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Old 11-15-2014, 02:03 PM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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How to design a course in an impenetrable forest

I've read on this forum that it's a good course design practice to walk the property many times to find the best possible tee pad locations, landing areas, and basket locations. Then when the course is being designed the best features of the property can be included without fear that the coolest spot will be overlooked.

This is of course a great idea, but difficult for me to follow because of the impenetrable vegetation that covers my property. The brush, the cedars, the cactus, the vines, briars, etc are so thick that it's almost impossible to walk from one side of the property to the other. I can manage to hack my way through it with a machete or some loppers, but even then I can't see much of the nice features that I know are there because I'm in over my head in brush and stickers.

If I was a rich man I suppose I could pay someone to clear all 25 acres of brush either by hand or with a Bobcat so that I could see enough of the land to prepare a good design. Unfortunately that's not an option though, so I'm left with a design based on what I can see with Google Earth. I'm now clearing holes one at a time using the Google Earth design and so far have been lucky and all of the holes have worked.

I'm just curious if anyone else has prepared a design on a property that's almost impossible to walk beforehand. If so, how did you approach the design with such limited knowledge of the property's key features?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2014, 11:24 AM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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Yep, that's what I thought. Guess I'll continue cutting the holes one at a time using Google Earth as my reference and hope in the end the course turns out to be as challenging and fun as it looks on paper.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:37 AM
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Jukeshoe Jukeshoe is offline
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Didn't see this first time 'round.

My suggestion is two-fold, from experience:

I assume you're working with some sort of quad & basic tools like a chainsaw.

The best thing to do is create a quad trail so that you can access all parts of the property with the tools. Then, you've got at least a trail to move about the property. From there, you can start picking out the bits and pieces of land for holes, and clear those bits as necessary.

The second bit of advice: get friends to help. If you can bring a few like-minded individuals on board, and provide them with food/beer/whatevs they might be willing to help clear a bit. Even if it's just hauling away stuff you cleared, having an extra hand or two can be HUGE in terms of the labor and time saved.

Google earth is good for learning the general lay of the land, but eventually you'll find that you need to actually SEE the land in order to make the best possible holes.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:03 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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This only applied to parts of our property. It's tough. Without knowing exactly what you're facing, here are some thoughts:

* Do it in winter, when you can see further through the leafless woods, and it's cool enough to dress in industrial-strength clothes.
* Look up. Even when you can't see the ground, you can see the taller trees, and any potential fairways that might be present onceyou clear the lower stuff. (If you can get yourself a few feet off the ground, even better).
* Use surveyors tape to mark what you've found. It's that day-glo ribbon that comes in spools, and is easily tearable. You can mark someone every 20' or so to outline potential fairways. It comes in an array of colors that you can use to mark different things (what to cut, what to save, center of fairway, pin location, etc.)
* Build a short course. Less work.
* Then, extend the holes. We had a 200' hole that is now 629', having grown in about 5 stages. Once you've built a clearing, you can back up in it and see where you might go next.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:07 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukeshoe View Post
The best thing to do is create a quad trail so that you can access all parts of the property with the tools. Then, you've got at least a trail to move about the property. From there, you can start picking out the bits and pieces of land for holes, and clear those bits as necessary.
Excellent.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:13 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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I've pretty much done what you and David have done. I want to get a few goats.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:36 PM
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BirdieMachine BirdieMachine is offline
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Buy some goats and let them run wild. I remember someone mentioning goats for clearing a super rough course once. Crazy idea but might be an option.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:43 PM
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Discette Discette is offline
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Rent or buy a brush hog.


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Old 11-21-2014, 04:12 PM
Timeetyo Timeetyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieMachine View Post
Buy some goats and let them run wild. I remember someone mentioning goats for clearing a super rough course once. Crazy idea but might be an option.
Having grown up with goats I will add:
- They absolutely will chew through the underbrush assuming its remotely edible. The best I saw of this was when we moved and fenced in an impenetrable scrub lot for their "pasture". It wasn't long until it was down to just the big trees left.
- Keeping them where you want is a major PITA. They are great escape artists.
- They seem to LOVE flowerbeds and eating things you don't want them to. Combined with the above - you can have some unhappy gardeners.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2014, 04:44 PM
bballr4567 bballr4567 is offline
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Yea, you have to make sure that the goats WANT to eat what you have growing. Being in San Marcos, its a good bet that they do.

Cedars are the most PITA thing to clear though. Goats wont likely eat them and if they are large they are a complete day waster.

*I grew up in CC with my family living in Brownwood.
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