Old 02-02-2009, 01:25 PM
taxman taxman is offline
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Default how much property suitable to build a nice course

I've been thinking of buying a piece of property and moving out of town. I was wondering how much property would be needed to make a decent disc golf course. I think 10 acres would be a bit too small. You could probably fit a course on 20 acres but I think you would be ďmaking it fitĒ. I would think 40 acres would be plenty of room for a nice disc golf course. Iíd like to hear what some of you think about this. What size property would you think ideal? What topography would you look for?

I would love to find a 40-80 acre property with a mix of hardwoods and some open fields. Lots of terrain changes and a nice hill somewhere. If I could luck out and find a piece of property with either a hilltop view or a nice stream running through it that would be great.

Iím not in a rush. Iím just keeping an eye out for a nice property. most of the acreage that gets listed for sale in this area is old farmland. I think that would be the most boring place for a disc golf course. Although, it would be easy to design the course. A basket at each end of the field and just take turns throwing from one end to the other.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:45 PM
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harr0140 harr0140 is offline
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If it is for your own use you don't need near what you would for public use. Who cares if the holes are tight together its not like you are going to hit people with errant shots.

It also depends if you are playing in the woods or open fields. Tight wooded holes with only one line can be squeezed tight together.

I am hoping to one day have my landscaping business operating on a piece of property with enough wooded area to at least set up 6 different pin locations. I would set up 3 lines into each basket so that there would be 18 holes basically. That can be done on minimal property, as long as the terrain varies and there are some woods and some open fields.
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Old 02-02-2009, 01:48 PM
lewisville150 lewisville150 is offline
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You could do an approximation by imagining 18 football fields laid out as a course. A standard U.S. football field is 360 ft x 160 ft or approximately 1.33 acres. So 18 holes would be about 24 acres of land. 160 ft wide fairways is probably a little much but it is a starting point. I think you put in a nice course on 30 acres. As far as topography, personally I love all types of obstacles on a course. I would choose a little of each if I could (trees, water, elevation changes, rocks)
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:08 PM
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Honestly I think 10 acres would be more then enough, it wouldnt be world championship caliber, but you should be able to make a good 18 hole pitch and putt course I would imagine.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:56 PM
t i m t i m is offline
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I would checkout John Houck's articles on course design. He's generally considered the leading expert in course design nationwide. There are plenty of other people who have created amazing courses, but John's the only one I know of who makes a living at it.

Standard logic is that you can make a decent course with about 1 acre per hole. What should really dictate your buying process is thinking about what KIND of course you are creating and WHY you are creating it.

If it will be a place you are thinking of hosting big tourneys and stuff, then you should also keep in mind PARKING space and CAMPING space. Where are you going to put people?

If you are going to be caring for the course by yourself, think about how you are going to MOW fairways (time consuming and expensive at some places). Some pieces of land have very little mowing/clearing. Others are a nightmare and take incredible amounts of time and money to keep clean, even if they are awesome when they are freshly mowed.

One of the beautiful things about disc golf is that it often works best in land that is frustrating for other purposes. Weird elevation changes and odd streams and mixed terrain are less than ideal for farming or raising livestock or even for building development. But they are IDEAL for a disc golf course.

My favorite private courses in the country are the pair in Paw Paw, WV. I don't know how much land they have out there total. I know the Woodshed course is on ~25 acres. I'd guess the other course is about the same. And those are amazing courses with plenty of parking and camping space. It's also where the course owner and his family live full time, so the house, barn, etc... are there.

It might be worth making it to some various private courses around the country when you have a chance and seeing what has been done well. Paw Paw, WV, is my favorite, but The Grange in Spotsylvania, VA, is also excellent. And then, of course, you've got Pyramids and Maple Hill up in MA... The two Houck courses down in Wimberley (currently closed temporarily) are also worth a visit if you can get the chance to go. Moody's Red Rock outside of Austin is also worth a gander. Those few locations would get you started if you're looking for some ideas.

