Salt Spring’s disc golf scene marks a milestone this weekend, with its first Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) sanctioned B-Tier tournament taking place on-island.
This is considered a state- or province-level event, and the Salt Spring Disc Golf Club is inviting the community out to the course to watch as amateurs and pros take over the Salt Spring Golf and Country Club for the Salt Spring Fling. Presented by Gateway Discs, it runs Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22.
“Spectators are totally encouraged, and it’s free to come and watch,” said tournament director Ben Corno. “The first round of both days should be off by about 8:30 a.m.”
Corno said the club has hosted several C-Tier events in the past, but that being able to meet the specific prize and course requirements of a B-Tier event was new — thanks to the tournament title sponsor Mouat’s Home Hardware, along with several other community businesses that chipped in as well.
“This is another big step in taking this venue, and this tournament, to a new height,” said Corno. “There are 80 players already signed up, and many on the waitlist.”
The two-day event will present three rounds, each a “shotgun” start, with the second round on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and the last on Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m.
“The second day’s a single round, partly so people can get home,” said Corno, “and partly because three rounds is a lot of disc golf to play in a weekend.”
Corno said while typically the disc golf course operates on the periphery of the existing golf course — allowing for the two sports to coexist — during PDGA-sanctioned tournaments they’ll change the layout to a more challenging one that moves into the full golf course.
An A-Tier event in the future isn’t out of the question, Corno said, but there’s a lot to it — hosting more players and holding a longer event over several days.
“And you need to host a number of B-tiers in order to be approved to host an A-tier,” said Corno. “And it all would really be contingent on the golf course finding room for that. They’ve been such excellent partners to work with, and they really helped us develop the course.”
Total prize money for the event should be somewhere around $3,500-$4,000, distributed between the 35-or-so pro division players, with amateurs receiving great “players packs” with discs and swag, Corno said.
Sweetgrass Foods, the restaurant operator at the Salt Spring golf club, will be putting on a buffet dinner.