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Menacewarf 03-16-2012 07:21 PM

Executing The Dream
Since the first moment I played I think it was the grass roots enjoyment which attracted and allured me to disc golf. Almost immediately I think the dream was also born to have my own course. It never seemed particularly feasible out west, though not impossible. Just not something that would happen too quickly.

Well since then I have moved back east, with a partner who owns almost 20 acres of fairly dense mixedd regeneration forest. I have bought 9 baskets and the snow will be melted in days. I just need fresh chains for the chain saw and....my knee to heal.

4 days ago on a cross country ski trip in Baxter I fell bad on a windy trail down a hill and injured my knee cartalidge. Today, I got a ,we'll see if it heals right from the doc at the ER today, thus some optimism, though still uncertainty.

With all the pieces in place I am so close but will alas still be stuck fiddling around with overhead photos and Google earth for at least a few more weeks. That and admiring my stack of basket boxes.

Has anyone gone through this process and come out on the other side with words of wisdom? I'll chart the course, and preliminarily my knees progress, as it goes.

DavidSauls 03-16-2012 07:25 PM

Which process? Building a private course, or tearing up a knee?

Menacewarf 03-16-2012 07:33 PM

Well the dream is of course the private course so that is my focus but I would be glad to hear about experience with medial meniscus damage in the mean time.

DavidSauls 03-16-2012 08:26 PM

My brother and I bought some land to move out to the country and build a disc golf course. Click on my signature.

We started playing in 1995, starting searching for land in 2001. Spent 3 years searching for the right land to build homes and make a good disc golf course. Bought land in 2004, started building 1 hole at a time, got to 18 holes in 2007, built a pond in 2009, reached our current layout in 2010. Here we are.

One advantage we/you have is being able to take time to plan. You don't have to come up with the entire 9 or 18 holes, the way course designers do in public parks. You can study the landscape as you go along, and change things that don't work out.

If you're like other private course owners I know, you'll find that you work on your course a lot more than you play.

That's the much-abbreviated story.

goosefraba1 03-17-2012 01:01 AM

Wow.... that hits home just looking at those pictures. My grandparents live in St. Mathews SC (close to orangeburg). Nice seeing pics of the landscape.

DavidSauls 03-17-2012 08:02 AM

You should visit your parents more.....and stop by, we're on the way (if your route is I-26).

For Menacewarf, I'm not sure how much of our experience is instructive. I will point out that wooded holes are harder to build, but much easier to maintain, than open holes. Keep the chainsaw handy; it's surprising how many trees or parts of trees fall, usually in bad locations.

If you open it to the public you have to deal with the consequences. 98% of visitors are great, but the other 2%.....

For us it gives double use of the property. The fairways are also walking trails/ATV trails/hunting areas that we'd never clear just for those purposes.

If you have vines in your woods, you'll be amazed how much you come to despite them.

Budget for supplies (string for weedeaters, etc.), fuel (mowing?), repairs and replacement of both power equipment and manual tools.

In our case, because we bought land suitable for a very good disc golf course, it's allowed us to meet lots of lots of wonderful people, both at tournaments we host and among the society of traveling disc golfers. I'm in South Carolina and I've had at least a half-dozen guests from Wisconsin and Minnesota, and had tournament players here from Connecticut and Alaska. It's been a great pleasure.

Menacewarf 03-17-2012 09:46 PM

Thanks for the reply's David! I admire your course and hear you loud and clear on much of what you said.

The bit about the organic design is very inline with my design principals. I was lucky enough to study a good bit of landscape design long before I was into disc golf and have very much enjoyed learning the flow of the landscape on the 5 or 6 courses I have designed with tone poles in the west. Of those only two really came to be played much and one still exists but from this experience I have learned the thrill of design is discovery.

Having a somewhat blank slate in terms of forest to hack through is at the same time inspiring and a bit daunting in terms of labor. I expect many holes which do not have old logging roads or other clearings as a bassis to begin as very tigh technical lines until I get a handle of the overall master plan. This way I can have a course to play on without committing to anything right away.

What I have learned is to find the 3,4,5,6 amazing holes on the property, and then find good ways of filling in the gaps. It sounds derogatory to the rest of the holes but using this method I have found the landscape will still provide for sound holes if explored thoroughly most of the time.

At my most successful temp/tone course which is still played the best hole on the course was the last one found, squeezed into an unused area in order to accommodate the loss of another hole due to high water. The landscape provides

Sadjo 03-17-2012 11:17 PM

When designing your course, I suggest doing what Houck suggests...find all the 'natural' holes on the property and map them...whether they cross over each other or share fairways. You could end up with a lot of great potential holes.
Also look at each hole in reverse. That perspective might give you better holes than expected.

Menacewarf 03-18-2012 03:50 PM

I agree with the idea of looking at each hole in reverse. I hope perhaps I may be able to design two 9 hole loops using the same 9 baskets but in opposite directions. Of course it would have to work out just right and I wouldn't want to force it but I could see a scenario where it could work with perhaps just a few extra baskets.

Does anyone have any experience with renting a brush hog for clearing saplings?

On a different note my knee has finally begun feeling like it is improving durring the last two days after an initial three days of painful stagnation. This gives me a lot of optimism the course will begin gettin carved out within a few weeks.

My partner helped me set up and drag a bunch of baskets in the yard so I at least have a putter course to limp around and play and I get to look at all my baskets!

Steve West 03-18-2012 06:28 PM

If you do have an old logging road, or other long clearing, don't automatically run a hole down the middle of it. It may work better as two or three basket locations or first-throw landing areas, with the holes being at a large angle to the road.

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