By Steve Hubrecht

Efforts are afoot to create a disc golf course in Invermere. 

The Columbia Valley Disc Golf Association (CVDGA) will soon present before Invermere council on just such an idea.

The CVDGA was formed a few years ago, and in that short time has already helped create a course at Nipika Mountain Resort, then at Raven’s Nest Resort and Campground near Fairmont Hot Springs, and then a free public course along Sinclair Creek in Radium Hot Springs. A family-friendly course in Invermere is the group’s next ambition.

“It would mean a lot to get a course in Invermere,” association president Jesse Tomalty told the Pioneer. 

Tomalty actually began examining the possibility of a public course in Invermere long before the CVDGA existed back in 2007 when he was a Grade 6 student at J.A. Laird Elementary School. He and other students approached municipal officials, but ultimately nothing came of it. More than a decade later, Tomalty returned to the Columbia Valley as an adult after finishing university. His interest in disc golf remained, and he along with a few like-minded other residents formed the CVDGA.

Both the course at Nipika and the one at Raven’s Nest are technical, challenging courses that offer a lot for experienced players. But the group wanted something that could instead be fun for beginners, and so undertook the Sinclair Creek course. The vision for Invermere is similar.

“What we really want is a small place in town where families and kids can play the game,” said Tomalty.

Fellow CVDGA member Andre Lodder cited the Idlewild disc golf course in Cranbrook as another example of what the group would love to create in Invermere.

“It’s (Idlewild) a very popular course, probably the most popular in the whole region. It’s very family friendly but it’s also fun for experienced players too,” Lodder told the Pioneer. “The best part of disc golf is that it has such a low barrier to entry, in terms of both skill and cost. If you have a free public course, like we want to have in Invermere, all you need is a $15 frisbee and you can play. And it really doesn’t take very long at all, even if you’ve never held a frisbee, to get the skills you need to go out and have fun on a course.”

Lodder explained that, right now, the idea for an Invermere course is very much in its infancy and that the CVDGA has reached out to the District of Invermere and to the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) “just to get the ball rolling.”

The idea was enough to pique the interest of Invermere council, which after receiving a letter from Lodder, decided to invite the association to present before council members.

Aside from creating disc golf courses, the CVDGA holds free ‘learn to play’ events each Monday through September and October, organizes occasional tournaments, and holds work-play events (including one just last weekend) to help keep the local courses in good condition. The group is always looking for more volunteers for the work-play events and is happy to hear from anyone else interested in its other endeavours.

To find out more, check out the Columbia Valley Disc Golf Facebook page.

Almost . . . give it a couple of years. Juniper Lodder tries her hand at disc golf like her dad.
(Photo by Andre Lodder)