December 30, 2023 9:18 AM

2023 Year in Review

Benjamin Smith
Written by
Benjamin Smith

Setting the Stage

As we prepare to flip the calendar into 2024 let’s take a few moments to reflect on the historic year that just passed.  Welcome to the 2023 Flickline Year in Review!

It’s almost absurd to think about all the things that have happened in 2023.  We sponsored a touring team and a Community Catalyst team but the tone was really set when members of team Flickline attended the first ever DGPT conference in Arizona. In retrospect it was a great way to start off the year with new ideas and a refreshed sense of direction, not only for our regions but for the disc golf industry as a whole.  So many people behind the scenes are making incredible strides to make our game better that it’s only now, almost 11 months later, that the real progress is starting to show.  Coverage for the DGPT events was the best it’s ever been and the game is getting more global.  Both of these things will help lead the way in sustainable, long term growth of fans and players.  That is a great thing.

It’s also wild to think that before things even kicked off in the Atlantic Canada scene Flickline was busy at work in Europe.  We ran an event in Northern Ireland, and did a workshop and a course redesign in Scotland.  It was a wonderful way for us to see a new place in the world and to better understand our craft.  We were joined by some of our favorite people in the world and were honored to be able to co-create so many great things with Uplay.  In the end we felt like we were on the right path in our pursuit of disc golf creation and much of that good feeling was needed to carry us through our busiest year ever.

Our Biggest Tour To Date 

By the time our first official event was ready to take place so many wild things had already happened.  We had an article featured on the DiscGolfPark website that highlighted our unique style of course building but we also had a regrettable falling out with one of our favorite courses.  We are happy to say that the falling out has been resolved and we are very optimistic that one day in the not too distant future we will once again reunite to run events at the top rated course in Atlantic Canada.  As always our Beech Hill event was a fan favorite and a good time was had by all.  It was the complete opposite of our next event, the Rose Valley Tour Stop.  What was supposed to be a primer for the DGPT event later in the year ended up being more like a war zone where people tried their best to survive 3 rounds of disc golf.  In 20 + years of playing and running events this was by the far the worst conditions we have played.  Still, in the end it was a version of fun…. I guess.

The days and the events kept on rolling with another lovely edition of ‘adult camp’ at CBU.  The disc golf was as fun as it ever is but the Jenga, well that was legendary.  We found our way back To Newfoundland for the second year in a row and were greeted by an even more enthusiastic player base.  We ran events in Stephenville and Corner Brook and by all metrics they were successful.  In August we ran another sold out Dieppe tour stop.  This event was especially unique because it was the first full on tour stop that was run without Ben, and was a great indication that Flickline is made up of the best kind of people.

By the time Sept rolled around we were all waiting with bated breath to see the DGPT roll into town.  In the end it was a wild experience that will have ripple effects for years to come.  It puts into perspective what we have here and how lucky we are to have both the courses and the people to pull something like this off.  There were so many things to be thankful for that it is hard to even write them all down but in the end we did our best and the majority of the people that came had a genuine experience. It cannot be overstated how much Discmania stepped up to make this event happen. Without them, there is 0 question that the DGPT would not have come. The entire country of Canada owes them a small debt of gratitude for believing in us.

The fact that the PEI courses were rebuilt in time for this event will never cease to be a small miracle.  Only those people who really put in the work will understand what it took to get to that point but for all of those who play they know how impactful this has been.

As everyone around here knows autumn golf is the best golf and our 2023 installment of the Iron Leaf did not disappoint.  This is always a must-play event and each year we are thankful that it happens.  As always the season wraps up with an epic 48 holes of disc golf at the Hillsborough Golf Course.  This year's Tour Championship was as good as it gets.  We were once again blessed with great weather and a strong field of competitors.  Our behind the scenes team is always doing their best to make things run smooth, and although we fully admit we are not perfect we feel we are always getting just a little bit better.

Getting Better Despite our Failures

It’s not to say that this year was all wins.  Not using Hillcrest for the DGPT event in some way felt like a huge missed opportunity but as we said we think that will change in the future.  We failed in two major projects that we had invested a lot of time on, FLI and the National Coaching Certificate.  Although we take those losses seriously we did our best to make them work.  Sometimes your best isn’t enough.  We also missed attending the Canadian Nationals and the World Championships this year because bad weather delayed so much of the course improvements at Rose Valley we felt we would run out of time if we went.  Missing those events probably had long term negative repercussions but in the end we did what we felt was best.  By late Fall it was apparent that Flickline was being stretched too thin and many of the great ideas we have had were not able to come to fruition because there simply wasn’t enough time our resources to do it all.  Hopefully that is a lesson to ‘do less better’ in 2024.

Course Building Hits a Boom

When we first dreamed up Flickline the hope was building 3 courses a year.  When the dust settled on 2023 we had built, or redesigned 9 courses in 11 months:

Redesign Springburn (UK)

Redesign Rose Valley DGPT

Redesign Dieppe DiscGolfPark  (although this was mostly done by the amazing club there)

Additional holes at Corner Brook

Saint John

Whale Back DiscGolfPark

Raven Wood DiscGolfPark

Maple Park Future Forest

Cambridge Narrows


And we helped consult and lay out the home course for one of our future pillars of disc golf in Deerfield, NS.  We have also come extremely close to completing two more courses that will have to wait to have their official reveal done in 2024.

On top of all that we ran an incredible event at Fundy National Park which we hope sets the table to do more course building in National Park settings.


Most every way you look at it this was a successful year.  The truth is it is also not sustainable.  The disc golf industry experienced a huge boom during the pandemic and now that growth is leveling off.  Those of us who work full time in the industry are going to have to chose how to effectively spend our time to not get burned out and to maintain our love of the game.  Almost everyone on team Flickline got pushed to the limits at some point this year.  How we adjust and go forward will dictate a lot of what happens in the future.

Although this article focused on the year for Flickline it should be noted that a lot of amazing things happened in Atlantic Canada.  Each province made huge strides in running events and improving their courses.  So many more people are playing now than just 3 years ago it’s amazing to think about how far we have come.  2024 is poised to be our best year yet right across the board.  Stay tuned for our next installment where we go through all of the things we are looking forward to in the next 12 months.  For now, take a moment to reflect on how lucky we have been in 2023 and cherish the moments we spent together.

Oh and team Nova Scotia won the Chowder Cup for a second year in a row, just in case you were wondering.

As always, shoot a little and have a lot of fun.