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Popular northwest Calgary disc golf park is set for reopening

It’s time to get flight ready for the ideal birdie fling, as northwest disc golf gets set for a long-awaited reopening.

A new layout is complete for Calgary’s ‘championship’ golf course, the David Richardson Memorial (DRM) Disc Golf Park, and visitors can use it starting July 23.

The DRM is opening once again after its closure for more than a year for environmental repair.

“The area that the DRM in is parkland and it was deemed as sensitive,” said the David Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park spokesperson, Dave Dormer.

“It was closed in the early spring of 2021 to allow for vegetation to regrow and to sort of certify the area to environmentally remediate itself.”

The DRM is on 27 acres of rolling, aspen-covered hills in northwest Calgary. It’s a one-of-a-kind disc golf facility.

The original 18-hole, par-63 layout ranges from over 7,400 feet in length for experts, to 5,200 feet for beginners and families. The course is the longest in Calgary, built with the intent of being a professional, tournament venue.

“It’s our jewel in all the courses in Calgary, so it’s a big deal to the players,” said Dormer.

Big deal to have re-opening: Dormer

According to Dormer, the City of Calgary and ATCO have been doing environmental assessments since the closure. They’ve now deemed this portion of the park remediated enough for use.

In a press release, the DRM said the reopening was made possible thanks to the efforts of CDGC volunteers, in conjunction with ATCO, the City of Calgary and the Calgary Parks Foundation.

“It’s a big deal in the disc golf world and in Calgary to have it back in operation because we like to have as many courses as possible and the David Richardson Memorial course is what a lot of people think of as the flagship course in the city,” said Dormer.

The new temporary layout will allow for some playability while avoiding areas needing more time for regrowth. The temporary layouts will be available on the popular UDisc app prior to reopening.

The current plan is for a 15-hole, temporary layout that still has flow throughout the park. It will start/finish close to the main gate. Holes will be played in a different order with baskets in a mix of A and B positions.

“It’s 15 of the 18 holes that we had before. It’ll be very similar. The slight difference is in the layout, to allow some other areas to repair a little bit more,” said Dormer.

Revised layout will be reviewed

The temporary, 15-hole layout will remain in place until another evaluation at the end of the season is conducted. They’ll review again in spring of 2023, to determine if the course can return to a full 18-hole layout.

The sport of disc golf has exploded in popularity in Calgary. The CDGC now boasts more than 700 members, making it the largest in Canada. Baker Park disc golf course was also ranked by UDisc as the fifth most popular in the world in 2021.

“It’s got beautiful views of the mountains, we’ve got a beautiful city, it’s a beautiful natural area we’re going to have back,” said Dormer.