It's taken us a few weeks but are finally catching our breathe from an amazing stretch of disc golf in Atlantic Canada. Since early August there has basically been an event every weekend. That statement would have been unthinkable just a year ago but now we are firmly in the grips of a full on disc golf explosion. We have several groups of people organizing all kinds of events. Our courses are full of new and old players, our events are well attended and funded, and the overall disc golf experience is positive for the vast majority of players no matter what level you choose to play at. On top of all that the weather has been outstanding (Hillsborough was the exception).
Flickline has been fortunate enough to pull off the majority of the tour we had planned. It wasn't as easy as it was in the before times when we didn't have to think about gather limits, lockdowns, and travel restrictions but we made it happen, and that is what counts. In late August we retooled our traditional season opener and ran another amazing Sackville Showdown. Our ever gracious host, Duncan Dixon always makes sure this event is a can't miss. This year was worth the wait. Since 2012 we have been running events at Beech Hill Park and although the permanent course was only established in 2015 this is still considered our oldest public course still on tour. We don't see that stat ever changing. For those of you who haven't played Beech Hill it is a perfect mix of 6 technical holes through the woods, 6 blended holes with trees and open space, and 6 wide open bomber holes. Oh and there is wind. Lots and lots of wind. The course is located just north of the Chignecto Isthmus where wind gusts exceed 30km an hour over 300 days a year. There are some wonderful views of the Bay of Fundy and some interesting shot shapes at this course. Add to that the fact that it is only 5 seconds off of the Trans-Canada highway and you have plenty of reasons to stop here every chance you get.
As with most events this year Sackville was competitive in every division. Since every division plays from the same tees you get a very good sense of how the course is playing. This year had the most players play under par ever for this event. Our jr division winner Antoni Richard almost became the first jr ever to play 3 rounds under par at the course, and if not for the year Dustin Keegan came and destroyed us all we would have had a course record this year with Nathan McCarthys 3 rounds.
A few weeks later were on Prince Edward Island to flex our long range drivers on the newly improved Rose Valley course. This summer we were able to do some work on the fairways here and add turf tee pads. We reshaped hole 7 and 16 and tried our best to improve the overall player experience. When the dust settled we had another competitive day of disc golf framed with lovely island weather. The course reviews were positive and travel to the island was still relatively painless. All in all we had a successful event. A few lucky players even got to make the trip to the super secretive new Flickline island course. ( We promise we will release some more details as soon as we are allowed).
The final event during this home stretch was the can't-miss Iron Leaf. This event is always one of the highlights of the year. Fall in the Annapolis Valley is spectacular on it's own but the addition of this event is something that disc golfers look forward to all year. The local rec director and original Bush Wacker, John Ansara has helped create something wonderful and long lasting. The regular New Minas course is bumped up to a 24 hole world class tournament layout course. The addition of 5 (and counting) new permanent holes make this course as beautiful and challenging as any course you can play anywhere. As with the previous 2 events the weather was amazing, the play was competitive, and the overall feeling was one of gratitude and happiness for being in a position to have these events still take place. What more can you ask for really?
There are a few things about this event and the tour in general we feel are worth mentioning. First off we have been able to field competitive play in all divisions now. The FA divisions have several dedicated players who are doing more than their fair sharing of growing the game. We have a healthy amount of MA/ MP 40 players and with any luck next year we will have some age 50 divisions. The Jr players who are now playing the events are dedicated disc golfers. From the outside these things might not seem like much but to us this is the direct result of the last 6 years and the hard work that local clubs have put into cultivating the game. There are 2 results in particular we would like to shed some light on. The first is once again in the JR division and Dylan Goudy. Most players find disc golf by heading out to their course with a friend and playing a round. They get hooked because of a few good shots here and there or because they beat their buddies in a game of head to head. Dylan is not most people. In the early days of the pandemic he found disc golf through Brodie Smith and despite living more than 90 minutes from the closest course he took to the game immediately. Dylan did what everyone is supposed to do but doesn't; he practiced a lot more than he played. During 2021 he entered in 3 events, 2 in the MA 2 division and 1 in the Jr division. He has won all 3 by a combined margin of almost 50 strokes. The scariest part of this whole thing is the fact that he in only 14 years old. If all things go well in 2022 our region of Canada could see 3 Jr players head to the world championship. This is something to celebrate.
One more story we would like to tell is on the opposite end of the age spectrum in the MA40 division. This one is about persistence and sheer dominance in one Matthew Sullivan. Three years ago Matthew had 0 wins under his belt. Last year he won 4 of 7 events but this year Matthew has won an astounding 11 of 12 events (his only loss was in a playoff) in a very competitive MA40 division. Although he is quiet both on and off the course his play speaks for itself. This is another player who has his eyes on competing internationally when travel restrictions allow for it and we couldn't be happier to see him do that.
All in all we feel like we made a good on a less-than-ideal summer. We have one more amazing event lined up in the Tour Championship. There will be a minimum of $1000 added cash and a crazy amount of year end prizes. We are constructing the best temp course we have ever made and limiting the field to 80 players. We hope to see you all there!