Disc golf could be coming to Fairlie

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by Greta Yeoman

Fairlie residents may join their Twizel and Tekapo counterparts in taking up disc golf, if a new proposal by the Fairlie Community Board goes ahead.

The sport of throwing frisbees into hoops is becoming increasingly popular around South Canterbury, particularly in the Mackenzie.

Twizel has had a course for more than 20 years, Tekapo frisbee fans got their own course on the lakefront earlier this year and Timaru residents have been participating in the sport at Caroline Bay since 2016.

A positive discussion about installing a course in the town was had at the most recent Fairlie Community Board meeting.

The project was suggested by Mackenzie District Council community facilities manager Garth Nixon, who had noticed the courses popping up around the district.

He had received positive feedback from board members at the meeting and was now putting together a proposal, with assistance from a course designer who had been involved with other frisbee golf courses in the district.

Mr Nixon was not sure where it would be located in Fairlie, as there were several reserves in the town that would be considered for the proposal.

He expected the project, which would be a joint scheme between council and the community board, would happen “within the next financial year”.

Twizel Disc Golf Course spokesman Paul Hannagan, who is also a Mackenzie District councillor, said the sport was “huge” internationally.

While the town’s 18-target course had recently been upgraded to international standard New Zealand had not quite yet reached the American level of enthusiasm, he said.

The professional disc golf circuit in the States had players competing for up to $2million in prize money.

However, he had noticed a “huge increase” in drivers stopping mid-trip to play on the Twizel course.

He was also positive about the increasing number of courses around the Mackenzie.

“We might be the disc golf highway soon, instead of the Starlight Highway.”