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  #21  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:56 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Other than Brackett's Bluff and Camp Canaan? Not sure about the amenities at Torma Town.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:44 AM
Ryan Baker Ryan Baker is offline
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Other than Brackett's Bluff and Camp Canaan? Not sure about the amenities at Torma Town.
There MIGHT be an opportunity to do something special and unprecedented. But the risks...
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:52 AM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan Baker View Post
The Charlotte metro area. Already a hotbed of good courses, but none that are maintained as well as a P2P would be and none have any real amenities. The player base seems to be there but would enough of them choose to pay on a regular basis to make it worthwhile? That's the question.
When we started our P2P a few years ago, we were in a similar situation. Located between Austin and San Antonio, there are 75 courses within 50 miles of us. Many of them are quality courses, but there was only one P2P in our area at the time and it later went out of business. So how could we encourage players to leave their local free course, drive further to our place, and on top of that, pay for something that they have always gotten for free. Oh, and our plan couldn't include building a championship, pro level course because we just didn't have the acreage needed.

So we decided to create a country club type facility that would draw repeat customers from the local area, while somehow enticing players from Austin and San Antonio to visit us from time to time. We knew we had to provide amenities not found in the public park courses, but we also wanted to make something unique and unusual. So far, so good, as our customers and revenue continue to grow each month. Like most P2P facilities we have good, challenging, well maintained courses, lots of benches, good signage, restrooms, and no litter. But here's some of the things we did that further differentiate us from the free courses that surround us. Maybe some could work in your area as well.

- Our full size course has red, white, and blue tees to accommodate everyone from new players to highly competitive club players. We don't have gold tees for pro level players, but most of our guests wouldn't play them very often even if we did. The course is about average in length for our area and most folks consider it a fun, challenging course to play.

- We also have an 18 hole putt-putt type course that probably attracts as many players as the full size course. It has lots of fun, manmade obstacles to throw around that you won't see anywhere else. Lots of folks come out regularly just to play the mini course and have no desire to play the big one. Kinda like how you don't have to know how to play ball golf to play putt-putt golf. It seems like every day we meet someone who is playing here for the first time, has a fun time, then later brings their friends back out to show them this awesome new sport they just found out about called disc golf.

- The greens fees are $5 for all day on both courses, kids 12 and under are free. Low enough that most non-locals don't mind paying it every now and then, but high enough that the local players will often choose to pay the annual club membership fee of $100.

- We bought an old beat up 1957 airstream type trailer and converted it into our pro shop. A traditional framed building would have been easier, but we went for something unique and unusual.

- For tournaments and other events we built a pavilion with a 4 story tower surrounded by a vine covered beer garden. No liquor license yet, but it's a great picnic/hangout spot and you can see a lot of disc golf while on top of the tower.

- I like yard art, so we started a collection of large pieces that are scattered around the property, with a few even used as hazards on the mini course. We like to make our own stuff too, so we made some unusual hazards for the mini course and benches for both courses, including a few that were chainsaw carved from local logs. All this provides a different experience that you won't get on the free courses.

- We included a primitive camping area in the middle of the mini course. Since all of the baskets on the mini course have solar lights, campers can play until the batteries fade around midnight, then wake up and play the next morning. Some of the local courses have camping nearby, but none have onsite camping that I know of.

- We've added lots non-disc golf activities for players to use between rounds, or for their spouses and kids that may not play disc golf (yet!) - lots of picnic tables, ping-pong, ring toss, washers, a large playscape area for children, etc, with a bocce court, pool table, and bandstand coming soon.

The general idea is to not only attract existing disc golf players, but also newbies looking for a fun place to learn the game. Once they get here, we want them to stay awhile, buy some snacks and a disc or two, hang out with their friends, and have such a great time that they become a member or frequent guest.

After reading what I've written here, it sounds a bit like a commercial, so I won't mention our course name. These are things that have worked for us though, and are meant as food for thought for other potential P2P owners like Ryan who are looking to stand out in a sea of free courses in their area.

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  #24  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:59 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Wow. And....well, just Wow.
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2019, 12:03 PM
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InnocentCrook InnocentCrook is offline
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Originally Posted by Gblambert View Post
When we started our P2P a few years ago....
I'll mention it, because your course actually popped up on the local Cincy Disc Golfers FB feed and people loved your dead oak tree monster sculpture thing. Flying Armadillo DGC!, next time I visit my buddy in Austin I'll be making a visit for sure.

A lot of what you're doing down there is on my mind to do at Hidden Ridge. Just need more time and money!

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  #26  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:39 PM
Ryan Baker Ryan Baker is offline
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Originally Posted by Gblambert View Post
When we started our P2P a few years ago, we were in a similar situation. Located between Austin and San Antonio, there are 75 courses within 50 miles of us. Many of them are quality courses, but there was only one P2P in our area at the time and it later went out of business. So how could we encourage players to leave their local free course, drive further to our place, and on top of that, pay for something that they have always gotten for free. Oh, and our plan couldn't include building a championship, pro level course because we just didn't have the acreage needed.

So we decided to create a country club type facility that would draw repeat customers from the local area, while somehow enticing players from Austin and San Antonio to visit us from time to time. We knew we had to provide amenities not found in the public park courses, but we also wanted to make something unique and unusual. So far, so good, as our customers and revenue continue to grow each month. Like most P2P facilities we have good, challenging, well maintained courses, lots of benches, good signage, restrooms, and no litter. But here's some of the things we did that further differentiate us from the free courses that surround us. Maybe some could work in your area as well.

