Disc golf is a popular sport in Europe and the US and is gaining momentum in Australia. Back in November last year, Ballina Council supported a proposal by Cr Jeff Johnson to investigate the establishment of a course at Bicentennial Gardens.
This week a representative from DiscGolf Australia visited Ballina to start the process of designing a professional course.
US-born Byron resident Jesse Amos has been playing disc golf most of his life and has been the driving force behind establishing the sport locally.
‘I’m thrilled to see Ballina lead the charge with the region’s first professional disc golf course,’ he said. ‘I hope this leads to more courses being established in the northern rivers.
‘With the support from Cr Jeff Johnson it didn’t take long for the proposal to be approved. It’s amazing to think we’re now out here designing a professional course.
‘Bicentennial Gardens is one of the most beautiful locations in which I’ve had the opportunity to design a disc golf course,’ said Andrew Ferguson from DiscGolf Australia.
‘The gardens offer so many great elements that combined create a fun and challenging course for players of all abilities.
‘Thanks to the progressive thinking and fervour of Jesse Amos and Cr Jeff Johnson, disc golf has landed in the northern rivers.’
The course layout will allow disc golf clubs the ability to host regular events at the gardens. The course also has the potential to host major disc golf tournaments, attracting top touring players from all over the country competing in the Australian Disc Golf Tour
Jesse says he has spoken to several principals from local schools in Ballina. ‘They were very excited about the idea and said they would love to have disc golf as an option for school sport days.
‘Disc golf is an extension of the great Aussie pastime of throwing a frisbee,’ said Cr Jeff Johnson. ‘Having played it a couple of times I’m hooked, and everyone else I know who has played can’t wait to have a permanent course set up in the northern rivers.
‘Bicentennial Gardens is the perfect place for it. We have this wonderful park that is largely underutilised. For a very low one-off cost and literally zero ongoing maintenance we will now have a new recreation/sporting option that is great for families as well as disc golf enthusiasts.
Cr Johnson says he is looking forward to the day when there are local teams who will use this course regularly and have players from across the region and beyond visiting Ballina to play disc golf.
‘Not only will the course become a great asset for the local residents of Ballina, but it will also be an attraction for visitors from all over Australia.’