This past year has been one of backyard exploration – and with so may people rediscovering their city, it's no surprise we've seen a surge in outdoor adventures. We’re all finding different ways to get outside this summer, and the solution may just be what Jerry Seinfeld has so eloquently dubbed as “frolf” (or disc golf.)
The City of Winnipeg is host to three disc golf courses: Happyland Park, Kilcona Park, and La Barriere Park. Many Winnipeggers can distinguish these parks by the chain-linked, bird-cage-looking objects (or “baskets”) visible from the neighbouring streets. Along with these three city-owned courses, you can find others sprinkled throughout Winnipeg at places like Frontenac Park and the University of Manitoba.
Disc golf offers the perfect chance to enjoy nature, soak in the sun, and participate in a fun activity that costs a fraction of conventional golf. We always need more excuses to spend time outside, so read further to learn more about the perfect game for Winnipeggers, no matter your age or ability.
How to Play
The rules for disc golf are similar to golf. Rounds are played on 9 or 18 hole courses, and the object of the game is to throw the disc into the basket (the desired target) in the fewest throws possible.
Players can use discs of varying sizes and weights depending on their distance from the basket. Many players use different throwing styles depending on their comfortability and skill level. Throwing styles usually consist of “backhand,” which is when players grip the top of the disc with the back of their hand facing upward, or “forehand,” which is when players grip under the disc using their pointer and index fingers while pointing their palm upward.
Players must begin each hole by throwing their disc from the designated “Tee Pad” area. Tee Pads are usually segments of ground made of cement, brick, or dirt. Players then walk to their disc and throw again using the same disc, or more commonly, a separate disc that will provide a greater chance of reaching the basket. It is important to remember that players must throw discs from where the original throw lands. Players are not allowed to adjust their positioning to give them better access to the basket. Once players have completed the hole, they calculate the total number of throws it took to reach the basket -- just like golf.
There are a few more subtleties to consider when starting disc golf, and you can learn more about disc golf etiquette by reading this article published by Udisc.
One of the best parts of disc golf is you don’t need much to play. It’s not uncommon to play with as little as one disc, but most disc golfers use three variations of discs: drivers, mid-range discs, and putters.
Unlike golf, discs are not exclusive to specific sections of the course. For instance, you may find it suitable to use your putter from the Tee Pad to offer a straighter and more accurate throw. There are many different situations where certain discs may be more suitable than others. Watch the video below for more information about what discs to use and what things you should be looking for as a beginner.
Where to Play
As previously mentioned, there are three city-owned disc golf courses in Winnipeg that are free and don’t require an appointment.
The astutely named Happyland Park is located on the corner of Marion St. and Archibald St. The rolling hills surrounding the Seine River provide the perfect combination of scenery and difficulty for disc golfers in the heart of Winnipeg’s south end.
Kilcona Park is located on the north end of Lagimodiere Blvd., just inside the perimeter. This park is home to two disc golf courses: Kilcona Lakes Disc Golf and Kilcona Outback Disc Golf. These courses offer beautiful wide-open spaces and are conveniently located adjacent to the Kilcona Off-Leash Dog Park, making playing that much more fun.
La Barriere Park is located down Waverly St., a few kilometres south of the perimeter. Not only can you find people fishing, kayaking, and relaxing in the park, but it is also home to an 18-hole disc golf course that many consider to be the city's best.
Winnipeg is fortunate enough to have a large, friendly, and close-knit community of disc golfers. Nearly all players will be happy to answer questions you may have, but if you are in need of more information, you can always visit the Disc Golf Manitoba Facebook page.