University unveils new course — and it's open for play!

There’s a new course available at the University of Lethbridge — and it’s free to the public, requires no prerequisites and is both challenging and fun. Welcome to the new ULethbridge Disc Golf Course!

The new disc golf course has been open for play since spring. PHOTO BY MICHAEL WARF

Opened quietly earlier this spring, the course has been maturing over the summer and was recently completed with the addition of signage and wayfinding for visitors. The lack of directional markers did not discourage disc golfers from making their way to the venue as word quickly spread that a new layout was available.

“It’s been busy from the first day we put the baskets in,” says Bill Halma, executive director of Horns Recreation Services. “The disc golf community was quick to respond to a new course opening up and as more people played, word spread we had a really good, challenging and unique layout available to them.”

The course is a collaborative effort between the Lethbridge Disc Golf Association (LDGA) and Horns Recreation and weaves throughout the foliage of the University’s upper campus. Utilizing Aperture Lake as a scenic, natural hazard, the layout has been described as picturesque, challenging, and varied and offers the public an opportunity to experience ULethbridge as they never have before.

“We see the disc golf course as another opportunity for people to engage with the university,” says Halma. “First and foremost, we’re one of the top schools in the country and beyond that, there are so many ways for the community to experience our campus. From our recreation services, the Max Bell pool, our climbing wall, Pronghorn Athletics games and summer camps to fine arts performances, public lectures and conferences, there are so many ways the University contributes to the vibrancy of our city. Now, we have a great outdoor experience that is free and open to everyone.”

The genesis of the new course stretches back nearly a decade when Matt Mitten and Kevin King (student athletes with the fledgling ULethbridge Disc Golf Team) and coach Craig Burrows-Johnson proposed in 2013 a course be added to campus. The proposal never gained any traction and after two seasons, the disc golf team disbanded. The idea never died however, and years later Mik Woolf, who also played on that disc golf team, made another push to get a course established.

The 18-hole course utilizes Aperture Lake as one of its scenic hazards. PHOTO BY MICHAEL WARF

“When Matt and Kevin first showed me the vision of this amazing space, I was convinced that this course had to happen,” says Woolf. “Anytime I drove by I envisioned baskets and players throwing in this very special area and the impact it could have on the community, on the sport, and the University. With support from Kevin and the LDGA, I made the decision to make another attempt and do whatever it took to make this dream into a reality.

Woolf says the actual work to get the course up and running took countless hours, involved many conversations, emails and a lot of encouragement before the first basket was finally installed.

“We truly have something special, and I want to thank all the organizations, businesses, groups and individuals involved who helped make it possible,” adds Woolf.

The ULethbridge Disc Golf Course is conveniently located on the west edge of campus (adjacent to University Drive) with the first seven holes positioned along the west berm (just behind the University of Lethbridge entry sign). The next 10 holes of the course meander around Aperture Lake, with the 18th hole finishing on the raised hill next to Parking Lot G (which is the best place to park to play the course). Parking is free on campus before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. (weekdays), and on weekends and holidays. For those playing between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (weekdays), parking is available in Lot G (pay through the Honk App or at the kiosk). ULethbridge Recreation members can sign out beginner disc golf sets (three discs/set) at no charge at the Customer Service Centre.