Keith McDermott, winner of the Masters division, of the Battle of Central Alberta V Disc Golf Tournament in Sylvan Lake. (Janaia Hutzal/For Sylvan Lake News)

Keith McDermott, winner of the Masters division, of the Battle of Central Alberta V Disc Golf Tournament in Sylvan Lake. (Janaia Hutzal/For Sylvan Lake News)

Sylvan Lake Disc Golf hosted the Battle of Central Alberta

The Battle of Central Alberta Disc Golf Tournament was hosted in Sylvan Lake for the second time on July 16 and 17, 2022, drawing about 50 competitors from all around the province.

Robin Lambert of Red Deer, who was the tournament director, is also a club member of Central Alberta Disc Golf Association (CADGA) and the Alberta representative of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), said hosting a tournament is a great way for the disc golf community to gather, as well as for a community in general.

“It’s all set up for us,” said disc-golfer Matt Paccagnan with appreciation for the communities that host tournaments.

Paccagnan and the other three in his “cart,” have been playing together for two years.

In the cart of Robin Lambert, Keith McDermott of Edmonton took home the Masters prize of $245 dollars from the pro-division.

The other cash prize went to Tyler Hochhalter of Calgary, who competed in the Mixed Open. More winners can be found on the results webpage: www.pdga.com/tour/event/61717

From recreational players to pros, the tournament offered something for all ages and categories. One round of the three-kilometer, 18-hole course takes about three hours and 9,000 steps to complete.

President of Sylvan Lake Disc Golf Club John Umlah, who was a key player in the development of the Sylvan Lake course, said many people have “blossomed” and improved as players because of the course. Some, like Chris Snyder of Innisfail, have even gone on to start the building process in their own towns.

“We were lucky to find this space,” Umlah said of the Sylvan Lake course, adding that the town was very supportive in designating the land that is located on space that could not be developed for homes or commercial purposes.

Lambert, who has been playing himself for eight years, said that through the pandemic disc golf was one activity where families could come together and play a sport outdoors, while remaining in their “pod,” which led to a significant increase of members.

“In the last two years they have tripled in size,” Lambert said of the PDGA, which includes members from all over North America and even Europe.

Players can use a tracker app as a way to connect with and compete against others from afar and, according to Lambert, CADGA records show “multiple hundreds” of users per month

“It’s a pretty eclectic lot out there.”

Previous tournaments have been held in Sundre, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and Sylvan Lake. This was the fifth Battle of Central Alberta.

According to a tournament volunteer Chantal Boos, the friendly, yet competitive, sport is a fun, convenient and inexpensive way to get outside and meet new people when travelling. She and her family have played in courses in British Columbia and even as far as Texas.

Sylvan Lake Disc Golf will also be hosting WildRose Women’s Global Event PDGA tournament on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Mayor Megan Hanson posted the women’s event for ages 6 and up on social media saying, “New player? No worries, all skill levels are welcome.”

A free clinic will run on Aug. 5 and the main event will be held next day with discs that can be borrowed for the weekend. Registration details can be found at www.dgscene.com/wildrose_wge_2022.

More information about CADGA can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/RedDeerDiscGolf.