May the course be with you

Round Table members Chris Corbyn, left and Julian Butterlin hope to have the new course open by late spring. Photo: Matt Brown.

One of the fastest growing sports in the world could be coming to Blenheim.

Plans for a $35,000 disc golf course have been unveiled by Blenheim’s Round Table.

And, pending council approval, they hope to have the completed course, either at the Taylor River Reserve or Harling Park, open by late spring.

Blenheim’s Round Table have raised a third of the funds for the region’s first 18-hole disc golf course.

But they need the community’s help to get it in the basket.

Round Table member and keen disc golfer Chris Corbyn says there’s more to the sport than just throwing frisbees.

“It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” he says.

“Blenheim is the last major town that doesn’t have one [a course].”

The 39-year-old took his pitch to traditional golf courses around the region, trying to replicate the success clubs in other regions have had from diversifying.

“Pollard Park took it to their committee, and it got voted down,” he says.

“That’s about the furthest it went with any of the clubs.”

But Chris says the “competitive walk in the park” has seen a massive boom in New Zealand.

“Invercargill went from a group with two members – their club now has 140 members,” Chris says.

“In the last 12 months there have been 15 new courses in New Zealand.”

Another Round Table member, Julian Butterlin, is leading the charge to raise the course’s $35,000 price tag.

The rules are the same as traditional golf, but instead of a ball you have a frisbee – or disc.

“You have to get the disc in the basket in as few shots as possible,” Chris says.

“There are drivers, mid-range and putter discs – which are accurate at different distances.”

Blenheim’s geographical location, right in the middle of New Zealand, is a perfect place to participate in the fledgling pro-circuit, Chris says.

“The New Zealand national tour has thousands attending and hundreds of players.

“We could be part of the tour and very beneficial for the region.

“Wellington and Christchurch have a thriving scene – we’re in the middle.

Chris went to council and presented his idea during the annual plan process.

He says a few of the councillors have played before, in Queenstown, so the pitch wasn’t falling on deaf ears.

“For them [council] to be involved they want a show master – someone to take responsibility, to form a club and maintain the facilities,” he says.

A special movie night fundraiser will be held on 26 August at Event Cinema Blenheim with details to be confirmed.

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