The History of Edmonton Disc Golf

40+ years of disc golf in Edmonton.

Below is the history of The Edmonton Disc Golf Association along with how the sport was introduced to our city and evolved over time.

The First Course

The 9 hole Rundle Park Disc Golf Course was installed in 1980 by a Minnesota company called “Saucer Golf”. The “Saucer cones” demanded precision putting as you had to hit the 18” cone dead in the middle to get your disc to deflect down into the basket to make your putt. As far as anyone knows, Rundle saw casual play only for the first 17 or so years of its existence. Thankfully the history of disc golf in Edmonton and Alberta becomes a little less murky starting in 1998.

River City Cup and Rundle Upgrades

1998 saw the running of the first ever River City Open which was renamed the following year to what we are more familiar with now, the River City Cup. The tradition of the River City Cup has continued to hold strong with tournaments being held every year in the month of July since, now in its 24th year it continues to grow in popularity.

1999 started off early with the first running of the charity Ice Bowl event in Edmonton. With disc golf fever in the air the formation and inaugural running of the Alberta Disc Golf Tour took place with events in Edmonton, Calgary, Canmore and Fernie B.C.

During this time the cone baskets were modified to fit chains to make it easier to putt into, then again modified to look like normal baskets.

EDGA's Early Days

2001 is probably the most important year for disc golf in Edmonton as it saw the formation of the provincially registered not-for-profit Edmonton Disc Golf Association (EDGA) tasked with promoting and creating opportunities & activities for the public to discover and enjoy the sport of disc golf in Edmonton and its surrounding communities. In addition to the formation of EDGA, the first president of EDGA Steve Mallett designed and installed a 27-hole course at the Lily Lake Resort near Bon Accord, about 30 minutes north of Edmonton, in 2000. The course was the site of the 2001 Canadian Disc Golf Championships, the only time Alberta hosted this event, which was won by Mark Dakiv who beat Steve Mallett in a sudden-death playoff. The mid-week PDGA-sanctioned tournament, held in conjunction with Ultimate Nationals (held in Edmonton the following weekend) featured players from Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario, Spokane WA, Florida, and New Zealand.

2002 saw the second President Scott Annett run the 5th River City Cup. 2003 began with such excitement as Greg DeGreef, the then course development officer of EDGA, comes through for the club and gains permission from the City of Edmonton to upgrade Rundle Park Disc Golf Course to a full 18 baskets. This full expansion was unfortunately short lived as 3 of the 9 new baskets installed in July had to be removed a month later due to complaints by area residents. It would take 7 long years before Rundle Park would get a full 18-basket layout once more.

The sport kept growing and in 2004 Rob Lichuk became the new President of EDGA followed by Doug White in 2006 and in 2007 Wally Ovalle became the 5th President of EDGA when Edmonton hosted its 10th annual River City Cup to players from all over Western Canada. The increased popularity and exposure of this cornerstone event were monumental in the push for a renovated Rundle Park and it wouldn’t be long before disc golf went from being a niche sport to an activity freely enjoyed by thousands.

Rundle Redesign and Norwester

With the Alberta Disc Golf Tour entering its 10th year in 2008, EDGA looked forward to completing a re-designed 18-basket course at Rundle park complete with PDGA sanctioned Innova Discatchers, 10 foot cement tee pads and graphic tee signs showing the layout and distances of each hole. The project was a collaborative result of a positive and healthy new partnership between EDGA and the City of Edmonton. Construction on the new course started in early May of 2008 and completed construction in the summer of 2009. The new layout was designed by Steve Mallett and Wally Ovalle.

It would take another 10 years for Edmonton to see another course in the city.

In 2014, Norwester Park became a target as a possible new course, a park found by Chris Emberly and later that year Shayne and Wally helped come up with new logos for the club and revamp the old logo with some new options to help promote the club and the sport. Shayne was also very instrumental in getting the new website going the year prior and dedicated tons of hours to bring us a website that worked and players can use to get information.

Recent Growth

In 2015 Shayne B became the 6th President of EDGA, plans were underway to build a new course in the city and Norwester Park was selected as the next option, it would take a couple of years for the plans to come to fruition.

In 2018 James Morton became the 7th President of EDGA and prior to that he spent a lot hours bringing courses to the smaller communities surrounding Edmonton, he designed and built the courses in Leduc, Beaumont, Morinville and finally The Hills which is in the southside of Edmonton to bring yet another course to our city.

In 2019 Wally became the 8th president again after missing the role for 4 years although still acting as Vice-president for those years, and quickly got the ball rolling to get Norwester Park as another course in Edmonton, it took long hours and meetings, but the club came together to install the course in the fall of 2019. Soon after in the spring of 2020 a new plan for another 18 hole course in the city was set in motion by Wally and EDGA, who worked once again with the City of Edmonton to build a course in Hermitage Park.

In 2021 Tim Plamondon became the 9th president of EDGA and quickly established himself as a leader and along with a bunch of fresh new faces have begun to grow the club to new levels.

Hermitage Park disc golf course has been approved to be installed in the late summer of 2021 and should be playable by the early fall.

Growth does not happen on its own, it must be nurtured, cared and fed so the fruit will appear.