#1  
Old 07-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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Default What makes a great disc golf course ?

Just like the title says, what are the must haves for a course to go from good to amazing for you?
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:06 PM
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First and foremost: variety.
-Fairway Types: open, moderately wooded, densely wooded.
-Fairway Shapes: left, right, straight, S-shaped, some weird or interesting ones...
-elevation: uphills, downhills, risk reward pin placements on near slopes/drop-offs, holes that throw over gullies, over hills/rises, and at least a few flat or nearly flat, some holes that can have you putting uphill or downhill based on where your upshot lands.
-Distances: good mix of all kinds of distance, and should have at least a couple of 175-225' Ace Runs, and at least a couple of 500'+ bombers, and all sorts of stuff in between, especially good if there are some holes of similar distance that play quite differently due to elevation.

Until you have ^this^, you can't begin to think about a truly great course - that's square one.

Multiple pins/tees helps (if well executed), but is not absolutely necessary, and won't save a bad course from being bad.

Other factors that determine whether a course is truly great or not:

Basics: Tees, baskets, signs, upkeep & maintenance. I don't care how great the holes are, if people can't find their way, or things are in disrepair, things aren't great. Basics don't have to be incredible - they just have to be good enough to "not be a factor." No one really shoots better because of truly exceptional baskets, tees, or posts, but they can certainly shoot worse when things suck. Good = great as far as I'm concerned on this. If you get this wrong, it doesn't matter what else you get right.

Beauty - a great course is inviting to play and a pleasure to see, would be a nice walk without discs.

Challenge - great courses are challenging, yet able to be accommodating to a variety of skill level. Hard to be great if too many holes are easy (or impossible) to par, which leads me to...
Scoring separation: tougher to do than it sounds. Well designed holes create scoring separation. don't want to elaborate here, search other threads for more info.

Good use of natural elements, especially water.
Flows well from hole to hole.
Fun factor - makes you want to come back.

Bonus for things like: unique holes, hanging baskets, basket in tree, water carries that aren't absurd, charm, and unique touches you often see on private courses which give them personality (as long as things aren't overdone).

Top of the world shots (who doesn't love 'em?).

I'm pretty sure I left some stuff out, but if you used my list to evaluate a given course, and everything scores favorably, you definitely have a great course. How great is a matter of details related to that course and personal tastes.


Last edited by BogeyNoMore; 07-20-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:13 PM
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That pretty well covers it.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:14 PM
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Variation
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:15 PM
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I don't think I can add much to Bogey's list, except this:

The greatest course of all has all that, and is 10 minutes from your house.

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Old 07-20-2013, 05:16 PM
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Bathrooms. (Either portable, or permanent)
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohtobediscing View Post
I don't think I can add much to Bogey's list, except this:

The greatest course of all has all that, and is 10 minutes from your house.
It's in your backyard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BogeyNoMore View Post
First and foremost: variety.
-Fairway Types: open, moderately wooded, densely wooded.
-Fairway Shapes: left, right, straight, S-shaped, some weird or interesting ones...
-elevation: uphills, downhills, risk reward pin placements on near slopes/drop-offs, holes that throw over gullies, over hills/rises, and at least a few flat or nearly flat, some holes that can have you putting uphill or downhill based on where your upshot lands.
-Distances: good mix of all kinds of distance, and should have at least a couple of 175-225' Ace Runs, and at least a couple of 500'+ bombers, and all sorts of stuff in between, especially good if there are some holes of similar distance that play quite differently due to elevation.

Until you have ^this^, you can't begin to think about a truly great course - that's square one.

Multiple pins/tees helps (if well executed), but is not absolutely necessary, and won't save a bad course from being bad.

Other factors that determine whether a course is truly great or not:

Basics: Tees, baskets, signs, upkeep & maintenance. I don't care how great the holes are, if people can't find their way, or things are in disrepair, things aren't great. Basics don't have to be incredible - they just have to be good enough to "not be a factor." No one really shoots better because of truly exceptional baskets, tees, or posts, but they can certainly shoot worse when things suck. Good = great as far as I'm concerned on this. If you get this wrong, it doesn't matter what else you get right.

Beauty - a great course is inviting to play and a pleasure to see, would be a nice walk without discs.

Challenge - great courses are challenging, yet able to be accommodating to a variety of skill level. Hard to be great if too many holes are easy (or impossible) to par, which leads me to...
Scoring separation: tougher to do than it sounds. Well designed holes create scoring separation. don't want to elaborate here, search other threads for more info.

Good use of natural elements, especially water.
Flows well from hole to hole.
Fun factor - makes you want to come back.

Bonus for things like: unique holes, hanging baskets, basket in tree, water carries that aren't absurd, charm, and unique touches you often see on private courses which give them personality (as long as things aren't overdone).

Top of the world shots (who doesn't love 'em?).

I'm pretty sure I left some stuff out, but if you used my list to evaluate a given course, and everything scores favorably, you definitely have a great course. How great is a matter of details related to that course and personal tastes.
That basically covers it. Multiple tees/pins can also help with the variety aspect of it. It's nice to go to the course and have a "different" hole to play because they moved the basket or you try a different tee.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSky View Post
Bathrooms. (Either portable, or permanent)
I will respectfully disagree with this. While having a bathroom onsite might be nice occasionally, I rarely find myself having to go in the middle of a round. Taking care of that kind of stuff before leaving home is smart. I could care less about park amenities (bathrooms, water fountains, picnic areas, etc.). As long as the course is great, bathrooms do nothing to affect my view of a course.

But that's me. If you want bathrooms, that's cool as well
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:04 PM
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Post 2 seems to cover a lot of it. Ill just say that during summer months that a course basically needs 50% or more canopy otherwise it can just be waaaaaaay to hot. I love open courses but June-August me and my friends basically stay at the courses with lots of trees. The sun is just brutal.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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Since Bogey saved me about 200 words, I'll toss in a few very subjective thoughts as well:

In my mind, a good hole is one in which, when I stand on the teepad, I have considerable doubt as to what score I will get---and that doubt is dependent on my decisions and execution, not on luck. A great hole is a good hole that presents an interesting and unusual challenge. To steal Harold Duvall's line, it's a hole you approach with anticipation and anxiety.

Even more subjective, a poor hole is one that I don't enjoy playing. This usually falls into one of two categories: boring holes, in which the score is pretty certain; and "luck" holes or holes that I don't enjoy throwing, even when I score well on them. If I birdie a hole and didn't like it, I deem it a poor hole.

Which brings me to the Great Course. A Great Course has a high percentage of good and great holes, and no more than one or two poor holes.

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