Founding directors of the Jackman Wetlands Disc Golf Society, athletes (from left) Michael van Elburg, Chris Hartmann, John Gould-Thorpe and Stewart McIsack stand atop their 100-foot-wide “Raptors” green. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Founding directors of the Jackman Wetlands Disc Golf Society, athletes (from left) Michael van Elburg, Chris Hartmann, John Gould-Thorpe and Stewart McIsack stand atop their 100-foot-wide “Raptors” green. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Aldergrove’s newest park Raptors Knoll opens on Saturday atop old landfill

What used to be a garbage dump has now been reclaimed as the largest and arguably the greatest disc golf course in B.C.

With a whopping 18 holes, experienced players Stewart McIsack and Chris Hartmann utilized the natural elements of the area including tree groves, valleys and hills, to design a 38-acre course of their dreams.

The course was built on a former Aldergrove landfill that has been restored, covered with soil and donated wildflower seeds, and planted with trees.

Located diagonally across from Aldergrove Regional Park, Raptors Knoll Disc Golf Park is a part of the 100-acre Jackman Wetlands Park, which includes wetlands and a trail that opened last fall.

“The disc golf course was designed around the trail with safety in mind,” said a Township of Langley spokesperson.

Expert players carry a sport bag full of “putters” or “drivers” – discs of all widths and weight to use as they see fit along the course.

“The objective is to get the disc into the basket any way you can,” McIsack said about the sport, which mimics golf except with discs thrown by-hand.

“Every throw is a stroke just like golf,” McIsack explained, “Except it’s better than golf.”

You can even throw “rollers” where the disc is thrown to roll along the green, inching closer to the basket on its way, he added.

With each hole, players have the option to “change up the course” and move the disc catcher or basket into a secondary anchor.

The founding directors of the Jackman Wetlands Disc Golf Society include impassioned players Hartmann, McIsack, and John Gould-Thorpe.

Both Hartmann and McIsack play professionally, often scoring in the top of their age division, and are sponsored by major disc golf manufacturers.

Michael van Elburg, 38, was asked and joined the society at a later date.

“It’s an addicting sport,” van Elburg admitted.

On a clear day, from the 8th hole, players can see Mt. Baker as they play a 100-foot-wide green, shaped as a “raptor,” or eagle.

“That’s why we named the course what we did,” van Elburg said.

“When we first scoped out the area, we noticed eagles flying above all over the place.”

With more than 40 years of combined experience playing the sport, the society members has led the effort to build this new course. It’s included more than 2,650 hours worked by volunteers – everything from laying down cement tee pads to removing stinging nettle bushes from pathways.

Hartman estimates it would take him five years of routinely playing at Raptors Knoll to make up all the labour hours he’s put into the course.

“But even as it is now it beats most of the courses we’ve ever played,” Hartmann added.

RELATED: Disc golf comes to park built on reclaimed landfill in Aldergrove

And after working full-time day jobs, the founders proclaim it’s made them “very happy” construct the course during the last year or so.

Along with numerous other volunteers and $15,000 in capital costs from the Township – the group raised funds and did the work necessary to create the course.

“The Township even planted 159 new trees on the course for us,” McIsack said.

The society executive is hopeful that after four years (of the five-year lease) the Township will take over maintenance of the course.

Trees and flower seedlings on the course are also expected to mature over time, resulting in an even more immersive, “green” experience for players, McIsack said.

Operators Training School donated over 300 hours of machinery time and LafargeHolchim donated all the concrete for the project, nearly 50 cubic meters worth.

These elements rank high among factors that impact the “playability of the course,” McIsack added.

The society is holding an opening ceremony for the Raptors Knoll Disc Golf Course at Jackman Wetlands Park on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to noon, at 1111 272nd St.

The community is invited to attend the free, celebratory event and try their hand at disc golf, taking part in the “play with a pro opportunities” with the founders and others who will be on site. And 100 Raptor discs will be given to attendees who have never played the sport before.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Pro players craft course of their dreams and biggest in B.C.

Just Posted

Glitter is a plastic that gets into places it should not and is part of the growing micro-plastics environmental problem. (Wikimedia Commons)
LETTER: Give gifts that stand the test of time, Langley student suggests

A school assignment got a local student thinking about the enviromental impacts of gift giving

Douglas Park Community Elementary administrative assistant Kim Langford has been instrumental in the school’s food programs and event takes extra food out into the community, feeding local street people. To prevent waste, she also forged links with local farms which take excess food not suitable for people for their farm animals. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley City administrative assistant finds food builds bonds with students and families

Kim Langford used to work in banking and accounting. She finds a better rate of return in education

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judge ponders case of alleged conflict over Langley Township council donations

The mayor and two sitting councillors could be removed from office

Brookswood Starbucks manager Sonja Olsen posed for a photo on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at the store located at 40th Avenue and 200 Street with some of the many cards for seniors her customers have filled out (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Christmas cards for seniors idea by Brookswood Starbucks takes off

Idea is to make the holidays a little less lonely for older people in care homes during pandemic

Readers enjoy the letters to Santa from local children. Here’s one from a previous Christmas. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley’s community newspaper wants local kids letters to Santa

Children’s letters to the St. Nick could be featured in our annual special Christmas section

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read