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Old 09-14-2017, 01:47 PM
The YAC The YAC is offline
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Default Course Maintenance - New Course/Supervisor

Hello,

I recently started overseeing a brand new 18 hole disc golf course. We did a good amount of research and we think we have a great course design. We already have Discatcher Pro baskets and we're working on our tee boxes now. However, I haven't been able to find a lot of information on maintenance. Our course has a lot of brush, weeds, dirt/sand, cacti, etc. In other words, it's one of the harder courses I've had to walk. In addition, I'm only one person so it's hard for me to get out to all 18 holes to make sure they're looking good. I have two questions. First, is there a best practice for maintaining disc golf courses(brush mowers, weed whips, weed killer)? Second, outside of best practices, what are the best low cost maintenance techniques that some of you have used?

Any information would really help!
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:23 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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There are some "new course" threads that cover this in detail.

But you have to start with what's allowed, and what's in the budget. And whether this is in a public park and, if so, are you a park employee?

Some parks won't allow anyone but employees to use power equipment.....or might allow weedeaters, but not trimmers or chainsaws.

Some people are philosophically opposed to herbicides (which, other than environmental concerns, can save a ton of labor).

And what equipment can you obtain? A tractor with a brush mower can do wonders in short time.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:13 PM
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esdubya esdubya is offline
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I highly doubt you will find something as formal as a best practice maintenance guide for disc golf courses. The maintenance demands may change from hole to hole, and should in theory serve the design goals of the course. The parks that do it best (from what I've seen) do it best by listening to the players feedback and developing a good relationship with the local disc golf clubs.

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Old 09-14-2017, 04:44 PM
The YAC The YAC is offline
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I went back and read through some of the older threads and have some ideas of how we'd like to proceed, so thank you for that. That said, we do have a grounds department with some larger equipment, but they do not have a brush mower and it's expensive to rent around here. That's my ideal solution but until then I was looking at putting tarps down on parts of the course and I might have to look at herbicides as we have a very small budget.

I realize this could vary from course to course and hole to hole but for any course supervisors, how often do you schedule course maintenance and what kind of maintenance are you doing?

My concerns with mowers are that they aren't as permanent as other solutions. I don't want to just clear the weeds and have them grow back. Trying to develop a maintenance schedule/system to make sure it's not overgrown all the time.

Thanks for all help!
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:12 PM
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BionicRib BionicRib is offline
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I would suggest finding someone with experience in your area with course design/installation. Too many avoidable and possibly costly mistakes can be made without this.

At the very least contact innova who could have and/or should have already suggested some folks who could help you out.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:52 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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These general rules apply to any course and its maintenance:

Your practices should be in concert with your local area's conditions and should support the property controller's wishes as well as budget and desired outcomes/looks for your course.

It is almost always better to work from large to small. Prioritize your maintenance issues and improvement plans.

Consult landscape/horticulture professionals in your area for ordinance information, tips, techniques and leads on suppliers/technicians - that directly apply to your area. In the case of equipment, don't disregard the rental option which can be a good fit if your need is one-time or sporadic.

Spend some time learning more information about your biome and the nature of it's specific plant communities. Also spend time anticipating the effects of foot traffic on your course. This can really help with anticipation of future conditions and thus how to spend precious resources.

'Professionalism' goes a long way in gaining the cooperation of other professionals and volunteers.

While it's good to have a 'master' plan for the direction of your course, without sizable resources and budget, most DG courses will struggle completing basic maintenance. Knowing this fact as you begin, helps keep your expectations in line with reality and may forestall 'burnout' and frustration.

Lastly, it is wise to 'cover your ass' from a liability point of view - or at least know enough about your personal exposure and liability to steer clear of trouble.

for what it's worth...

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Old 09-14-2017, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The YAC View Post

My concerns with mowers are that they aren't as permanent as other solutions. I don't want to just clear the weeds and have them grow back. Trying to develop a maintenance schedule/system to make sure it's not overgrown all the time.
Actually, mowing is a permanent solution, sort of---with patience, and done regularly.

As you mow over and over, the woody growth starves and dies back. The taller weeds don't recover as fast. Grass, with the fastest recovery, takes over; it has to be mown, of course, but doesn't grow as tall and chokes out the other stuff.

Herbicides aren't permanent, either, despite what the commercials say. They just knock back stuff for longer than mowing does. Unless you get commercial-grade poisons like they spray on roadsides.

But, as the Curmudgeon said, it depends on a lot on your local conditions, and exactly what vegetation you're trying to get control of. I have a lot of experience with a private course---but my conditions probably aren't yours.

Also, you want to be careful not to battle vegetation to the point of causing erosion.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The YAC View Post
I don't want to just clear the weeds and have them grow back.
Let me know if you ever get this to happen!

It gets easier each year, but it always grows back.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:14 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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the definition of a weed: a plant that is out of place.

this means that philosophically and practically humans decide what is a weed or not, as humans decide what is useful to them or not. at one point in time, the plant called 'kudzu' was considered a useful and valuable introduction, however today it is considered a noxious weed in most places, notably the USA.

a wise groundskeeper accepts the fact that there will always be some undesirable plants in the area he maintains and opts instead to manage the 'problem' efficiently with the resources available.

like many things this 'rule of thumb' seems to be common sense, but it only appears that way after it occurs to you...
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:19 PM
Johnyfo8 Johnyfo8 is offline
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A 20v Saws-all with an aggressive brush blade and a 20v hedge trimmer are very effective, low noise and relatively low cost. I maintain a course that I redesigned almost exclusively and I always look at what is effecting the casual player the most on a round and prioritize it by that. After that I look at what would make the course more dynamic (different and evolving) as well at easier for a non-local to navigate.
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