Fantastic Frisbee fun coming to Amherst?

Darrell Cole
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Proponents want to bring disc golf to Dickey Park

AMHERST - If all goes according to plan, there could be hundreds of unidentified flying objects around Dickey Park sometime soon.

Fantastic Frisbee fun coming to Amherst?

AMHERST - If all goes according to plan, there could be hundreds of unidentified flying objects around Dickey Park sometime soon.

A group of disc golf enthusiasts has submitted a proposal to the town that would see the park transformed into a park for whats becoming a very popular sport in both the United States and other parts of Canada.

Currently theres no organized disc golf courses set up in the province and there are no professional courses east of Montreal, project backer Ben Smith said. Weve been very fortunate in that weve been working with course designers over the last several years and were really hoping to be successful at bringing the sport to Amherst.

The town has yet to make a commitment on the proposal since its planning to do consultations of the parks future through 2008 with a decision expected sometime in 2009.

Smith and his partner, Zachary MacDonald, are setting up a temporary course at Dickey Park for a tournament on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. The $30 entry fee will cover the cost of prizes, lunch and a disc for each participant to keep.

Disc golf is a game in which individual players throw a flying disc (or Frisbee) into a basket or at a target. The object of the game is to finish the course in the fewest number of throws. Disc golf is very similar to traditional golf in that is uses the same rules and terminology. The main difference is that instead of using a golf ball and clubs, players throw a disc.

I like how open it is to everybody, MacDonald said. When we were travelling through western Canada and the United States we saw people up to age 70 playing. You can play with the official discs or with those you have at home.

There are no official courses in Atlantic Canada, although there are three unofficial courses on Prince Edward Island and one in New Brunswick.

He feels its an excellent sport of all ages, especially children who are not involved with organized sports like hockey, basketball or baseball. He also believes it would make good use of the park facility.

I used to work at this park as part of summer staff and know how many children used to come here every summer. I could think of no better use than what were proposing, he said. Its perfectly set up for it. There are all sorts of obstacles, both natural and manmade, theres enough ample space and weve designated a central space for a skate park or even another outdoor pool.

Smith said it would cost less than $10,000 to set up the park while ongoing costs would be low.

Geographic location: Amherst, Dickey Park, Atlantic Canada United States Montreal Prince Edward Island New Brunswick

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