This week the municipality, local disc golfers and the disc golf representative from the B.C. Disc Sport Society met to discuss the future of the Whistler Disc Golf Course, sometimes known as the Power Line Course.
The new official course opened with 13 holes in 2001, and five more were added a year later.
Because of the length and difficulty of the holes many locals never warmed up to the course, even with features like sport standard tee boxes and baskets. Some locals continued to play the old Unmarked Hazards course, even after it was officially closed.
A group of local golfers brought the issue to the municipality, and on Monday Mike Graff of the BCDSS, one of the original designers of the Power Line course, showed his concept for the area.
The concept would see the area to the west of Old Mill Road become an 18 hole course. There are currently 11 holes in that area now, and seven more will be added by cutting existing holes into halves and possibly thirds, with more tree holes like the Unmarked Hazards Course. The seven holes on the hill to the east of Old Mill Road will become part of an "extreme" nine-hole course, with two more baskets added to the mix.
"The way I see it is that there is real potential for 27 holes in this area, and both would be pretty different and unique," said Graff. He spent the previous days walking the snowy course and putting up temporary tee box markers and holes to show how the course could be changed without changing the placement of the existing baskets and boxes.
"Theres room to put in some good holes for a lot of different styles. Some are long, some are short, some are for backhand throws, some are for forehand throws, some are for overhead hammer throws. The goal is to make the course so its not the same throw every time."
Tasso Lazaridis, who helped organize the only tournament held on the new course a few years ago, is interested in seeing a new layout that appeals more to local players. His job is to get together a group of disc golfers to play the new layout, and make suggestions.
"I think the consensus is that this course is a little too long, some of the holes are a little too hard, its too easy to lose your disc. People have been wanting to do something for a while, but nobody has taken that on so I approached the municipality to offer to help, and theyve been really receptive. They want to make this work as bad as we do," he said. Lazaridis says all of the holes will be par three on the new course, which means that fewer trees will be cut down to open up fairways.
Some of the issues that need to be resolved include: whether to make one standard tee off for each hole instead of separate pro and amateur tees; whether to replace some of the baskets with "tonal" poles that chime when hit; and how to guide B.C. Hydro crews that will be clearing in the area under the hydro lines this year as part of their regular maintenance.
The confusion over pro and amateur tee boxes may also be solved by creating one tee box for both, and temporary tee areas could be created for tournaments.
The final vision, after playing the course and seeking public input, will be given to the municipality.
According to Randy Simmons from the RMOW, the ideal situation would be to have a local association that would plan the course changes. That way there would be a consensus in the disc golf community before any changes are made. "Its better to get it right before we do anything than to make changes and find out its not what people want."
A local association is also required before the course can host any sanctioned tournaments, which was a goal when the course was designed and built.
That explains the length of the holes, said Graff some of the top disc golfers in the Lower Mainland can toss the discs 500 feet. Locals, however, seem to prefer shorter, more technical holes with obstacles like trees and rocks.
If you have any input for the course, you can contact Tasso Lazaridis at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a two week window for people to voice their opinions, and all comments will be taken into consideration.