Are you looking to make money off the land as well as play disc golf, or not?

Hawk Hollow in VA, is another top course -- it's a cow farm year round (the cows have right of way on the holes if they get in your way) -- but an amazing course. Pyramids and some other private courses have areas of the course dedicated as Christmas tree farms -- the trees grow fast and are an interesting obstacle on a few holes, and help support the course in the off-season.

Also think about future expansion. Would you ever want more than 18 holes? Are you adjacent to other land that might be available for purchase in the future? The best private courses in the country offer 36 holes and camping and are ideal for the best big tourneys. If you're just looking for a place for you and a few friends to play, then this isn't a concern.

Are you planning on putting in a crazy hard SSA-70 course are are you just wanting something fun to play around on? Obviously, the shorter course takes less space. The 1 acre per hole standard applies mostly to courses that have a lower SSA (I'd guess 50 or less). Anything more than that is going to take more space if you want it to be safe and not have crossing fairways.

What all is realistic:

The Grange has two 18-hole courses -- one 75/25 in the woods (The Darkside), the other probably 40/60 in the woods (The Sunnyside). But it also has an 18 hole par-2 "Tiki Course" where everything ranges from ~90' - 150'. Putters only, really. Crazy fun rounds. Everything is strung up with Christmas lights and totally playable at night. High entertainment value and it will teach you how to use your putter.

Codorus (public course) in PA has a 9-hole course with mini-baskets for throwing disc golf minis. And it is an incredibly fun course -- challenging and really quick to play.

If I were buying a piece of land, I'd want to have the option to host tourneys, and would probably try to get a space that could accommodate at least 18 challenging holes, as well as a good alternative course -- like a Tiki or mini-basket course -- that would provide a quick, fun factor ideal for late nights or for beginners. With a decent piece of land, you should be able to put all that and some space for camping/parking in ~30 acres. More for a harder course or for more holes.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:38 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is online now
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My brother and I did just this---spent 3 years looking for just the right piece of land to both build a course and live on---then 2 years building the course.

Regarding acreage---the more the better! If the caliber course you're looking to build takes 20 acres and you buy 20 acres, you have to use every bit. If you buy 40 acres, you can use the best features of the best scattered 20 acres, and save the rest for buffers or other uses. Including perhaps evolving into a higher-caliber course in the future.

One benefit to you is that the best land for disc golf may be the worst land for other uses---so it costs less. Our land includes a power transmission right-of-way, useless to most everyone else but a place for boomer shots forus. Also some steep slopes. Parts of it had been clear-cut, lowering the land value with loss of timber, but the trees return quickly and we could choose which ones to keep and which not, while they were still easy to work with.

Fair warning, though, that it's a lot of work. If you've only played public courses where the parks department mows the grass, runs the weedeaters, and removes fallen trees, you're in for a surprise. We live on our course and only play a couple of times a month.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:00 PM
biscoe biscoe is online now
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my private course occupies roughly 80 acres for 27 holes playing to a par of 94. cattle are a big help in maintaining it as they keep the undergrowth down virtually everywhere. i still only manage to play it a couple of times a month. so much to do... so little time.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:39 PM
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JR Stengele JR Stengele is offline
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Originally Posted by biscoe View Post
my private course occupies roughly 80 acres for 27 holes playing to a par of 94. cattle are a big help in maintaining it as they keep the undergrowth down virtually everywhere. i still only manage to play it a couple of times a month. so much to do... so little time.
I would love to see pictures.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:27 PM
biscoe biscoe is online now
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i have a good number, i'll have to figure out how to get them up when i've got time. heck, maybe i'll even list it in the directory...
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:56 PM
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Adam Schneider Adam Schneider is offline
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Most of the decent courses here in Oregon are about 1 acre per hole. A couple of shorter courses are only 0.5 acres per hole.
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