#1  
Old 09-12-2011, 02:11 PM
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Martin Dewgarita Martin Dewgarita is offline
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An introductory summer camp course.

Building an Introductory Summer Camp Course

Since I've been more and more addicted to this sport, the prospect of course design intrigues me. I now have the opportunity to share this great sport with ~3000 kids per summer.

I've been working on and off at a Summer Camp doing Maintenance here in MN. Since I've started here in the spring I'd been continually throwing nickles in people's ears about the possiblity of a course on property, how it's a growing sport, a great thing for kids to learn as it is a hobby that can last the rest of their lives. Well, the director approached me today “Did you hear the good news? We got about $1000 to spend on that disc golf project.” Well, they know I was hoping for more $ and that number will be fluid (ie. As the project goes on, and I can prove more value, the donors will be willing to shell out more cash, or pull the plug if they feel they won't see a return). But $1000 is what we'll work with for now. We will have an official meeting regarding this (and other projects, which I could possibly encorporate into the course, imagine a zipline from hole to hole, or some kind of teambuilding activity between holes).

So, the property is probably large enough for 9 holes, but for now I'm thinking a 3 hole loop will fit what they're looking for in a 1(possibly 2) hour long block of time for the children (ages 5-12) to get a quick introduction to the sport. So I come to this forum for advice. General advice regarding a first time course design and installation, typical first timer mistakes to look out for (I'm sure I'll have more specifics as time goes on), and specifics regarding the following:

(I also realize that much of this information can probably be found within this forum or other websites, links are appreciated, I don't really have the ability to browse the web at this point, I'm working on my phone)

I don't have an area picked out yet, but I'm about to walk the property for some ideas. As that progresses I'm sure I'll come here for advice. It will be technical, most likely will include some elevation, I'm thinking 150-250' per hole.

Proposal/Bid. Any links to proposals already created that you are willing to share, I'd love to see them, any hints on creating a proposal (where is the money going).

Benefits. How does a disc golf course benefit a summer camp program (Recreation activity, lifelong sport, etc)?

Spending $1000. Do I have enough for 3 holes (labor and equipment not included)? Who do I approach for baskets (any specific manufacturer/retailer that might be willing to work out some deals, or wholesale/nonprofit/educational prices I could find) - Which baskets should I look into, and what prices will we be looking at per fully installed basket? What other expenses are involved?

Equipment. Discs will probably come out of another budget, but again are there retailers that will cut a deal for this kind of project? Or at least the best place to look for bulk beginners discs?

Signage/how to teach without being present. I imagine a sign showing the typicals (distance, map, par, hole #, next tee) as well as teaching campers some basics of disc golf (I may start a separate thread on what to include here, but some ideas are intro to dg, grips, release angles, types of throws, etc). Another cool aspect is that they may be going more technological in the next year or two around here, the counselor for a group of campers will have a wireless tablet. A QR code on the tee sign could link to an instructional video or other DG footage (feel free to expand on ideas here). Where should I look for pricing on this type of tee sign?

Grants. Of course I can always do bigger and better things with more $ Any specific places to look for organizations that might be willing to donate to this type of project?

Ok, time to go walk the property, I look forward to seeing some responses, I'll know more info after my meeting in the next 24 hours. Thank you all for your input and help, I'm sure more questions will come up as the project goes on, I'll keep you updated.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2011, 04:10 PM
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bwiese bwiese is offline
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There are a ton of Q's in that post so I will hit just a few I have oppinions on.

1. When designing the course walk the property multiple time at different times of day. Go after a big rain (could be problems) and get a feel for all angles of the property. When walking dont always go the same way try to keep an open mind for how the course would flow and for different things that could make the hole interesting. You could read articles by john houck on the pdga page or find stuff on here.

2. You can get lower level baskets for under $300. They are still sturdy, just dont have the same chain configuration. So you should be able to get 3 baskets for under $1000. I think its the dga manufactures the baskets

3 Tee boxes can be natural (grass, dirt) and the front edge marked with stones found naturally in the area.

4. Tsign are a luxury and are not really needed at the distances you are talking. Holes under 300ft can be seen from the T. Add this step when you get more cash.

