September 3, 2023 8:43 PM

The Story of our players pack

Benjamin Smith
Written by
Benjamin Smith

As Maritimers, we have a long history of story telling. Sometimes these are family stories passed down over generations. Other times, they are a way for us to connect to each other as humans or to celebrate the in which places we live. It is in that same vein that we here at FlickLine would like to tell you the stories of all the items in your players pack, and why they matter to us, to the people that made them, and hopefully to you.

This year, our focus was to create an event that was "intentional". We know how hard the past few years have been, and to see so many people going out of their way to make the trip to PEI was heartwarming. We know that this is a long trip considering it is not central to the country, and even the players who live close by often have to cross over a very large (and expensive) bridge to get here. Thus, to honour all of you who made the trip, we would like to offer you some items that bring us great joy, and also tell the story about who we are here.

The 2022 players pack can be broken up into two parts: your experience while you are here, and your experience when you go home.

The first part is easy. Each of you will play 2-3 amazing pay-to-play courses while you are here that are all well loved and cared for.

Hillcrest Farm is our most famous course, designed by John Houck and owned by the Best family. It is a five-star course located on a wonderful family-owned farm that traverses through the rolling hills of PEI. It has been magic every year we have used it for Nationals, and has been one of the biggest gifts to the disc golf community we could have ever dreamed of.

Huck-It is another PEI course designed on a family farm, this one is owned and designed by our local legend and fifth generation farmer, Charlie McCardle. Despite being decimated in the 2019 hurricane, Charlie and his crew have put in countless hours to make this course magic. Almost everything here is locally handmade, and the love and time that goes into these things shines through.

Rose Valley is a new addition to this year's event. This sprawling course, designed by Benjamin Smith, is located beside Barnone Brewery in what we can only describe as a match made in heaven. This course is owned and operated by five Islanders who decided to create a labour of love project. It has evolved slowly and steadily into a wonderful course that compliments the two other amazing courses at Nationals, and is poised to grow even more in the future to serve events like this.

Our newest course, Kings Pine, is a DiscGolfPark course designed once again by our TD, Benjamin Smith. It is a sustainably-harvested forest course owned by the Gill family. It aims to push the boundary of environmentally friendly courses that are built around healthy forests. We also wanted to make it fun and challenging for all types of players. This course is close to our final version, but not quite. In the years to come, we will be making improvements on a few holes to match what we can see in our minds. All in all, these four courses offer our players a wonderful disc golf vacation week that we call Nationals.

Since you are here to play disc golf, we thought it would be smart to include some disc golf items you can use while you are here, starting with discs.

Discmania is our main supporter and a huge reason why we are able to go forward in the future with the amazing plans that we have. Their Sparkle FD is thing of beauty and a disc that all players can throw with some level of success. We could not be more happy to see all of our amateur players put a Discmania disc in their hands this week. Discmania has done so many things behind the scenes to support the growth of Canadian Disc Golf, and we are happy to partner with them for the long term. Partnerships like these will bear many fruits in the years to come, and because of that, everyone who plays disc golf in Canada will feel the positive impacts.

Thought Space might not be a household name in the disc golf world just yet, but it should be. Owner Aaron Wilmont has had a wide variety of jobs in the disc golf industry already in his career and is a major force in the state of Maine. His artwork is widely considered to be among the best in the world and the discs feel so good in your hands that it might be hard to let them go. This year, Thought Space has contributed a custom-stamped Muse that we think every player will love to throw.

Now that you have got some discs, you'll need something to mark your lie with! So, let us give to you a Barnone mini. Not only does this mini disc look cute, it also entitles its holder to $1 off a beer at Barnone for the rest of the year. Just show us an image of your score card and the mini, and we will give you a discount on some of the best beer on the market. (We told you this was a match made in disc golf heaven, didn't we?)

Now with two discs, a mini, and a cold beverage into us, it's possible that we might get one of our discs stuck in a tree. If that happens, then pull out the next item in our players pack, the Play It Again hockey puck. Nothing says you are Canadian more than knocking your discs out of a tree with a hockey puck brought to you by our main sponsor, Play It Again Sports St. John's. We could not be more thrilled to have their ongoing support for the 2022 season and to send you all home with one of the most Canadian things ever.

To be sure that all of our players are identifiable while there are here we had some lovely lanyards made.  These keepsakes give you free parking at all the courses, and will look great on your wall of disc golf treasures.

On Thursday Sept 8th, from 11 am to 7 pm, stop into the Hand Pie Company to pick up your free cookie! That's right: we totally thought every player in this event deserved a free cookie from one of PEI's real gems. If you haven't experienced a hand pie yet, then you are in for a treat.  Sara B (the founder and owner) has been an early supporter of disc golf on PEI, and we could not be more thankful for everything she has done for the community. No trip to the Island is complete until you have had your hand pie (and cookie).

To round out the disc golf portion of our event, Top Link Disc Golf has contributed some lovely patches you can put on your bag as a sweet reminder of your time here at this national championship. For those of you not familiar with Top Link, they are one of the biggest distributors of disc golf equipment and accessories in the entire county. They are more than just distribution, though: Ryan and his team are working hard to contribute to the growth of the game in Canada by sponsoring events, players, and all sorts of growth initiatives across the country. Without Top Link Disc Golf, Canadian Nationals would not be nearly the event it is.

The other half of our players pack is best experienced when you get home.

This first, and most important part of this home experience, is your new hand-crafted mug from our local potter, Jennifer Houghtaling. It took over 425 hours to create these unique mugs. Each one was made specifically for you to enjoy the beverage of your choice in. (I know that coffee tastes best for me in a Jenn mug, and I think once you experience that for yourself, you will agree!)

Since this is a Canadian event, we thought you might want to sweeten that drink with some of Canada's finest maple syrup from Thompsons Maple Products. This family-owned business, providing you with a little shot of sweetness, is made in Nova Scotia straight from our trees. It's a great time to try a hot toddy if you haven't already.

While you are drinking that mug of hot goodness, why night set the mood and light a candle created by our youngest contributor, thirteen year old Kadance Smith. Her "Just Wicked" candles are all handmade with love and good scents, and are perfect for a quiet night in any place you call home.

Since we are all sitting around basking in the soft candlelight embracing our warm mug, the next best thing we can do is open our deck of playing cards and have ourselves a game. Our local printmaker and all-around team supporter, Tanis Trainor, has worked hard to send you home with this lovely deck to remember your experience here with us. And if you are lucky enough to win one of our crib board trophies, we know you will put these cards to good use.

Each of the items that we have included in the pack was made locally with love and care from a wide variety of producers. We place a high value on local production and on fostering long-term relationships that allow our local businesses to thrive. We feel that every part of our event has the ability to be positive force, and we hope that each player can appreciate our "quality over quantity" approach to this year's players pack.

Thank you all for being here and experiencing our slice of disc golf heaven!