Hard working and passionate volunteerism pays off as Thin Air disc golf course gets grant from RDKB

Arlen MacLaine
By Arlen MacLaine
September 5th, 2013

The Thin Air disc golf course, located at the Black Jack cross country ski area, has just been given a serious upgrade thanks to a $20 000 grant from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.  Included in the upgrades are the replacement of all 18 dirt tee pads with concrete pads, increased brushing and clearing, the creation of new signage, as well as the creation and maintenance of new and existing trails and staircases.

The Thin Air disc golf course was created in 2006 when a group of Rosslanders created the Rossland Disc Golf Association (RDGA), and partnered up with the Black Jack Ski Club to create a disc golf course. The course is registered with the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) and meets all of the PDGA standards.  Players from outside the area have praised the courses layout and variety.  Every year in October, a well-attended tournament is put on, drawing players from around the region.  

The course’s 18 baskets were sponsored and paid for by local businesses. This year, the RDGA created shorter tee boxes to all of the holes, making the course more accessible to players of all ages and skill levels.

It is important to note that this course is run and maintained by a small, dedicated group of volunteers. The creation of stonework steps and log benches, all of the brushing and clearing, and many other tasks are taken care of off the clock, by people who are passionate about the game, and have a do-it-yourself attitude.  It is this spirit that has made the course what it is.  

It was also a big plus for Linda Worley, Director for Electoral Area ‘B’, and the person responsible for awarding the grant to the RDGA.

“When I look at a proposal, I look for ‘in-kind’ work,” Worley said.  “Seeing all the work that has already been done by this group, this proposal met all of the necessary criteria.”

K2 Contracting was hired to do the tee box upgrades, and all of the work was completed on schedule and within the budget.

In another example of the volunteer aspect of the RDGA, Craig Grimsrud, a project manager in a past life, provided between 3 and 5 thousand dollars of in-kind work, tendering and managing the tee box replacement contract and providing quality assurance and quality control supervision.  Jock Slater, a retired geologist, has been mapping the course with a GPS, updating the distances for course maps and the new signage.

They, and others, can always be found with tools when the play to fix what needs to be fixed.

“I’m a big supporter of recreation in the region,” said Worley. “The partnership between the RDGA and Black Jack have made this area a four-season recreation facility that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  It will also serve to attract visitors to the region.”

Disc golf is a relatively inexpensive sport to get into, with discs costing as little as $10 each, and the course is free to play.

Discs and other supplies can be purchased at a couple of stores in town.

It is a great way to get out and enjoy the views of the Rossland Range and beyond, take the dog for a walk, and maybe engage in some friendly competition.

Information about the course can also be found on the Tourism Rossland website.

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