A new exciting chapter for disc golf in Italy after 6 years of achievements for the National Governing Body
IL Disc Golf Association was founded in 2017 to carry on the promotion and development of the sport in Italy, reinventing the national scene after Disc Golf Italia (previous organization for disc golf in Italy).
IL Disc Golf first international tournament was the Milano Open 2017, and few years later another major milestone was achieved: in June 2019, thanks to an agreement with the Municipality of Milan Lambro Disc Golf Park was born with a 12-hole permanent course. In a short time the course gave life to an ever-growing community of players.
Covid came, and disc golf exploded everywhere. At the first signs of recovery, in 2021 the Board of Directors of the Association changed, kicking off a new stage for disc golf in Italy.
Following this there has been two years of growth and achievements with over 10 PDGA Sanctioned events throughout Northern Italy including three further editions of the Milano Open, the first time at Worlds of the Italian national team at WTDGC2022, the further development of relationships with local (Municipio 3 and Cascina Biblioteca in Milan), national (FIFD and then Figest) and international (PDGA, WFDF, EDGF and new partners from France, Finland and Austria) stakeholders.
It is also worth noticing a significant increase of the Association membership which has grown by almost 300% in two years.
Futhermore, the national scene gave back important signals of growth such as the opening of the new permanent Disc Golf Park in Turin thanks to the extraordinary work of Torino Disc Golf.
New courses have opened near Bologna and Ivrea and a new course is nearing completion at Parco Retrone in Vicenza. The local players networks in Emilia Romagna and Trentino is growing faster and there is now a community of young players in another area of Milan thanks to the work of Barona Disc Golf. And finally, the first major global brands sponsorships for players and tournaments are starting to come.
The Parco Lambro Disc Golf Course Development
In 2023 the journey continues, marking some more milestones in this success story:
In April was signed the renewal of the collaboration agreement with the Municipality and Cascina Biblioteca. Agreement that results in the addition of 6 more permanent baskets and tee signs. Parco Lambro DG Park is now the first 18-hole course in a public park in Italy.
The achievement is remarkable also for the increased international collaboration with the support of PDGA Europe through the PDGA Europe Grant Program. Project also supported from DiscGolf Park with which the Italian disc golf community has an increasingly close relationship.
The Lambro Park development project had also envisaged the making safe of some old manhole covers and finally the closure of the park to car traffic, which in a few weeks has significantly improved the usability of the park.
IL Disc Golf Association wanted to contribute further to the agreement extension, supplying a renewed stock of discs available free of charge for users. No longer just a pair of putters: citizens now can rent for free a set consisting of a bag, 3 discs, scorecard and a pencil to enjoy a full disc golf experience. Collection point in Cascina Biblioteca has been moved from the Bar Vagone to the Insalata Matta house.
Finally, it is important to mention the further support to the Cascina’s educational activities providing 10 disc sets and supporting the 1st Italian Disc Golf program dedicated to physically and mentally impaired players: Volere è Volare.
A look to the future – Whats next?
2023 therefore promises to be a turning point for the national disc golf scene. What are the next goals?
Riccardo Scroffernecher, President of IL Disc Golf Association and PDGA Country Coordinator for Italy says:
“The next few years will be important and delicate for several aspects, coordinating the work of increasingly proactive local groups, developing projects and relationships within the National Federation Committee, continuing to work closely with the international network and finally consolidating and, if necessary, redefining governance and position of our Association in the new scenario.
The challenges are many and critical because after the signs of solid growth, we need to assure it stays on the right path. Furthermore, I can say that we see around us a credibility and a potential that we would never have dreamed of just two years ago… we hope to see in the near future more and more young athletes and committed players providing the springboard for the further development of the sport in Italy”