Growth seen in disc golf during pandemic

Jen Snow (pictured) and her husband, Craig, helped set up the Paris Disc Golf Club. Submitted

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PARIS While COVID-19 shuttered many sports, the Paris Disc Golf Club was busier than ever, says Craig Snow.

Snow, the club’s president, said in an interview that he saw a “100 per cent” increase in activity.

“It’s one of the only things families can do now,” he said of a sport that sees players throw a flying disc at a target using similar rules to golf.

“If you have a family of four, you can buy a starter set for each person for $30. For a family to start, it’s $120 to $150. You get everything you need disc-wise and you can play all summer for free.

“There’s been a lot of families out.”

Snow said the course at the Green Lane Sports Complex is the result of the hard work of Dwayne Bereziuk, who died in 2016.

Bereziuk began his disc career by playing at Christie Lake Conservation Area in Dundas and Brantford’s Mohawk Park. A former world amateur mixed champion with Melissa Lancaster, Bereziuk saw his dream come to fruition when the course opened in 2015.

“He was the guy who started the course,” Snow said of Bereziuk. “He was the one that got all the grants and did all the legwork to get the course installed.”

The course was renamed the Dwayne Bereziuk Memorial Disc Golf Course.

Snow and his wife, Jen, entered the picture to form the club.

The couple first played the sport when they visited a friend in Brantford, who lived near Mohawk Park.

“Jen got hooked right away,” he said, adding he was too busy at the time with barbecue competitions.

Two months later, he received a set of discs and, within a week, he bought a second set.

“The rest is history,” Snow said. “It all happened pretty quick, actually.

“I don’t do barbecue competitions anymore.”

Snow said the club had 25 members in its first year. This year that number hit 72.

“I don’t know how many people actually use it a day but, on a busy Saturday or Sunday, I’m going to say around 100 to 150, maybe even 200 people, are using it,” said Snow.

The course is free to play. Club members pay $10, which gets them a tag to enter club events.

Snow said the club draws players from outside Paris and Brantford, with many coming from Guelph, Kitchener, Cambridge and even Toronto

The Paris course is 18 holes with two sets of tees – shorts and longs. Weaving its way through Green Lane, the average hole from shorts is 230-250 feet with a par of 54 for 18 holes. while the longs average 300-375 per hole with a par of 57.

Snow said this past summer players sometimes had to wait to start games because of its popularity. Once off the first tee, the average round can take between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours, depending on each players’ skill level, he said.

The club has a Canadian and world champion on its list of members in Rob Martinek of Brantford.

But Snow emphasized the course, which is open year round but with limited parking in winter, is for all players.

In the past, the club has hosted “Grow the Sport” days, during which members can introduce new players to the sport.

Snow encouraged anyone interested in playing to visit the club’s Facebook page by searching for the Paris Disc Golf Club.

“It’s kind of the disc golf culture. Everyone should be included.”

The Brantford Disc Golf Club also can be found on Facebook.

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