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Penticton disc golfer becomes National Champion after P.E.I tournament

Rocky Gould topped his division in September’s event

From Naramata to Prince Edward Island and then back again, Rocky Gould came home with a championship title.

Gould took top spot in his division at the 2022 Canadian National Championships of disc golf over Sept. 8 to 11 this year in Bonshaw, P.E.I.

“It’s been held there the last three years because they have an amazing course that’s ranked like number three in the world, and after they brought the nationals there the disc golf in that area just kind of exploded,” said Gould.

There were a total of four different 18 hole courses set up for the tournament, with each division competing on a selection of three over the weekend. The maritime terrain wasn’t just wooded, but also added a degree of verticality.

“Hillcrest Farm, that’s the number three course, and it is probably the most up and down out of the three I played, although not as up and down as the course we play here in the Okanagan at Three Blind Mice,” said Gould. “If you don’t have good endurance, the elevation will really tire you out before 18.”

At the end of the weekend, Gould had beat out the 44 other competitors in the MA40 division, which included many locals who were familiar with the course. That they were local wasn’t a concern for Gould, as he knew going into the tournament that he was going to be up against stiff competitions regardless of where they were from.

After arriving in P.E.I., Gould made sure to get out and study the courses he was to play, but it was his putting game that lent him him the edge he needed.

“I’ve been really focusing on my putting and being able to confidently putt from long, long distances,” said Gould. “And one thing I learned is that if I’m going to a tournament, I need to go and walk the course had have an actual shot-for-shot game plan.”

In addition to practicing out at Three Blind Mice, over the last three years Gould has also made it into a fundraiser. The Penticton Disc Golf Club was looking to finish the course, and at the same time there was a push from creators on YouTube for challenges like how many putts could someone do, how far from the basket could you sink a shot in an hour if you had to move further away each time it landed and so on.

“I put it to the club that I was going to do this 24-hour challenge, and we might as well do it as a fundraiser to put it out there and drum up some community awareness,” said Gould.

That first year, Gould managed nine rounds of the course and raised enough money to purchase all the T-Pads to complete it. The next year, he found Courage for Youth, which operates programs in B.C. and Alberta, and he did 11 rounds for a fundraiser for them.

This year, in June 2022, he set a goal of 12 rounds.

“I thought it was on the edge of impossible, because that’s two-hour rounds all day long, and I actually finished 15,” said Gould. “Now I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do for my fourth year.”

Gould also participated in the B.C. Provincial Championship later in September, where he finished fourth in his division.

READ MORE: Dozens take a toss at Keremeos’ new disc golf course

A friend got Gould involved in the sport around six years ago, and from the first round that he played he’s been hooked.

“I felt right at that moment I could be really good at it and competitive,” said Gould. “I’m a competitive person., like I’m always playing for a really good score and I have fun doing it.”

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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