfstore.ca

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Temporary Tees

This season on the course at E.T. Seton will be used to tighten up the lay-out from the baskets backwards…meaning we’ll play with temporary(grass) tee-locations through-out the spring and summer before installing tee pads.

The course will have two basket locations (short and long), but has been designed thus far with one permanent tee-pad in mind.  The available land and lay-out of the park doesn’t really lend itself to two tee pads on every hole (though several holes do have potential) – but for now, the budget will only allow for one tee pad on each hole.

The temporary tee-locations will be identified by flourescent pink markers which will be nailed into the grass.  We’ll have the ability to move these around periodically to experiment with new lines and angles to the pin.

We’ll also wait to install tee-signs until tee-pads have been installed. C’mon sun!!

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Who was E.T. Seton?

Well, since the spring of 2011 has frustrated us all with a wet, cold start  – and this has held up installation of the course by a couple of weeks I have had some time to do a bit of research on the history of the park….I’ll try to make it interesting (and brief).

The most interesting thing I discovered about the land, is that it was once originally intended to be the location for the Toronto Zoo until 1967 when the current site was approved by city council and subsequently the Riverdale Zoo (opened in the 1880s) was re-located.

Ernest Thompson Seton was originally born in England but moved to Toronto in the 1870s. Among other things, he is was an artist, writer, environmentalist and story-teller.

Other interesting facts about his life:

-Made a 2,000 km (7-month) canoe trip through the Canadian north in 1907. Many of the maps he made during that time are still considered to be very accurate!

– one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America

– Had a moustache, and crazy hair!

– He died in 1946 at the age of 86

For more on his life  & times, and to see some of his artwork have a look at http://www.etsetoninstitute.org/

There’s your history lesson for the day – hope you learned something new about Toronto and the man behind the name!

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Final Approval & Financials.

In my last post, I mentioned ‘locates’ had begun, and are now done.  What are ‘locates?

Any time a utility company buries it’s pipeline, cable etc. and you plan to dig it’s important to know where they’re buried to avoid hitting them when you drill a hole.

There’s four major companies with pipes crossing through the valley in E.T. Seton (you probably pay 2 0r 3 or their bills each month). The City of Toronto Parks Dept. has coordinated with each of the various companies to come to the park and ‘locate’ the underground pipes etc. and with today’s meeting it’s confirmed that pin locations are fine, we’re OK to begin!

On another topic, up until now I haven’t really felt like the project is really going to happen (nothing to throw at yet….etc.) – kind of a weird sense of doubt I know- but with the baskets having long since arrived we’re obviously moving ahead.  It’s long overdue to make mention of some KEY support.

Baskets aren’t cheap (19 of them add up pretty quick!) nor will the rest of the equpment for tee-pads signs, and other materials along the way.  We would be throwing at trees and lamp poles if it weren’t for the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).  Our application was approved last fall (see link through ODSA site below for more on this):

http://www.ondisc.org/news/53535/Disc-Golf-OTF—Approves-grant-for-Toronto-Area-Disc-Golf-Club.htm

Additional funding was obtained from Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Ontario Disc Sports Association (ODSA) and Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).  Thank you to all.

Let us all speak positively (and often) of OTF, BNS, ODSA and PDGA – their combined generosity has made this installation possible.

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