DGCR 102: Social networking, searching, and the site’s greatest hits

This is the second of a two-part series about DGCourseReview.com. The first part ran last Friday.

By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff

Relative to other sports, disc golf is still in its infancy. It does not have a long history, nor does it boast a mainstream following. For every person who plays the sport, there are likely five more who have never heard of it.

For players who become quickly addicted to the game, then, there is a void. While they would like to spend all day and night talking about all things disc-related, there are likely few other friends or family members who have any shared interest.

It is this lack of local conversation that leads many players to the discussion forums at DGCourseReview.com (DGCR). With nearly 35,000 registered users, they are bound to find someone with whom they can click.

The New Social Network

Site founder Tim Gostovic has created multiple forums for discussion within DGCR. A byproduct of his efforts, though, has been multiple strong relationships founded and maintained through the site.

“DGCR has built a lot of friendships and there are member meets happening all over the country,” Gostovic said. “It’s really great to see the photos of people that might not have otherwise gotten together hanging out and enjoying the sport. I actually regularly play disc golf with a friend I met through the site.”

Jerry Honis (in blue) teaches kids about disc golf as a favor to fellow DGCR member William Safford (photo courtesy William Safford)

Members can unite by posting threads in the site’s dedicated DGCR Meets subforum, or through simply finding someone in their neck of the woods and sending them a private message.

Ryan Glasshagel of New Glarus, Wisconsin, has taken the latter approach and played with about ten fellow DGCR members.

“I consider DGCR my Facebook,” Glasshagel said. “I spend more time on there than any other site on the Internet. I have met some great people on the site that I would consider friends.”

Continue reading

Advertisement

DGCR 101: A history of commitment drives the Internet’s largest disc golf hub

This is the first of a two-part series about DGCourseReview.com. Check back next Friday for the second installment.

By Steve Hill — Rattling Chains staff

When many players discover the game of disc golf, it is only a matter of time before they want to branch out from their home course and discover other venues to play.

Luckily for them, searching Google for “disc golf course” or “Frisbee golf courses,” much to the chagrin of those who despise that term, yields many results, none more useful than DGCourseReview.com

Boasting a directory of more than 4,500 courses, Disc Golf Course Review (DGCR) allows players to find courses, track scores, map out road trips, and so much more.

Genesis of the site

New players of the past were not always as fortunate as those today.

Take Tim Gostovic, the brainchild of DGCR. The Rochester, New York native started playing disc golf 10 years ago and was immediately hooked on the sport. As his interest grew, he and his friends took their love of the sport beyond their local surroundings.

“After I had been playing for two years or so, my friends and I started traveling outside our area to play new courses,” Gostovic said. “That escalated to full-on road trips after exhausting the nearby options. We would visit the PDGA site to see which courses were around and try to plan our trip.”

But with the PDGA website listing only locations and directions — and with other sources of information being scarce — Gostovic found the planning process to be restrictive.

“The problem was that it was very difficult to decide which courses were worth stopping at,” he said. “There weren’t really reviews at the time, and maps and photos were tough to come by and required going to a club’s site and hoping you could find something there. It was quite the ordeal and didn’t really guarantee the course you were traveling hundreds of miles to play would be a good one.”

It was from these dilemmas that DGCR was born.

“After planning two road trips using the ‘check the entire Internet’ method, the frustration of the planning process led me to the idea of a central repository of maps, photos, information, and reviews to make my life and the lives of traveling disc golfers like myself easier,” Gostovic said. “So I sat down, sketched out some basic page layouts and functionality, and got to work.”

After a little more than a month of development, DGCR was launched in May 2007. In addition to the number of courses available to locate, there are currently more than 44,000 reviews and 84,000 photos to accompany them.

Continue reading

Course review: Orchard Park (Oregon)

Don’t be fooled by this open-looking hole — this stand of trees on hole three can make for a much more challenging shot than you think.

(Editor’s note: While course reviews aren’t our top stories at Rattling Chains, we will, at times, run one when one of our writers has the urge to talk about a course they play or have played. This is one of those times).

By Andre Fredrick — RattlingChains.com staff

My local course — Orchard Park in Hillsboro, Ore., is often much maligned by seasoned disc golfers for two main reasons.

The first is the abundance of recreational players, which makes the course quite crowded. The second is a complaint that, with its short pin placements and open greens, Orchard Park provides little challenge to an experienced player.

The popularity of the sport as well as the course’s central location and greens that are not quite intimidating make it a natural choice for the curious and acquainted alike.

Orchard hosts “Tuesday Twos” league, which always draws a good crowd.

I don’t begrudge the newcomers. Besides, many more recreational players have caught on to the basic etiquette of the game and will often offer to allow me to play through as soon as they see me tromping up to the tee pad.

In spite of its shortcomings, Orchard is a favorite haunt of mine, and not just because I live a stone’s throw away from it. Still, location is a big factor. As pretty much the only public course in my immediate neighborhood, Orchard makes getting my fix for disc golf a matter of a quick drive or bike ride.

Though Orchard only has nine holes, I find this to be perfect for a couple of reasons. First, I would often find myself at Orchard on a lunch break or before running off to tackle the day’s errands. Being able to blast through a quick nine in 20-30 minutes is a big selling point for me.

Continue reading