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02 Oct, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Disc golf a family friendly activity for kids

Families across Quebec are embracing disc golf, a low-cost game that’s popular among people of all ages and athletic abilities because it’s affordable, easy to learn and provides outdoor exercise.

“I see disc golf as a great opportunity for kids and teens to work on body control and focus,” said Pat Huot, a local disc golf champion and high school supervisor. “It’s about technique more than muscle so it is accessible to everyone.”

In a nutshell, this sport is similar to golf but played with specialized discs on fairways. The aim is to sink the Frisbee-like plastic discs into specially designed baskets in the least number of throws.

Just like club selection in regular golf, disc golfers have hundreds of discs to choose from: different brands, models, qualities of plastic and, most importantly, flight patterns. They range from $10 to $20 each. A beginner only really needs a mid-range driver and putter to start. I recommend watching a few instructional videos online and maybe perusing the rules on the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website (www.pdga.com) before bringing the family out on the course.

It is much easier to learn than golf since most people understand the concept of tossing a Frisbee. Kids around age 9 and up adapt to the game quickly, but younger children often enjoy the walk or stroller ride on the course with their parents. In the U.S., there are competitive youth leagues and schools that have disc golf courses built right on the campus for gym classes and recreational activities. While we aren’t at that point in Quebec, there are many free (and pay) courses in and around Montreal.

It’s been a dream for me to see so many courses cropping up across the province as I’ve been playing competitively for more than a decade. While my daughters are still a bit too young to play, my wife and I like taking them to the free course at Parcours de L’Île Charron in Longueuil. My 5-year-old practices putting on occasion, but mostly my kids enjoy watching their parents play while keeping an eye out for the deer, foxes and birds that regularly roam the course.

American Avery Jenkins, a world champion disc golfer who has made a career of it through sponsorships and international tournament winnings , says he got his start playing with his family. He recently stopped in Montreal en route between tournaments in Vermont and Toronto. While playing a round with some of the locals (myself included), he told us his family used to spend vacations touring disc-golf courses across North America.

“I would definitely recommend disc golf to families,” Avery said. “It keeps people active and playing outdoors. You only need one or two discs to start and  what better way to spend a nice, sunny day with the family, than hanging out and throwing some discs in the park?” n

For more information, visit the Association Disc Golf Montréal www.adgm.ca


 

Disc golf around Montreal

While there are many online retailers, the Association Disc Golf Montréal sells affordable discs and all proceeds go toward developing disc golf in the Montreal region.

Where to play the sport
(find course maps at www.ADGM.ca)

 

Ignace Bourget Park
Address:   5925 de Montmagny Ave. Montreal
Cost:         Free
Parking:    Free street parking
A 12-hole, beginner-to-intermediate course. The short tees, marked by red tiles, are a great place to learn the game and the flat, easy-to-walk terrain makes the course good for kids.

Parcours de disc golf de L’Île Charron (PIC)
Address:   2999 l’Ile Charron St. Longueuil,
Cost:          Free
Parking:     Free (at the “visitor lot” of wastewater treatment facility)
An 18-hole intermediate-to-advanced course  located in the public park. Many young families play there, but it is not easy to learn on.

Parcours Disc Golf Bois de Belle-Rivière
Address:   9009 Arthur Sauvé Blvd., Mirabel
Cost:          Park entrance fee. Adults: $5 Children (6 to 16): $1.50
Parking:     On site
The  9-hole course is great for all levels, easy to play and walk. Discs can be rented on site.

Golf Domaine de Rouville
Address:     4230 Rang de la Rivière Nord, St. Jean-Baptiste
Cost:           With disc rental: $12. Without disc rental: $7.
Parking:      Free
This par-3, 12-hole course, easy for players of all levels, is one of two Quebec disc-golf courses built into an existing golf course.

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