Teepads: Crushed rock in wood frames
Baskets: Dynamic Disc Veteran
Course Designers: Alan Tocheri
Signature Hole: #4
Baskets: Dynamic Discs Veteran
Many disc golf communities have courses on the property of local schools. Whether elementary, high school, college / university etc, school yards are great places to install courses for the growth of the game and added community activities. The first school in Northwestern Ontario to install a 9-hole course was École Secondaire Catholique De La Verendrye. The school put together a wonderful plan to raise money and put the project in the hands of local disc golf player / supporter / retailer; Alan Tocheri. Baskets went in the ground in 2016 but the course has yet to see an organized event.
The course is always very well taken care of outside of the snowy months. The grass is always well maintained, the teepads get the odd raking and there is very clear signage for every hole. The terrain is really only a challenge in the elevated areas but is otherwise manageable in runners or casual shoes. During the wet months or after a lot of rain, the soccer field tends to get pretty squishy so choose footwear accordingly. There aren’t many parts of the course affected by water so most of the time, it’s fairly dry and playable.
NOTE: There is currently a large generator on the teepad for hole #1, players can tee off wherever they’d like though players have been using the path and gazebo area as an alternate teepad.
For the property being fairly small, the designers have done a terrific job of using the land available to its fullest. The 9-hole course is mostly made up of holes that fall in and around 200ft give or take 20-30ft with the exceptions being up on the soccer field in the form of two longer 300+ft holes. The course features the need for a nice mix of shots / shot shapes and even boasts two holes that feature a pretty good amount of elevation. If no one else is playing the course, some local players will create more holes by mixing up some of the tees / baskets. We recommend switching up all the holes baskets on at least holes #7, #8 and #9.
Our favourite thing about the “De la” or “Lav” course is that it is literally a beginner disc golf wonderland and then some. In our opinion, there is simply no better place in the entire region for beginners, newer players, seniors and kids to practice the game with confidence and comfort outside of maybe having a private course. There is a soccer field on the same property that is used as the setting for longer holes on the course. Players wanting to do some field practice before / after their rounds have a place to do it right at the course to help with building skills, testing new discs and more. To be able to jump right on the course after a field practice helps to work on new skills while they are fresh.
The additional privacy of not having as many players on the course allows players that might be self conscious about working on skills at the busier and more difficult courses to do so in a slower paced environment. Rounds with no rush, less eyes on and less distractions can often be ideal for skill and confidence building. Several newer players have noted that working on a skill set at “De La” gave them more confidence when tackling the community’s other more difficult courses.
Experienced players will find their own kind of entertainment on the De La course. Intermediate and advanced players can find a lot of things to like about a short course that is perfect for developing a great putt and approach or upshot game. It’s also a good place to learn to drive with mid ranges and putt / approach discs from the teepad. The aforementioned soccer field also plays well as a practice field for more skilled players but maxes out at about 350ft so players with more arm strength should use caution with drivers even on the large field.
The course is set into a really nice neighbourhood in a quiet part of the city. The area however also has a lot of residential street parking which can often be pretty full up as well as a lot of houses within easy range of fairway or distance drivers. For these reasons, we suggest that players be very careful when using their fairway or distance drivers on the De La course if they are not very confident in their control. The sidewalks, basketball court, roads, gazebo area and other areas play as OB so it adds incentive to play with control.
Players looking for a quick and fairly challenging round don’t have many options in the area outside of when Birch Point DGC is in its 1.0 layout. Having a place to play a round in 45mins is quite important to have around the area because life does not always allow for a 1.5-2hr round. On the opposite side of things, the lower local traffic on the course allows for newer and casual players to play long, slow rounds with less stress.
Caution is necessary on the entire course but extreme caution is key on holes #2 and #3 to avoid damage to houses, cars or perhaps like in a real life occurrence; a large expensive lawn gnome (no,, really). Players should note that there are several possibilities for blind shots around the small course, most notably on holes #4, #5 and #6. There can be kids of various ages using the basketball court, riding bikes, people walking dogs so please be mindful. This is not a disc-golf-first facility but in our experiences on the property, the pedestrians and park users are usually fairly welcoming.
Players are reminded that the course is on private property and a school property so to behave and conduct themselves accordingly. The course is open to the public outside of school hours, we do not advise trying to play a round during school hours as the school may ask you to leave. The soccer field is also rented out for league and pick-up soccer games which holes a park permit. Disc golf can be played during soccer games but the holes on the soccer field cannot be used.