Benito Pursues New Recreational Activity

Submitted by:

Jocelyn and Scott Beehler (on behalf of the Disc Golf Committee)

Frisbee golf is a relatively new and upcoming sport in the province of Manitoba. It is played with Frisbees or discs.

A group of volunteers (Disc Golf Committee) is pursuing the installation of an 18-hole course in Benito this spring/summer.

Disc golf is played similar to ball golf. Individual players start off from a tee box and throw a disc toward the pin or basket. (Distances can range between 150 -700ft). Players count how many throws it takes them to get the Disc in the basket.

The basket is attached to the middle of a pole. There are chains hung from the top of the pole to the bottom of the basket to help catch the discs. Courses are usually 9 or 18 holes.

Any Frisbee will work, although experienced players prefer weighted discs and use at least 3 – a driver, a mid-range and a putter.

Most courses are free to play and the Benito course will be as well. You can see a video clip for a visual demonstration of how to play at: Discs are sold in sport stores and range in price $10-$20 a disc depending on the type of plastic.

The plan is to purchase a few sets that can be loaned to individuals that wish to play (as long as arrangements are made during office hours).

We have researched courses in MB and have played many of them. The disadvantage is that they are not local. The nearest courses are Yorkton (1 ½ hrs away) and Neepawa (2 ½ hrs away) and both developed their courses in 2011. There is no course in the Parkland Region.

We feel that this would be a great way to promote Benito, offer something unique to the Swan River Valley (and northern MB), provide new activity and increase tourism. It is a sport that anyone can play for free. We should all be getting 30-60 minutes of activity a day. Many of us walk to get our exercise. Walking can be boring, yet chasing after a Frisbee can make it quite enjoyable and add a challenge. It is a fun sport for kids, youth, adults and seniors. A course will contribute to better physical and mental health.

The tentative plan is to build the course on and around the walking track, on the land beside Benito School. Courses require very little maintenance. The land does not need to be groomed like a regular ball golf course. Trees, rocks and hills add to the difficulty of the course.

It will not limit use of the space as a walking track. Both can occur simultaneously. As long as it was mowed once or twice a season that is all the maintenance required.

The track is across from the Benito Health Center and Thunderhill Courts (Senior’s housing complex). It doesn’t get any easier for our seniors to get out and play. It is also close enough to the school that the students could easily use the course. Once the course is installed, Benito looks forward to hosting a few tournaments a year and possibly start a regular league.

The cost of an 18-hole course –is estimated at about $16,000 from start to finish and can be installed with a few volunteers. We will need to purchase the baskets, some signage for each basket and tee, the wood ties to mark the tees, and a set of discs (village owned). In addition, the proposal includes the purchase of a trash receptacle and a couple benches and picnic tables if funding allows. We are a very small town and may not be able to afford a swimming pool, or indoor walking track, but a one-time investment to get a disc golf course is a real possibility and we are very excited about it.

The Disc Golf Committee is seeking sponsorship of each hole and at least 7 have already been sponsored. If individuals or businesses would like to sponsor a hole or volunteer with installation please contact Pat Ellingson at the Village of Benito office at 204-539-2634 or Jocelyn Beehler at 204-539-2957 for more information. The committee has applied for several grants to achieve funding and we are anxiously awaiting a response.

Four community demonstrations have been made in Benito over the past couple months and this new sport has been received with great interest, excitement and anticipation. As spring approaches there will be more demonstrations to observe or participate in.

We have been in contact with MODS – The Manitoba Organization of Disc Sports and they are willing to assist us with carrying out this project. They are excited at the prospect of a northern course in our Province. We hope you will join us in anticipation for this new recreational opportunity in the valley.