The ACT Government has tossed a $22,000 grant to the ACT Disc Golf Club to upgrade the ageing course at Woden’s Eddison Park in a bid to attract more people to the sport.
Disc golf, a game similar to traditional golf but instead of hitting a ball with a club into a cup you throw a plastic disc into a metal basket, has grown since its arrival in Australia in the 1980s, and has seen 22 courses across the country grow to more than 80 in the past six years.
The $22,000 grant is the second grant the sport has received in the past couple of years after the ACT Minister for Sport Yvette Berry helped fund the ACT Disc Golf Club’s third course in Belconnen last year.
The grant has been welcomed by the small disc golf community, with ACT Disc Golf Club president Todd Nowack saying the Woden course was in desperate need of a revamp.
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The locally-made custom baskets at Eddison park have been in the ground for over 20 years and were one of the first basket installations in Australia, but the park has seen some significant changes over the years due to the skate park, upgraded path networks and installation of fitness equipment.
All of these changes have impacted the course and due to the crisscrossing nature of the current layout and multiple park user conflicts, the course needed to be revitalised.
“For a long time, the park has been in limbo. If you go out there and play the course right now, there are some tee markers in the ground but there are no signs so it is difficult for first time players,” Nowack said.
“So this grant is really an opportunity to help solidify the Eddison Park course long term. We are focused on growing the sport and putting time and effort into the Woden course, which is an easy-to-moderate level.
“The John Knight Memorial Park course was a chance for the Government to test the waters to see how well it would be received. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and many people were glad to see the Government use the money well.”
Up to 100 players descended on the nation’s capital last November to contest the national disc golf championships in Weston Park, and Nowack hopes the rejuvenated course would attract more major events and elite players to Canberra while attracting new players to the sport.
“The sport is quite young in Australia but it has been growing significantly in the last couple of years,” he said. “Anyone can play this sport because you don’t need to hire the course and you can be five-years-old or 75-years-old to still enjoy the sport.
“You just need to bring a disc and have a good time.”