#101  
Old 07-16-2013, 12:05 PM
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Great information, especially considerations for large landclearing equipment, and the access points for equipment for future servicing. Lots of us don't have access to that stuff, so didn't have any insights to offer there.

Those posts bring to mind, especially for public courses, to know at the outset what will be allowed. A recent installation here would not allow us to bring in any power equipment---not bulldozers, not mowers, not chainsaws---and the park only offered mechanized help on a very limited basis. Nor will they allow spraying, even on tough-to-maintain slopes.
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  #102  
Old 09-01-2013, 10:33 PM
MarcQueen MarcQueen is offline
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Nice thread! Here's a lesson that I learned. If you are putting a course in a park, it might make a world of difference if the park staff or manager is totally into it.

When I designed and built the first course in a state park in Ohio, at Forked Run, the park manager, Randy Wachter, was great. And that is still an amazing place (from what I read online), thanks to a great group of players in the region.

The second course I did was Great Seal State Park, a very different type of course. That is the course that really has no park management present on site, and the manager who initially approved it transferred to another park shortly after it was done. I left that course with the hopes that the park system and a local players group would get concrete tees in and take care of a few little details. That has yet to happen. Most players still like that course though. Another point... I left it up to some non-disc park guys to install some tees, and a few of them did not get placed exactly where I intended. (Sure I could have corrected them myself, but oh well)

The third course at a state park I did was Pike Lake. Jeff Boester was the park manager up until last year, and he was really, really great to work with. He did a great job with the tee signs. Some volunteers built steps there, and that was all handled by Jeff, too.

I also did Ohio Northern University. There were a couple of grounds crew guys that were extremely helpful for the disc golf course because they became local players. The course is in bad shape right now due to some construction projects, and hopefully a good redesign of the course will happen.

So, bottom line.... if it's a place where people work and you have the manager or some grounds crew guys involved, it's a winner! If it's a nice park, but nobody actually is present (like Great Seal) then you will need to always take care of your baby, or just let it go and hope for the best.

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  #103  
Old 09-01-2013, 10:39 PM
MarcQueen MarcQueen is offline
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I'm currently working on a course with a long hole in the woods, so I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts. I thought I'd mention that I just found an app for my droid phone that might be helpful when designing... looking at satellite image and getting distances. It's called AndMeasure.
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  #104  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:18 AM
DerekTonn DerekTonn is offline
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I think for me (four courses under my belt...two good, one okay, and one "no comment" that I'd like a do-over for), I've "evolved" to designing with the following things in mind:

1. Zigging where other courses in a region zag. If every course within 45-60 minutes of a new course design is the same "400-450 foot right-to-left bomb off the tee...with 2-3 trees to barely worry about," I try and find available land for a community that will offer an alternative to that. Shorter, heavily wooded, highly technical. Variety is the spice of life!

Most of the communities who ask me to help them get a new course in the ground are doing it for two reasons:

- to give local kids something to do besides play video games, drink, and cause trouble.
- to attract people from other towns to their community

If their new course is "the same course" that folks 45-50 miles in any direction can find in 10-15+ other towns near them, they *might* get their kids out playing...but other than "course collecting" or playing the occasional tourney, there's no real reason to ever come play THEIR course.

2. Fight for what I think is right...don't let the land owner "force" a square peg through a round hole. I had a City tell me where a course design had to start and end (to get players to park where they wanted them to park). It resulted in a fun seven hole course...with Holes 1 and 9. I should have fought that requirement much, much harder than I did...as it would have made for such a better design! But I didn't have the spine, and I selfishly wanted the check and the name next to the "designer" for the course, so I caved. And now, I almost wish I DIDN'T have my name attached to the design.

3. Listening, REALLY listening, to the land and the plants and animals who inhabit it. Too often with our course designs, it's "man conquering nature." What I think are the most interesting (best) courses to play are the courses where the land, not the "man," dictated tee, fairway, and basket placement. Too often, designers FORCE tees/fairways/baskets into areas where they don't really belong. With good intentions (i.e. challenge, beauty, or flow)! But at the expense of nature...and quite frankly, at the expense of players dealing with designs that erode, are chronically wet, or are putting players perilously close to wildlife habitat and various plant species.

The best thing about disc golf is that you can have courses share space with native trees, animals, grasses, et al. It's not about conquering nature...or if it is? Be prepared to have maintenance costs shoot through the roof and/or holes that become less fun and/or unplayable on a semi-regular basis.

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  #105  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:14 PM
joesouthfla joesouthfla is offline
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-If possible do not build holes that run parallel to sidewalks. Players end up waiting forever for the walkers to go by.
- Do not put the baskets too close to OBs. It they do go OB it is usually a tap in when they walk it in a meter.
- Too close to water and the basket may be covered in water during the rainy season.
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  #106  
Old 09-19-2013, 04:33 PM
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Some more great posts! Thanks for sharing, fellas!

Derek's comments are spot on. I'd never even considered point #1. Brilliant idea!
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  #107  
Old 09-26-2013, 09:51 PM
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LeewayeDiscGolf LeewayeDiscGolf is offline
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Just starting my first. This thread is great!

Couple lessons learned already: If you have access to players of different skill levels, use them. Taking my daughter and nephew, shorter throws, my dad, longer throws with less control, my brother, your typical weekend player, and my son, with a monster arm and huge distance, all out to play it as we design it. This allows you to see where varying types of players and types of shots will likely end up before the hole is finalized.
Play your design on a bad weather day if possible. What does the wind do on each hole? Where does runoff happen? etc.
Set up practice baskets and rugs to help visualize the hole.
Make sure there is room to allow a noticeabley different hole when using alternate placements. If the hole doesn't change enough, you don't need the other placement.
And always consider where players are going after the last hole is finished. Does your course end where people will just cut through other park activities to return to their cars? Or have a massive hike out? Etc.

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  #108  
Old 09-26-2013, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeway
Make sure there is room to allow a noticeabley different hole when using alternate placements. If the hole doesn't change enough, you don't need the other placement.
Great point. Too often I see courses where people have gone to the expense and trouble of sinking alternate pins only for me to think, "Why? It's the same hole."
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  #109  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:00 PM
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I also think you should use native plants and landscape materials whenever possible. Plus staying native guarantees that the plants will grow in that environment.

One question I was asked when I agreed to design the course: How much would I charge to design the course? To be honest I didn't expect to be paid for this. I considered it awesome to just be asked to design the course. It never crossed my mind to be paid. How does one approach this? Can I just donate my services? Ask that my 'pay' be put towards a hole sponsorship? Put my pay back into the course? Use my 'pay' as an excuse to squeeze out a design feature that maybe they wouldn't have agreed to otherwise? I really don't feel comfortable taking money for this so any advice would be awesome.
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  #110  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:27 PM
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Take the money. It helps establish disc golf course design as something that's actually worth paying for. If random local players keep donating their time to design mediocre courses (not directed at you specifically) then it's really hard to convince parks departments and cities that it's worth paying for professionals to come in and do really great designs. Also, what they're paying you is probably less than it costs them to replace a couple light bulbs at the local ball park, they can afford it.

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