2023 Canadian National Disc Golf Championships

2023 Canadian National Disc Golf Championships

October 28, 2023
|  By
Chris Ozolins

Event details & FAQ

With courses equally as breathtaking as they are challenging, Thunder Bay has quietly developed into Ontario’s hidden disc golf treasure. Centered around the mammoth “Dragon Hills DGC” (co-designed by Cale Leiviska, Chris Wakefield & Michael Thompson) and with support from the stunning Birch Point & Bayview courses, Thunder Bay is poised to take a step forward into the Canadian spotlight in 2023 as it plays host to the Canadian National Championships!

Years of hard work and dedication from community founders, the BPDGA & ODSA and our team of fantastic supporting partners have enabled us to systematically develop what was once a modest C-tier into the crown jewel of Canadian Disc Golf competition in 2023.

The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission & Tourism Thunder Bay also deserve our deepest gratitude. With their financial support and multi-year commitment to the development of local disc golf infrastructure and top-tier programming in the region, we were able to solidify new precedents while achieving our goal for competitive disc golf in Ontario; hosting Canada’s National Championship.

What is the Canadian National Disc Golf Championship (”CNDGC”)?

The CNDGC is Canada’s marquee disc golf event. It is a convergence of players from across our beautiful country; Victoria to Charlottetown & St. John’s to Yellowknife in order to crown our sport’s national champions. Event rights are formally delegated by the Canadian Disc Golf Association (”CanDiscGolf”) on behalf of the PDGA Canada. There is an annual bid process for potential host cities vying for hosting rights to the championships. The Ontario Disc Sports Association’s bid to host the 2023 championship in Thunder Bay was selected as a co-finalist with Grand Prairie, AB through the 2022 bid process. Final host team interviews were conducted and our bid was selected on the merit of tournament team programming experience, hosting facilities, ease of national/international travel, and local tourism support.

Where is this year’s CNDGC being held?

The 2023 CNDGC is being held in Thunder Bay, Ontario. “Superior by Nature”, the city’s colloquial slogan couldn’t be more appropriate. A mélange of modern metropolitan infrastructure sits on the edge of Ontario’s natural masterpiece. Thousands of acres of Canadian shield and a city that promotes outdoor living while supporting sport tourism has resulted in a city poised to host a large number of visitors while enjoying the multitude of fantastic attractions and disc golf courses community founder, the Birch Point Disc Golf club, and ODSA have developed over the last 12 years.

When are Nationals taking place?

Amateurs will compete August 4-6th, professionals will compete August 5-7th. The 7th is a federal stat holiday ("Civic Holiday") in Canada as well as a great chance for the gallery to follow our country's top pros during their final round.

Which courses will competitors be playing?

We are presently hosting the 2023 Nationals at Dragon Hills DGC, Birch Point DGC & Bayview DGC. We have an additional course scheduled for development this spring that we are hoping to include in the Championship as well. Additional details will be shared when they become available.

How can players get to Thunder Bay for the Championships?

Thunder Bay is home to the Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) with regular daily flights to most “major” Canadian cities. Flair & Porter airlines offer economically-priced flight options while staples like WestJet & Air Canada also offer competitive rates when booked in advance. If flying isn’t in the cards, we’re “conveniently” located pretty close to the longitudinal center of Canada* The drive from Toronto is about 15 hours, Regina is 13, and Winnipeg is just under 8.

*Shout-out to Lorette, MB!

Where can/should we stay in Thunder Bay?

Thunder Bay is no stranger to tourism. The city offers many standard “chain” hotels (Days Inn, Delta, Hilton, Comfort Inn, etc.) as well as a fantastic selection of Airbnb options. One option we’re VERY excited to announce in our partnership with Lakehead University  for the 2023 Nationals. Lakehead has reserved a portion of their residence village specifically for budget-minded disc golf competitors looking to stay in our “athlete village” at an economic rate. As if it could get any better; there will be a practice amenities on-site as well.

Can you tell me more about the special-rate CNDGC accommodation options at Lakehead University?

Sure! These are fantastic options for the budget-savvy disc golf tourist. Players are asked to reserve their accommodation through the tournament registration form when signing-up. We have a block of Lakehead residences reserved for the event, the services staff will reach out with your invoice in late February/early March.

*Please note 4% MAT and 13% HST are not included in below quoted rates

DORMITORY HOUSES (single bedroom, shared facilities)

One Night Stay: from $55.00 per night

Three or more night stay: $35.00 per night

Weekly Rate (6 nights): $180.00 per room per week

Each dormitory-style house in Bartley Residence has 3 floors with single-bedrooms that are divided into furnished basic single and single rooms, with full linens included. All of the houses are equipped with a second-floor common lounge with a TV/cable, sink and microwave, coffee pot, toaster, tea kettle; a first floor storage area and study room; and each floor has shared male and female washroom and shower rooms. There is a sheltered outdoor bicycle storage facility available and a card-access laundry facility assigned to each dormitory house. WIFI is available throughout the house. Maximum occupancy per bedroom is one person.

APARTMENTS or TOWNHOUSES - per UNIT (four bedrooms)

All apartment/townhouse bookings will be first-come, first-served by order of registration. Should Lakehead run out of available accommodation types, guests will be offered 4 adjacent dormitories.

