The first nine holes of a Gibsons 18-hole disc golf course are open for play, with the remaining nine scheduled to be in place by the summer.
Construction on the course, which is located behind Shirley Macy Park, began in February 2003 following an application approval from the Sunshine Coast Regional District. Glen Whitlock, a professional disc golfer who competes in approximately 20 world-wide tournaments each year, said the sport is still relatively unknown in Canada.
"There aren't a lot of courses here yet," Whitlock said. "It's simple to learn. All you need is a fundamental knowledge of golf."
Disc golf is similar to traditional golf, only instead of using golf clubs and golf balls, participants use a Frisbee to hit targets in the fewest strokes possible. Currently, there are 26 courses in B.C. with another 12 on the way. More than 1,200 courses exist world-wide. After Whitlock moved to the Sunshine Coast in 1982, he found himself travelling to Vancouver each week to practice at the nearest disc golf course, located at Queen Elizabeth Park. He has since won two world titles and a number of major tournaments.
Whitlock said he designed a disc golf course for the Coast in the hope it will generate interest and attract more popularity to the sport, adding that the B.C. Disc Sports Society is also interested in having the Sunshine Coast host tournaments.
"The B.C. Disc Sports Society is encouraging the completion of the course," Whitlock said. "They have given us approximately $2,000 for our baskets."
The course at Shirley Macy is a par 3, with each hole being approximately 150 to 250 feet in length. Whitlock is seeking volunteers to help clear some of the fairways in preparation for the completion of the final nine holes.
"The course is open right now," Whitlock said. For more information on the course contact Whitlock at 604-886-4139.