Poll 44: Building disc golf courses

OK folks, it’s poll time.

The sport of disc golf is something that people look at on different levels. There’s the one-disc player, casual players, kids, tournament players, local pros and top pros.

weekly_pollThere’s probably more there, too.

But the essence of furthering this game goes beyond playing or beyond giving somebody new a disc. The game has to be out there to grow. Though this is a fast-growing sport, there are still a lot of people who have no idea what the game is.

One big thing is the lack of courses in some places.

Despite being able to tell people what the game is all about, or have them throw a disc in an open field or to a portable target, there needs to be more courses. Because as fun as this game is, if you show somebody and they then have to drive an hour or more for a course, the odds are probably more against that person not playing again than going and playing.

All courses have a place. Whether it’s a 9-hole pitch-and-putt to a well-designed 27-hole championship course. Still, they have to be built.

But we’ll touch more upon this below with this week’s question.

First, lets check back to last week’s question when we asked what your favorite type of disc to throw was.

Out of 170 voters, the runaway winner of this one was mid-range, which received 73 votes for 43 percent. A fairway driver was second with 49 votes (29 percent), followed by distance driver (29 votes/17 percent) and putter (19 votes/11 percent)

And let us check to see what some people had to say:

Andy P noted:

I said mid-range because of the consistency I get from them. I love a good, slow flight that goes almost always how I pictured in my mind, especially when heading towards the chains. Don’t get me wrong, I love my long-range drivers because there is nothing better than booming a drive off the tee and thinking “WOW!,” but those shots aren’t nearly as consistent and have a much bigger margin for error. So a solid and controlled straight line mid-range is my favorite.

That’s definitely a great point about mid-range discs. More control is always a good thing!

Ben said:

Mid-range discs are what keeps me coming out to throw. It’s always nice to sail a driver 300-plus feet, but I’m just not accurate enough with drives to enjoy them as much as a 150-foot throw that lands just in front of the basket and causes my friend’s jaw to drop as I gain another shot on him.

What’s the old saying? Drive for show, putt for dough? And it’s those mid-range shots that allow you to putt for the dough!

Derek O’Neil says:

I do love the approach and putt game of disc golf, but the wow factor is in the distance game! I love getting that perfect shot off the tee for 300-plus feet and seeing the disc go right where I want it to go! Those are the shots I love coming back week after week to play this game.

There’s no doubt the big drives that fly long and where you want are awesome, but I think, for many people, that doesn’t always happen. But when yoy launch one, it’s definitely fun to watch.

Kevin Greunke said:

I went with distance drivers because of one thing: I love to give it my all right off the tee box and really see the flight pattern of my discs. The feeling of watching my disc turn and fade and then glide all the way down the fairway is amazing. I have a powerful throw that I can use a wide variety of weights, plastics, etc. that will work on any fairway.

That’s an answer I’m sure many can relate with.

Ben H said:

I love distance drives and the strategy of carrying a few kinds of drivers and deciding what to throw on any given shot. However, there is something really special about the sound of a good putt hitting the chains. And now that I have been consistent “inside the circle” with my putting (after a lot of practice), I think going for that last shot (be it a 5-, 20-, or 50-foot putt) is my favorite part of the game now. Had to vote putter.

It’s nice to see somebody give the putter some love! There’s something to be said about the sound of rattling the chains!

Simpletwist said:

Tough question to answer. All four categories have that wow factor when you do it exactly perfect. A 20 foot anny putt around the backside of a big pine. That thread the needle from 125 with your go to mid (at this time of year an FLX Buzzz for me) Flexing a nice S curve at 225 with my 150 Leopard for a tap in birdie. And at almost 60 years young, a 350-foot forehand perfectly placed on the fairway with a Nuke impressing the 30 somethings I generally play with.

All that said I guess my mids are the most fun. Long birdies. Over, under, around and through all manner obstacles to save par when I’m in trouble. With good technique you can get some mad distance with a Mid. And with the right combination of overstable, stable, and understable discs in your bag you can get all manner of interesting flights.

This is a great way to look at the whole disc setup. And way to outdrive those “youngsters!”

There were some other great responses this week, so it’s well worth going back and checking it out.

And now on with this week’s poll.

Having courses for people to play is the biggest way to grow the sport. It’s the exposure that’s truly needed.

So, we want to know — have you ever taken part in building a course? Whether it be physically building, or planning, or gaining funding — have you ever done the legwork and saw the end result?

It’s a simple yes or no question, but we’d love for you to expand in the comments. What did you do? What are your courses you worked on? Did you do a ton of work and then have a project crumble? Tell us your course building stories in the comments as we’d love to use some next week.

So vote away!

[poll id=”49″]

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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0 thoughts on “Poll 44: Building disc golf courses

  1. I took part in the installation of a DG course at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. I continue to assist with course work, upkeep and clean up where needed so as to keep the course as usable as possible. There is a lack of courses west of the Northampton MA area and I hope to take part in changing this in the coming years. Any suggestions on how one might approach private land owners and/or municipalities with under utillized open space would be much appreciated.

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  2. Too new to the sport to have had a hand in course design, building or even maintenance. Plus, still have to work for a living to keep the wolf from my door! Might get a chance in the near future. Have to see how those cards are dealt.

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  3. I have previously touched on some of my course building endeavors in response to some previous posts and polls.

    I am extremely fortunate and proud to be considered one of the “pioneers” of disc golf in Southwest Florida. My over 20 years as a Parks & Recreation Professional, placed me in an advantageous position to stumble upon this great sport of ours.