One Night Stay: from $300.00 per unit

Three or more night stay: $200.00 per unit per night

Weekly Rate (6 nights): $850.00 per unit per week

The apartment or townhouse-style units offer four individual bedrooms with single-sized beds. Each unit is fully furnished, complete with storage room (vacuum, mop, bucket, broom and dustpan), full kitchen (fridge, stove, freezer, microwave, and dining table), and four-piece bath with WIFI throughout. Card-operated laundry rooms with an iron and ironing board are located on site. Barrier-free units are available upon request and based on availability. All units come equipped with TV/cable, coffee maker, tea kettle, toaster and 4 coffee cups. There will be an initial two rolls of toilet paper in the washroom and 1 full set of linens & bedding in your bedroom. *Washing and Replenishing is the responsibility of the guest. Maximum occupancy per unit is four people (one per bedroom).

*Upgrade to a Fully Equipped Apartment: Fully-equipped tote boxes can be requested based on availability for a small extra fee and include: 4 place settings, cooking pots & pans with utensils/cutting board, kitchen knives, tea towels, oven mitts,  etc.

Parking at LAkehead University

Parking passes are required Monday to Friday 7:00am to 9:00pm. Please advise if you require a parking pass for your stay - $4.50 per vehicle per day.  Permits are not required for parking on University property between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and at any time on Saturdays, Sundays, or official University holidays.

What’s the best way to get around?

Thunder Bay has a myriad of rental car providers (National, Avis, etc.). They also have their own proprietary Uber ride-share replacement called “URIDE”. We urge competitors to utilize our message board (and each other) for car pooling.... but this year, during our competition days we’ll also have an ATHLETE SHUTTLE running multiple trips each day from the core hotels & Lakehead University to our courses (and back).

Are there other things to do in Thunder Bay?

“Are you silly? We’re just gonna send it” Home of Larry Enticer and more importantly, chock-full of that Northern Ontario magic. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Kakabeka Falls, Sail Superior, the Amethyst Mines, Eagle Canyon, phenomenal indigenous art galleries, Fort William Historical Park, Marina Park, Fishing for slab Walleye, the Cascades, and visiting the Terry Fox Memorial are all highly recommended in your down time. We’ll also have player programming during the event, the Canadian National doubles fundraiser (BYOP) at Birch Point on Thursday August 3rd, a city-wide scavenger hunt and both a player’s “TD meetup” and social evening. We’ll release our player’s guide well in advance of the event, complete with a thorough list of our top recommendations of places to visit and eat.

Who are the Ontario Disc Sport Association (”ODSA”) & Canadian Disc Golf Association ("CanDiscGolf")?

The ODSA is Ontario’s disc golf  Provincial Sports Organization (”PSO”) recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Founded in 2005, the ODSA promotes healthy living, inclusiveness and community growth through the sport of disc golf while developing opportunities to play both recreationally & competitively throughout the province. The Canadian Disc Golf Association is our national sport body in Canada handling sanctioning, development and advocacy of our sport at a federal level and interfacing with SportCanada on behalf of our athletes.

Who are the 2023 Nationals TD team?

With well over 100 PDGA events under their collective belts, the Ontario hosting team consists of Chris Ozolins, Simon Shaw, Cori Murdock & Angelica Haggert. We’ll be on-hand to answer questions, set cards off on their tee times, hand out players packs and act as your hosts in Thunder Bay for the week(end). We also have a fantastic extended team helping to support course prep, fundraising and the million little things that have to be taken care-of in order for an event of this magnitude to run smoothly. If you see folks wearing their white nationals volunteer shirts or sweaters during Nationals 2023, you’re encouraged to give them a fist bump, a “thanks for your time” or just a warm smile to show your appreciation as they do their best to collectively knock the 2023 Canadian National Disc Golf Championships out of the park.

How will registration work?

Sponsor registration opens Wednesday January 11th at 8:00pm EST. There are 54 spots set aside for “player sponsors” who are willing to contribute a $100 sponsorship to this year’s event. In return, each sponsor will receive early access to register, a limited sponsor-only player’s pack item, and branded collateral (a 1’x4” course liner or hole sign) on the disc golf course. Sponsor support will be felt by the entire field as ALL funds collected are being invested directly into the event budget for both amateurs and professionals.

General registration opens Sunday January 15th at 8:00pm EST. Registration may appear open beforehand if sponsorship spots remain, but the requirement to include a sponsorship during registration will drop at 8pm sharp. Please note that his is an A-tier event; all participants must be current PDGA members at the time of registration.

*There will be raffle tickets for sale during registration as well with a few FANTASTIC grand prizes (pound bags and disc golf baskets!). Please consider purchasing at least one ticket during registration to help support the event.

Which divisions will be offered?

Professional Divisions

MPO, FPO, MP40, FP40, MP50, FP50, MP60, FP60, MP70, FP70

Amateur Divisions

MA1, FA1, MA2, FA2, MA40, FA40, MA50, FA50, MA60, FA60, MA70, FA70 & MJ/FJ 15, 12 & 10 (thanks to Karl Forbes, our Jr. divisions director).

*All divisions must receive a minimum of 3 competitors to operate. In the event a division does not meet the requirement, participants will be contacted and presented with alternatives.

Am I, or someone I know, able to sponsor the event?

Absolutely! In addition to hole sponsorships, we always appreciate fundraising help from our player base! We've put a professional 6-page sponsorship package together for corporate sponsorships from $500 (and up) and welcome the help and/or consideration. Please reach out to info@ontariodiscsports.ca if you'd like a copy of our sponsorship package or additional information.

Visit our DiscGolfScene page to register or join the conversation in the comment forum: http://dgscene.com/canada