Disc golf tournament doubles in size after pandemic popularity

The 2021 Fall Classic disc golf tournament took place in Kilcona Park Sept. 26. (Source: CTV News/Zach Kitchen)

Winnipeg's best frisbee players, along with a host of newbies, filled Kilcona Park Sunday morning to take part in an annual disc golf tournament.

Taking place every year at the end of September, the 2021 Fall Classic offers a chance for disc golf players to test their skills towards the end of the season.

This year, however, the annual tournament has nearly doubled in size.

"There's an increase in the number of golfers coming to the sport. With the pandemic and everyone needing to get outside and safely distanced, disc golf is the perfect game for that," said Will Belford, the tournament's organizer.

Belford said the Fall Classic usually gets around 100 players, but this year there are 170.

"This year is the first year we've been able to introduce a novice division. So, we still have the advanced, intermediate and beginner, and then we've added novice,"

The tournament also has a professional division where pro disc golfers play for cash.

"It is competition and tournament, but I always pride myself on trying to make it as welcoming as possible for new players," added Belford.

Belford said disc golf is a great sport for people to pick up.

"If you've ever thrown a normal frisbee in ultimate frisbee or at the beach, then you can play disc golf," he said. "It's very fast to learn, but takes a very long time to perfect."

Belford also recommends the sport because of the low cost and need for little equipment.

"Being able to use some of the beautiful parks in Winnipeg is a huge benefit of being able to get out and play disc golf. It helps that there are no green fees. You can go out and play anytime for free."

With many new players on the course, veteran disc golfers are quick to lend some tips.

"A lot of the folks out here have been playing for many years, and so I think on the one hand they're just really happy to see the sport grow, see lots of new players come out," said Bedford.

The influx of new players also comes with an added bonus.

"As the tournament grows, so does its payout, so it's kind of a reward for their years of dedication," noted Belford.

Belford said the best way for people to learn more about the sport is to head to Disc Golf Manitoba's Facebook page.