    During my time as a Summer Camp Director in the 90’s, we participated in the Whamo Junior World Frisbee Competition. One of the kids from our camp was so good at it, she went on the World Championships a couple times. That’s where she was introduced to disc golf. Well, our local champ came back from the championships, walked into my office, and asked: “Mr. Stan, how about putting a disc golf course in this park?” My response, was a question to her: “Renee, what in the world is a Disc Golf Course?” After her very detailed and exuberant explanation of the sport she quickly grew to love, I proposed her suggestion to our Deputy Parks and Recreation Director. She was very much in favor of the idea, with a couple of stipulations. The park property would be made available, providing it doesn’t interfere with already existing park activities, and (this was the biggie) it doesn’t cost the parks department any money.

    Never being one to shy away from a challenge, I contacted some of my local media contacts to do a human interest story, and challenge the local community business owners to sponsor this endeavor for various forms of advertising. The newspaper articles proved to be the springboard that led to financial sponsorships and volunteers for the actual construction of the course.

    The real icing on the cake was, Renee was introduced to disc golf by one of the sports most respected course designers, John Houck of Circular Productions. As a favor to Renee and her family, he agreed to a free initial design for a nine holer at the Bonita Springs Disc Golf Course. It has been tweaked many times since then, but thanks to John’s unselfish love of the sport, we had a great plan to start with. That was back in 1997′ and the course is still going strong, with a Pro Shop in the Rec Center, and a very active local club.

    The Bonita Springs Course led to another course, a challenging 18 holer, (not reccommeded for beginners)in the county, that I helped the developers in choosing the baskets for. At the same time I was purchasing the baskets for a 9 holer on Ft Myers Beach at The Bay Oaks Recreation Campus. I was fortunate enough to be in on the initial planning and construction of this fun recreational course. It also has been tweaked many times, since the initial layout.

    Many years after that I was instrumental in course being built at a summer camp in Central Florida. This was a beautiful, beginner to intermediate course, designed by Gregg Hosfeld of World Champion Disc Golf Design.

    My next project, was another combined venture with Gregg Hosfeld of WCDGD at The Big Cyptress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Fl Everglades. This turned out be a beautiful, scenic, technical beginner to intermediate course with challenges from the longer tees for even more advanced players. This course, built in 2010, was and probably still is, the only disc golf course on Native American land. Unfortunately since I vacated my position with the Tribe, the course has become overgrown and difficult to navigate through.

    Most recently, this past year, I have been helping another local disc golf “pioneer,” Dale Schwegel of The Ultimate Disc Show in developing and clearing fairways for the most recent course in Southwest Florida at The Estero Community Park. This course is quickly becoming the most popular course in the area. As it continues to evolve, with the help of Lee County Parks and Recreation staff and local volunteers and businesses, it is sure to become one of the premier courses in the state.

    As I continue in the development of the Estero Course, I am always on the lookout for other suitable properties to develop more courses, and spread the great fun, exercise, and fellowship of disc golf.

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  4. I have been involved in getting several courses installed. While I was in college (almost 30 years ago) I worked with other students at Florida State University to install a 9-hole course on campus property near the football stadium. Unfortunately, when the university expanded the stadium about 15 years ago the course was removed. At that time I also designed and installed a course with fencepost targets at Tom Brown Park in Tallahassee, FL. There is a great course in that park today, but it quite different than the post-target course from the 80’s.

    More recently I have led efforts to install two courses in city parks where I live (San Marcos, CA) and one course on the college campus where I work (Cal State University San Marcos). The Cal State course was funded totally by donations, the city paid for the other course. I have worked alongside other club members doing ongoing maintenance on a course in the next town over (Kit Carson park in Escondido) and I co-designed a disc golf layout on an existing ball golf course in another nearby town (Goat Hill in Oceanside, CA). I regularly run tournaments, leagues and special events at all of these locations.

    Putting baskets in the ground is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. Every time I go to one of these courses, I get to see people enjoying the sport I love – and I played a part in that!

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  5. Almost hated to say yes because I’ve done very little. But as they say, “Every little bit helps.”

    First off I helped with the redesigned Arrowhead Disc Golf Course at Wilson-Tuscarora SP in NY. This was and unfortunately very little used course. It really is a shame. The curse was just mediocre at best before the redesign. But now the course plays a lot more challenging. Several holes were lengthened. Some were made more difficult by changing the pin placement. A couple were dropped and a couple added. Can you say tunnel shot? I along with several other volunteers did the bulk of the grunt work; placing tee markers, hauling trees, branches and debris.

    And there is a brand new private course in the area, Hawk’s Landing. I’ve helped haul wood to clear a couple fairways.

    Both times were very satisfying. And you feel a little differently about the course afterwards. Pride I reckon.

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  6. I’ve volunteered for work days at a local course (Gordy Road Preserve) to help them expand the course from 9 holes to 18, but I just helped clear some brush. I didn’t have a hand in any design decisions. They’re still working on signage for the new holes, and they’re holding a fundraiser in a couple weeks. I hope to get out there and help them dig some post holes for the new signage.

    I’ve often fantasized about one day acquiring several acres of land and building a private (but free) course with a pro shop on the property (to fund the course). The pro shop would be a nonprofit or not-for-profit organization that funds course maintenance and expansion. The course would be challenging, but I’d keep it well manicured so people don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for their discs in tall grass and picking burrs off their clothes.

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  7. We just finished putting the tees in at Lake Sonoma in Geyserville Ca. Everyone who’s played loves it! We’ve had world champions out there enjoying the course and although we don’t have room for expansion to 18, a really fun 9 hole is an excellent option.

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