A temporary disc golf course in Bottle Lake Forest Park will stay put following endorsement from the local community board, Christchurch City Council has announced.
Community volunteers created the sporting opportunity at the park in October 2022, led by the family of New Zealand’s youngest disc golf champion, Jayden Watkinson (pictured), with support from Christchurch City Council Regional Park Rangers.
“At the time, my son Jayden had been playing disc golf for just one year and had taken out the most coveted disc golf tournament, the New Zealand National Championship,” says Kelly Watkinson.
“With dreams of competing at the highest level in the US Amateur Championships and World Amateur disc golf championships, Jayden devised a plan to create what we believed would become Christchurch’s best course for the community.”
The project also doubled as a chance to help Jayden get to the World Championships, as he had the goal of setting up a disc golf tournament fundraiser.
With a small team together, the group approached Christchurch City Council Regional Parks Team Leader, Warren Hunt, to consider the proposal of creating a disc golf course in the forest.
“To our surprise, Warren was fully supportive and wanted what was a widely unused area of the forest to become a great community resource,” says Kelly.
Directed by Jayden and his brother Judah, the team cleared the forests under canopy of shrub, cut out holes, developed pathways and built natural wooded structures.
The project received a wave of positive feedback from families in the community and residents in the area following an open day in late August this year.
“There’s the misconception that disc golf is just popular for younger people – but users are everyone from young kids in sporty families to the general public looking for fun, it’s so varied,” says Warren.
“It’s a fantastic way to get out and about and enjoy a healthy bit of competition.”
Disc golf can be played by people of all ages and abilities. It’s a low cost, easily accessed sport, available at times convenient to participants and requiring limited commitment.
The location and installation of the course was approved at November’s Waitai Coastal-Burwood-Linwood Community Board meeting.