Starting from a familiar intersection in Ottawa at Bank & Riverside, travel south west on
Riverside Drive. Keep on going past Billings Bridge Plaza and the
RA Centre. The Rideau River will be on your right. The road bends to the
left and up a slope. If you were taller and seated in the passenger seat, you could look down on Hole #7 on your right. Turn right at the lights
and follow the signs to Vincent Massey Park, where you will soon see two tollgates. Turn left and pay «The Man» if it's summer. If not,
drive on through this first parking lot and follow the "L" shaped road to the left and park on your right reasonably close to the buildings.
Vincent Massey Park Disc Golf Course
Ottawa, ON, Canada
[ Scaleable Google Map ]
Vincent Massey Park was named in 1969 for
Governor General Vincent Massey. This park
features a natural object disc golf course, which has existed in this very popular public park since the fall of 1993. Since the park is so well used by
the general public, we have to exercise due caution when playing. If there are too many people gathered in an area near a hole, just skip it, or design
a similar hole thay avoids the people.
The objects are not marked, so you may have to go with a local guide the first time. Contact the
course designer to arrange a time to be
introduced to the course. Since this course started, it has had to be rearranged for several reasons, including burnt signposts, safety issues, and
landscaping changes. It may be that when you play the course, some of the objects, which are used as targets may have been changed or eliminated.
Be flexible, and reach me if you have any confusion. I can be reached at don.lane _AT_ rogers.com or by phone at 613-286-5233.
- Disc comes to rest on the paved surface of any parking lot or vehicle road;
- Disc comes to rest on or permanently crosses the official NCC bicycle path;
- Disc comes to rest within the defined concrete area of the Bandstand, including its perimeter;
- Disc comes to rest on the infield of the Softball Field;
- Disc comes to rest on the paved Volleyball Court;
- Disc comes to rest on the other side of the metal fence which faces Hogsback Park;
- Disc comes to rest on the roof of any park building.
It's a great park for gatherings and family reunions. There are picnic tables, fire pits, a bandstand, horseshoe pits, ball diamonds, and washrooms. There are also many areas throughout the park, including the central bandstand, which is mid-way through the course, that are set up for your electrical needs.
In the summer months, extending until about the Labour Day Weekend, there is a charge per car to access the park, so if you can make it there on Ottawa's extensive cycling trails, you've done yourself a couple of favours. If you don't want to pay, you can always drive to Hog's Back Park, where there is free parking, and walk along the bike path which leads to Vincent Massey Park. If you choose this option, you'll be at the start of Hole #13 when you cross over to VMP.
The first hole is located near the buildings which are located at the end of the "L" shaped parking area in the central part of the park. On the first hole you will be shooting down the path which is opposite the large park map & information sign.
- Warm Up Straits (77 m, Par 3)
Start at the roadway opposite the park map sign and aim down the paved path, which runs parallel to the parking lot. Your target is the raised
"Rideau River Eastern Pathway" sign, located near the first pathway intersection. Have someone check out the path first to make sure
there are no pedestrians about to step on to the
path. (LIMITED TARGET)
- The Hour Glass (95 m, Par 3)
Start behind the last target post and aim down the hill towards the distant water fountain and the Rideau River. Rollers have worked well here, and if
you're not shy about scratching your disc, long slides are possible using the downward slope of the paved path. Hit the left post of the wide sign,
which is located immediately before and to the right of the "T" shaped paved path intersection.
- Land Mines (84 m, Par 3)
Start in front of the wide sign and aim for the second last rock, located near the edge of the forest and the far corner of the parking lot. This rock
is larger than all the other ones in the area. You can either throw down the paved path towards the parking lot or choose to throw through the picnic
area and hopefully avoid the picnic tables. Most people throw over those tables, which are infrequently used during those times of the year when we
play this course. The parking lot is out-of-bounds (OB).
- Road Hazard (75 m, Par 3)
Starting at the throw-off point from Hole #3, hit the "L" post that is located diagonally through the trees and up the slope, alongside the
vehicle road. Depending on the time of year you play the course, it can be a good idea to thread the needle through the small but dense forest.
A safer, if longer route, can be found throwing your first disc directly towards the road, and thus avoiding the forest. The road marks the OB line.
- Tree Line (136 m, Par 4)
Start behind the "L" post and aim across the road. Shoot towards the far end of the tree line and hit the "OP" post, which is
located at the end of the first line of picnic tables. The main parking lot is OB, but you shouldn't have to go close enough to it to make it a problem.
