Developers seek to expand Innisfail disc golf course

INNISFAIL – Disc golf in town has taken off successfully, but after just one successful season, course officials want to add a back nine this year to secure major tournaments, a move they say will also be a boost funding for the community.

“Last weekend I was at a tournament in Lethbridge with 250 people booking hotels and eating out all weekend, and they’re every weekend in the summer, so we really want to bring this in Innisfail as much as we can,” said Josh Gette, course designer for Centennial Park’s new Innisfail Kinsmen Disc Golf Park.

“We need a full 18 to run a big tournament, so that’s why we want that back nine installed. Once we get those 18 holes installed, we can run all these big tournaments. We don’t want to just not a front nine that’s so great it can’t ever be used in tournaments because there aren’t the other nines.

Innisfail Kinsmen asked town staff to go to town council during its May 16 agenda and priorities with its request to move from nine holes to 18.

Steven Kennedy, director of operational services, told the board that the expansion plan is to create three holes south of the existing course and then across the footpath to the west with the remaining six holes.

Council’s reaction to the plan was generally favourable, but with some reservations.

Com. Don Harrison said the three proposed holes south of the dog park were in “pretty heavy bush” and wanted to know how much clearance would take place.

Kennedy said typical practice would be to choose existing trails to minimize any clearing.

“They’re trying to focus on the weak disturbances,” Kennedy said.

Mayor Jean Barclay said she was concerned about a proposed course layout that curves around the edge of Lake Napoleon and that the town faces the possibility of future events bringing together several hundred people.

The mayor also raised concerns about potential holes being created in areas that become wet from spring melt from the nearby town’s snow dump.

“I spoke to the guys working the course and they even asked me if potentially the snow dump could be moved a little further east, or I might even ask somewhere else. I don’t don’t know if it’s possible,” Barclay said.

Kennedy said disc golf officials were aware of the snowmelt situation and were told it was in a “strategic location” because the city is limited to where it can transport snow.

“If we take that out, it ultimately means going into the city yard, so it just increases our operating costs for snow removal,” Kennedy said. “As we progress and learn as the course develops, we will continue to monitor.”

The board agreed to meet soon with Kinsmen and local disc golf officials for a proposed comeback tour.

Gette told the Albertan on May 18, planning for the back nine began “a few” months ago and the goal was to make the best layout possible.

He conceded that a proposed hole is “near” the lake, but there is still a line of trees between him and the hole.

“It’s an older game course and we mainly use it for a nicer open par 4 in an area that isn’t really used,” said Gette, adding that course managers also collected lots of trash bags in underused areas that have been pushed out. by melting snow.

“We really try to help clean up these natural areas and keep them beautiful.”

He added that one of his group’s main goals is to only develop animal-created or pre-existing trails.

“At most, what will be removed are the thorny bushes that get in the way. We really want to keep all the trees there. That’s what makes holes exciting. We want to keep them all there as much as possible.

He said he hopes the final nine can be built and ready to play by mid to late summer this year.

Gette noted that the club had already acquired all the baskets for the nine holes. Starter mats and backboard still need to be ordered as sponsorship funds are secure.

Tim Ainscough, president of the Innisfail Kinsmen, said no sponsorship had yet been secured for the Back Nine project.

He said Kinsmen would put wooden survey markers on the proposed back nine for the council tour.

Ainscough said the Kinsmen and course officials are fully prepared to make changes to the course if desired by staff or a board member.

“It’s not finalized yet, so we’ll put in roughly what we think we want and get feedback from council and city staff,” Ainscough said. “Once everyone is happy, we’ll go ahead and put things in place.”

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