By Trevor Jackson
DISC golf continues its rise in popularity, with the Mount Gambier club going from strength to strength.
Set in the picturesque Valley Lakes precinct, the Crater Lakes Disc Golf course has attracted a big following from the Limestone Coast community.
The next official event is the monthly league day on Sunday, with an expected field of around 40-50 players.
That is a number vice president Ryan Nicholson is pleased to see.
“The membership numbers of the mount Gambier Disc Golf Club are continually growing with every monthly meeting we have,“ he said.
“It is just taking off, but the sport sells itself.
“It is just so accessible and affordable.“
Nicholson described the Valley Lakes course as world class, one of the best in the country.
That was reflected last year as the club hosted the Australian Championships, a just reward for the hard work undertaken to build the new sport in the region.
But this week the focus is on the October league day, with Limestone Coast player Hayden McPherson expected to dominate the top category.
“South Australian disc golf president Gareth Morgan has come down twice and won both events,“ Nicholson said.
“He is a local member as well and has got off to a hot start.
“But Hayden McPherson is one of the best local players here and has dominated since we started.
“He is very strong and the local player to beat.“
McPherson currently holds the record for the short amateur course, with an official score of 11 under par for the par 61 layout.
Unofficially he has shot 15 under.
Despite those numbers, Nicholson said the club members were quickly closing the gap.
“Hayden is a very handy player,“ he said.
“However, the good thing is a year ago he was easily the stand-alone best player, but now we have several players who can push him and put their hand up for a win on their day.“
The sport is open to all levels of competitor, with a good contingent of women and juniors also coming through the ranks.
“Kate Eldridge has been strong for the last couple of years, while Michelle Schultz and Amy Wyers are coming through,“ Nicholson said.
“Junior-wise we have some real solid players coming through.
“Harrison Ellis, his brother Ben, the Holman brother/sister combo of Austin and Jessica and Will Harrison are all playing well.
“These kids, some of them are quite young, but are already showing immense potential.
“I can see them pushing some of the senior players very soon.“
Sunday’s league day includes winners in scratch and handicap formats, all announced at the Blue Lake Golf Club later in the day.
Nicholson anyone was welcome to play, with the day to kick off at 9am, after registrations from 8.30am.
Players are to meet opposite the Valley Lakes playground.