- The Dark Tree (68 m, Par 3)
From the raised "pitcher's mound", look for the target down the natural path towards the end of the parking lot. Hit the trunk of the
darkest tree below its first branch. The tree is beyond the water drain in the parking lot. Some have tried to hyzer it over
the parking lot, but often fall short and hit the concrete lip of the lot and bounce back in to OB territory. The parking lot, including the tear drop
shaped drainage area is OB.(LIMITED TARGET)
- Lonely Rock (120 m, Par 3)
Walk back on the natural path to the opening to the wide field. Start a few metres in from the opening and spot the largest rock in the park, which is across the
open field where cricket used to be played. Big arms and people who fly kites like this area.
- The Pitt (66 m, Par 3)
From behind or on top of the large rock, aim down the narrow passage formed through the trees on high ground. Hit the flat rock that is located on the
right side of the path near the entrance to the theatre pit. Trust me, you don't want to throw your disc in the rocky woods to the right of the narrow passage.
Oh yeah, and watch out for the pagans on the Summer Solstice.
- The Band Stand (174 m, Par 4)
Walk through the theatre pit to the gravel path. Walk up the path; turn left and stop at the clearing. Turn left and you're at the next tee.
Throw from an area that lines up straight behind the narrow gap, and close to the dirt path. Aim through the narrow channel of trees towards the Band
Stand. The target is to the right and slightly beyond the Band Stand, and is a flat rock that is located immediately above the open culvert.
(ALT-TEE) Start on the high ground just beyond the narrow channel of trees for a "blue" (intermediate) teepad.
- First Base (100 m, Par 3)
Walk up the road to the interpretive centre. Go across the parking lot to the first path, which has a rock in the middle of it. Check for other
park users first by walking up this path, and only throw when it is safe to do so. Start behind this rock and aim up the paved path. Hit the
"B" post located straight down the first base line, near the far grove of trees. Don't forget that the gravelled area in the in-field is out
- Rock in a Hard Place (80 m, Par 3)
From behind the "B" post, aim for the rock located in the middle of the picnic table area, near a red barbecue coal pit. Roller shots have worked well here,
and even some ambitious hammers. Pick your poison and go for it. Have a spotter make sure the area beyond the trees is clear if you're going to shoot
a big hyzer shot.
- The Sin Bin (155 m, Par 4)
Picnic tables and BBQ stations used to be special penalties on this course. Now, they are just additional obstacles that you have to overcome on the way to the target.
From behind or on top of the rock, hit the "F" post, which is located close to the intersection of three paved pathways, near the extreme corner of the park near the bridge and the cliff.
There is an OB paved volleyball court in the middle of the fairway which you should avoid. Over the fence and beyond the NCC bike path are OB, which means that the narrow paved path which runs alongside the fence is on the fairway.
- OB Rock (90 m, Par 3)
From an area a few metres closer in to the park from the last target, aim for the large rock located near the distant tree line, roughly in line and beyond the union monument. The rock
is about 90 feet to the right of bicycle path and before the line of trees and picnic tables. The NCC pathway is OB.
- Biker Rock (107 m, Par 3)
Aim through the trees from behind the nearby "G" post. Hit the large round rock, which is located beyond the water fountain and the 'Y' shaped
intersection. The NCC path is OB, while the inside path is not.
- The Lamp Post (79 m, Par 3)
From behind the round rock, hit the black metal section of the second lamp post which can be found beyond the white building and beside a dirt path. You can see it from the teepad,
quite close in line with the left edge of the building. The targeted post now faces blue and green recycling bins.
- Bad Water Post (94 m, Par 3)
From behind the black lamp post, hit the "F" post which is just past the water fountain. This fountain is located about 50m to the left of the union
monument. Don't drink the water from this fountain. It smells like sulphur.
- Fence Sitting (132 m, Par 4)
Walk down the edge of the park towards the water, and look for your teepad, which is the largest pad on the course. It is a grassy area which is defined by three paths at the edge
of the park. Your target is the rock which is blocking the path in the opening of the fence, from where you will tee off on Hole #18. The fence line defines the OB line.
Power Bar (125 m, Par 4)
From behind the rock target for hole #17, look across the field towards the main park buildings for a concrete obelisk, about 3'-4' tall. The obvious one is not your target,
but it is the same type of target that you are looking for, which is further to the right, and closer to the trees. If you walk a little to the right of the teepad, you should
be able to see it. It's located 10 metres to the right of a water fountain. This hole looks longer than it really is.
The par for this course (59) is now much harder than it used to be, but getting a good score is supposed to be difficult.
The course record has been steadily going down since the course was first established back in 1993, and I expect that it will fall by several strokes this upcoming season.
A new course scorecard has been added recently for the 2006 season. The course record is 63 (+4), which was set while still
using the old "special penalty rules", which made the course even more difficult! If you beat or tie the course record from the longest tees while applying all the regular PDGA rules,
please let me know.
Course Design: Don Lane and Denis Beaulieu, Sept. 6, 1993 (in the rain!)
Course Record: 63 (+4) Don Lane (Apr-04)
Updated: June 11, 2007