5. Plan ahead. You are opperating on a fixed budget right now so make a plan of what the course could become. Dont cost yourself more money in the long run because you didnt think about where you are going to put the additional holes or how the course will eventually flow.

6. Safety first. This will be at a camp with people who do not think before they do. Make sure the holes are safe for both the dgers and any one else in the camp.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:13 PM
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bwiese bwiese is offline
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from personal experience, the more rough the course has ( tall weeds/briars) the more time the kids will be looking for a lost disc or losing discs.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:31 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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I've done a few of these. Too much to write, but PM me if you want to talk.

A couple of things: Don't use the first $1,000 for baskets. Everything else is more important. Find old barrels, hula hoops, wind chimes, satellite dishes and other "cool" targets. Think shooting gallery at the fair. If the target does something when hit (falls over, spins), even better.

Second, think way shorter on distances. 50-120 feet at most. Use your lightest mini or a give-away plastic disc to test-play it.

Remember, you're not building a course for disc golfers, you're building an incentive for kids to learn to throw a disc.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:15 PM
jtencer jtencer is offline
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Look into Innova's EDGE program. I believe this is the sort of thing that it was started to support.
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2011, 07:56 PM
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mashnut mashnut is offline
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Good advice from Steve, keep it fun and exciting. Also, talk to Dave at gateway, they've got ultralight discs and he's been known to cut a good deal for a good cause.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:53 AM
John Rock John Rock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
I've done a few of these. Too much to write, but PM me if you want to talk.

A couple of things: Don't use the first $1,000 for baskets. Everything else is more important. Find old barrels, hula hoops, wind chimes, satellite dishes and other "cool" targets. Think shooting gallery at the fair. If the target does something when hit (falls over, spins), even better.

Second, think way shorter on distances. 50-120 feet at most. Use your lightest mini or a give-away plastic disc to test-play it.

Remember, you're not building a course for disc golfers, you're building an incentive for kids to learn to throw a disc.
Excellent advice here^^^
Find non-permanent objects for the targets. Move them around from time to time, changing up your layout a few times in the beginning will help locate the best positions. Always remember: SAFETY FIRST!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:28 AM
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gotcha gotcha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
There are a ton of Q's in that post so I will hit just a few I have oppinions on.


4. Tsign are a luxury and are not really needed at the distances you are talking. Holes under 300ft can be seen from the T. Add this step when you get more cash.
Tee signs a luxury? I suppose you can have luxurious tee signs, but signs/markers are the most important part of any course. More important than baskets. More important than tee pads. If there is no signage or markers, how does one find his/her way around the course?

A tee sign (or tee marker) can be a simple 4"x4" post with the hole number. Nothing fancy, just something to help direct the first time player to the next tee. The marker should be not be buried at ground level (I've seen this at a few courses and the first time player has no idea where the ground level markers are located).
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:06 AM
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mashnut mashnut is offline
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Survey flags work just fine to mark tees at first, and that let's you tweak the design for a while before installing anything permanent.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2011, 03:08 PM
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bwiese bwiese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Gotcher View Post
Tee signs a luxury? I suppose you can have luxurious tee signs, but signs/markers are the most important part of any course. More important than baskets. More important than tee pads. If there is no signage or markers, how does one find his/her way around the course?

A tee sign (or tee marker) can be a simple 4"x4" post with the hole number. Nothing fancy, just something to help direct the first time player to the next tee. The marker should be not be buried at ground level (I've seen this at a few courses and the first time player has no idea where the ground level markers are located).
Natural t's work well. You can mark the front of them off with Rocks to keep the feel natural. I have even seen people paint on rocks so you knew the distance. But no T signs on a 150 foot hole is not necessary. To find the next hole you can paint a rung on the basket or have a little sign pointing to the next hole. The course if for campers who should be escorted by a leader. The leader should know the course. I liked Steves idea of having object golf starting out and keeping it fun.
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