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St. Albert seeks feedback on possible disc golf course locations

Park planning team launches online survey on a nine-hole, beginner-focused course

St. Albert is seeking public feedback on three possible locations for a permanent nine-hole, beginner-focused disc golf course.

A motion, passed unanimously last June, directed administration to complete a feasibility study of creating a second disc golf course in the city. Council heard once the Kingswood Park disc golf course was finished, the temporary course in Langholm Park would be shut down. Rather than closing the Langholm course as planned, council decided to keep the course open for at least the 2023 season until the study was complete, as making the Langholm course a permanent fixture is part of the study parameters.

A 21-question survey is now open on the city's Cultivate the Conversation platform, asking residents for feedback on the three proposed locations: Napoleon Park in Northridge; Deerbourne Park in Deer Ridge; or Langholm Park off of Liberton Drive. The survey will be open until April 4.

Manda Wilde, a supervisor of parks planning and stewardship with the city, told the Gazette the city is presenting Napoleon Park and Deerbourne Park as additional options because both parks have enough green space to accommodate a nine-hole disc golf course, and each have enough parking access and limited additional activities taking place.

“Disc golf, first off, needs a certain amount of space even for small courses,” she said. “We needed something that was big enough that also didn't have a lot of other things going on in terms of like multiple ball diamonds or sports fields.”

“We basically took all of the city's parks and open spaces and whittled it down.”

As well, since council directed administration to study the feasibility of a beginner-focused course, Wilde said none of the three options present many natural obstacles that would be more suited for a regular, 18-hole course like Kingswood Park.

“There's a lot of different things that make each hole more complex,” Wilde said when asked what makes a good disc golf course for beginners. “Length is certainly part of it; as is obstacles, so trees and curves and hills and changes in terrain can make things [more difficult].”

“So when you're looking at a smaller course, it's less trees, less terrain, shorter holes, maybe not as difficult to throw ... in that relationship between the tee-pad and the basket.”

Wilde said another goal for a beginner-focused course is to provide an activity that doesn't require a major time commitment, as a nine-hole course can be played in about 30 minutes.

“I think that's the idea here, to provide something local and small, where you can go and play for half an hour and be done.”

Wilde also said the city knows the Kingswood Park and Langholm Park courses were well-used last summer. Data provided to the city by UDisc, a company that provides an app for disc golf players to keep track of their scores when playing a round, shows at least 2,100 rounds of disc golf were played at the Kingswood Park course between July and October in 2023, and about 4,100 rounds were played at the Langholm Park course in all of 2023.

“These are understated numbers because not everybody uses the app,” she said. “But we have some data that suggests that we're seeing really strong usage of the courses and people are really enjoying them, which is awesome.”

Once the Cultivate the Conversation survey is closed, Wilde said the city's parks planning staff will analyze the results and report to council with some options for making a permanent nine-hole course in St. Albert, whether it's making the temporary course at Langholm Park permanent, or making a permanent course at Napoleon Park or Deerbourne Park.

The report is expected to be finished in June.

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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