There are no disc golf courses on the island of Newfoundland, but there is one man who is changing that. His name is Ryan Denley Saunders, native to the northwestern peninsula of the island, near the viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows, a viking archaeological site that dates to 1000 AD. I didn’t know about Ryan until I had already departed Philadelphia; but I packed a portable disc golf basket in the trunk of my car, graciously donated to the cause by my friend ‘Doctor’ Dave Yaron, and a bag full of discs, with the intention of bringing disc golf to Newfoundland and if possible to connect with anyone there who played, which I eventually found out was just one person.
I found Ryan on reddit, and discovered that he had built a wooden basket (with metal chains) just two weeks before my arrival. The timing worked out, and I met Ryan and his fiancee Kate at Bowring Park in St. Johns. Ryan may be the only disc golfer in Newfoundland; and he speaks eagerly of petitioning the city to install a permanent course, but for now he has only his homemade basket and a dream. We set up some holes and played a historic round of golf: to our knowledge, the first game on the island with two baskets, which we moved around for variety. Most of all we laughed, and celebrated, and shared stories. I invited them to visit Philadelphia and gave them three discs from Sedgley Woods, my home course. It may be some time before disc golf becomes established on Newfoundland, but it is inevitable because of people like Ryan, a true disc golf pioneer. Newfoundland is the only Canadian Province without a permanent disc golf course, but cannot be said now to be without the sport entirely.