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Saint John's first disc golf course officially opened in Shamrock Park on June 10, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

First disc golf course, accessible tennis court open in Saint John

By Brad Perry Jun 10, 2023 | 4:08 PM

A cloudy Saturday did not dampen the celebration at a city park in the north end of Saint John.

Residents gathered at Shamrock Park for the grand opening of the city’s first disc golf course and accessible tennis court.

There was also there to see a new sports score clock at the Emera turf field officially turned on.

Jeremy Rasch, president of the Saint John Disc Golf Association, said they were glad to finally open the 18-hole course.

“We’ve been working on this project for a little over two years and we’re just really excited to get it in the ground and share it with the community,” Rasch said following the official ribbon cutting.

While disc golf courses have been popping up throughout the province, this is the first one located in the city.

The sport, which sees players throw specialized frisbees or discs into standing baskets spread out over a course, is gaining popularity.

It is similar to golf, except you do not have to book a tee time – all the courses are free to use at any time.

A shamrock is drawn around one of the holes in a new 18-hole disc golf course in Saint John. Image: Submitted/Darrell Fountain

“It really peaked during the pandemic. It was an easy game for you to go out into the woods and play around by yourself or play around with someone in your bubble,” said Rasch.

“The love and the passion that everyone seems to have for it once they play, that’s what’s keeping them coming back and that’s what’s getting them to bring their friends out to try the game.”

Disc golf is a pretty inexpensive sport for players, as well. The discs sell for about $15 to $25 each and a player only needs one or two to get started.

Rasch said disc golf courses are “low impact” on the environment. There is a large emphasis placed on the existing natural features on each piece of land.

“You can basically take a course out without anyone knowing it was even there,” he said.

A disc golf course was one of five recreation initiatives identified by the city in late 2022 and was estimated to cost around $40,000.

City staff said at the time that the province was home to 13 leagues and 17 courses ranging from nine to 18 holes. The closest courses to Saint John were in Sussex and Oromocto.

Barry Ogden, one of several councillors who attended Saturday’s event, said it was an exciting day for the city.

“Shamrock Park is a gem for Saint Johners,” said Ogden. “We have so many sports here and this new sport is a great thing.”

“Our city council has made recreation a priority so we’re going to be seeing more of this.”


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