- Our full size course has red, white, and blue tees to accommodate everyone from new players to highly competitive club players. We don't have gold tees for pro level players, but most of our guests wouldn't play them very often even if we did. The course is about average in length for our area and most folks consider it a fun, challenging course to play.

- We also have an 18 hole putt-putt type course that probably attracts as many players as the full size course. It has lots of fun, manmade obstacles to throw around that you won't see anywhere else. Lots of folks come out regularly just to play the mini course and have no desire to play the big one. Kinda like how you don't have to know how to play ball golf to play putt-putt golf. It seems like every day we meet someone who is playing here for the first time, has a fun time, then later brings their friends back out to show them this awesome new sport they just found out about called disc golf.

- The greens fees are $5 for all day on both courses, kids 12 and under are free. Low enough that most non-locals don't mind paying it every now and then, but high enough that the local players will often choose to pay the annual club membership fee of $100.

- We bought an old beat up 1957 airstream type trailer and converted it into our pro shop. A traditional framed building would have been easier, but we went for something unique and unusual.

- For tournaments and other events we built a pavilion with a 4 story tower surrounded by a vine covered beer garden. No liquor license yet, but it's a great picnic/hangout spot and you can see a lot of disc golf while on top of the tower.

- I like yard art, so we started a collection of large pieces that are scattered around the property, with a few even used as hazards on the mini course. We like to make our own stuff too, so we made some unusual hazards for the mini course and benches for both courses, including a few that were chainsaw carved from local logs. All this provides a different experience that you won't get on the free courses.

- We included a primitive camping area in the middle of the mini course. Since all of the baskets on the mini course have solar lights, campers can play until the batteries fade around midnight, then wake up and play the next morning. Some of the local courses have camping nearby, but none have onsite camping that I know of.

- We've added lots non-disc golf activities for players to use between rounds, or for their spouses and kids that may not play disc golf (yet!) - lots of picnic tables, ping-pong, ring toss, washers, a large playscape area for children, etc, with a bocce court, pool table, and bandstand coming soon.

The general idea is to not only attract existing disc golf players, but also newbies looking for a fun place to learn the game. Once they get here, we want them to stay awhile, buy some snacks and a disc or two, hang out with their friends, and have such a great time that they become a member or frequent guest.

After reading what I've written here, it sounds a bit like a commercial, so I won't mention our course name. These are things that have worked for us though, and are meant as food for thought for other potential P2P owners like Ryan who are looking to stand out in a sea of free courses in their area.
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing. On average, how many players do you get a day?
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  #27  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:23 AM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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Great stuff! Thanks for sharing. On average, how many players do you get a day?
I have no idea. While I own the property, my son Michael started the disc golf business and operates it on a daily basis. Michael is the main reason for its success. He lives on the property, takes care of the taxes, insurance and other administrative work, does all of the mowing and other course maintenance, keeps the tractor, ZTR, and other equipment running, runs the pro shop and keeps it stocked with inventory, and has good carpentry, welding and customer service skills. I just show up a couple of days a week and help him work on any of a half dozen construction projects we have going on at any time. So I asked Michael your question about the average number of daily players. It turns out he can get a count of the players who pay greens fees, but to get an accurate total he would have to add back in non-paying players like club members and kids, as well as tournament players who pay their greens fees directly to a TD. This is one of many business metrics he plans to start tracking soon though as his business matures. Sorry for the non-answer, but for this and other day-to-day operations related questions you may want to give Michael a call at the number listed on the Dillo's facebook page.
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  #28  
Old 06-06-2019, 09:39 AM
Casey 1988 Casey 1988 is offline
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Long time reader, first time poster here. I'm interested to hear from the community what types of amenities would a dedicated disc golf facility have to offer in order for you to pay to play? Thanks in advance!
A well designed course with baskets that get repaired/replaced when needed and possibly a shop that sells discs for sure a good representation of the more popular molds in the area then maybe bags as I do not need the other stuff as that can get bought elcewear like shoes and baskets online. Shop would also have a map one can get when they pay to play, get a year pass at that spot,or show membership.

I would however be okay if all it had was great disc golf with baskets that get repaired/replaced when needed and just a shack for the pay to play, buy a year pass, and show your year pass. Baskets do not need to be the very top of the line but they should be at least the Innova Sport 24 though that is on the lower end of Championship level or similar basket including Modern Mach III though I like the Modern Mach V or Mach VII all 3 approved for Championship level. Never used Mach VII just close enough to the Mach V to work.

Last edited by Casey 1988; 06-06-2019 at 09:42 AM.
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  #29  
Old 06-06-2019, 10:03 AM
Casey 1988 Casey 1988 is offline
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The one basket I hate is the Mach X as 99% of putts make it in the basket if you putt hard, I have played on one before. One of the baskets at Earie State Park in New York is a Mach X and I hate that basket, due to a storm that a tree messed up one of the Mach V baskets tops they got a replacement Mach X top for it online as at the time Mach V was out. All putts seem to make it for the one hole but only if you are a slam putter otherwise they bounce out for lighter putts as I found out first time playing the course.

I do not mind most others unless they are the original top Prodigy model with the inner and outer chains as I have seen more then one person love those baskets for mega beyond slam putting, more driving with putter into basket. One person former Touring Pro Scott Stokely demonstrated why he love those original top model Prodigy baskets as he can do a pro power slam putt into that version of Prodigy basket without cut through. Not sure if thst Prodigy model is even made anymore.
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