Old 07-09-2015, 10:39 PM
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Billy K2 Billy K2 is offline
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Talking YOUR Disc Golf Design Experience

So I want to hear some stories about your disc golf design experience. Maybe discuss the ups and downs of designing your course, the time and commitment it took, trying to get people to play, or anything else that would be interesting to listen to. Stories start, NOW!
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:30 AM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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After retiring, I lost my senses and bought a little piece of land and 9 used baskets. Since then, my two sons and I have been developing both an 18 hole mini course and an 18 hole full size course on the property. After a year and a half of daily work, we've completed the mini course and are a few weeks away from finishing the front 9 on the full size course.

Yes, it's been a ton of work, but we knew that going in. We're cutting the course in extremely dense vegetation with a couple of chainsaws, one tree at a time. Most self respecting developers would mark the fairways with tape and then hire a crew with a bobcat and dump truck to make short work of it. Not having any experience in course development though or funds to hire contractors, we're taking it slow to try and minimize mistakes.

Despite the many hours we've invested so far and the many more ahead, this has been an exciting and rewarding experience. We've already made lots of new friends in the local disc golf community and of course having two courses in our backyard is pretty awesome (now if I only had time to play!). But the thing I've enjoyed the most is all of the possibilities for creative expression. Everything from designing the course to making the obstacles on the mini course to making the tee pads, tee signs, and benches.

I can't tell you how good it feels to start cutting a new fairway with only a vague idea of the hole's eventual identity or how it will play. And then sometime during the cutting and clearing the hole starts to take shape, you get that little bit of inspiration, and voila! ... you see it! The hole's unique identity is revealed in the trees and terrain. The tee pad and basket locations become clear and all of the possible flight paths show themselves to you. What was once a thicket is now a unique, fun hole with several challenging lines that players will enjoy for many years. There's nothing else quite like it!
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:29 AM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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This is a bit of a sore subject during the summer maintenance season.


My brother and I spent a couple of years looking for same land where we could move from the city, build houses, and build a disc golf course. We looked at a lot of land, had a number of deals fall through, imagined, mentally designed, and even named a few courses that would never exist, before finally purchasing the property of our dreams. Restless and turbulent dreams at times.

We built a course one hole at a time, in no particular order but as we found cool fairways, tees, or greens, and mustered the energy to work on them. But with always an eye towards being able to tie them together in a logical routing, dictated by where we'd placed #1 and #18. So we had a 7-hole course....an 11-holer....a 17-holer....and right on past 18 so that, at this moment, we have two overlapping 18-hole layouts, currently sharing 6 holes and parts of some others. As maintenance and life demands have taken more time, and the best parts of the property been used, it's now growing more slowly. We only added 1 hole last year and 1 this year.

We design well together. One of us---usually he---will come up with a clever idea, and the other will come up with a tweak that makes it work. Our earliest posts said we were going to build a gold course; it didn't turn out that way, as we found some sweet shorter holes we couldn't let pass, but it turned out pretty good nevertheless.

One benefit has been that we've met and played with a ton of people whom we'd never know otherwise. Here in South Carolina we've had dozens of visitors from New England, the Great Lakes states, California, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and a ton of closer places. I've played with all of the 1000-course baggers (as far as I can tell), a few top pros, and a handful of other notable names in the disc golf world.

As for the details of designing and building a course, I refer you to this thread, wherein many of our mistakes are chronicled:
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:45 AM
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nate22 nate22 is offline
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My wife and I loved spending time down in an area called the granite belt, about 2 hours south of where we use to live. After a little payout for a car accident, we used it as a deposit to buy a property here, with plans to move there full time once we got work.

We looked at dozens of properties, but the one we are in now was by far, the best average

More then decent house
Very close to the highway and services - we are in the country but mcdonalds is 5 minutes away
37 acres with its own mountain and 2 dams

After we got the place, I blew the rest of my savings on 18 baskets a guy was looking to get in the ground (they were used at the Australian Champs in 2013) and have been working on it ever since in my spare time. Once a month the crew from Brisbane come out and we polish off a hole and have a big burn off.

Before I started, I had never used a chainsaw, and nothing more then a standard mower or small edge trimmer...now my toys are getting bigger and stronger as we mold this course into something playable.

2 weeks ago I finally got work in the area, so now Im here full time, but bad weather has so far kept my work on the back holes to a minimum. Good news is, our mountain is visible from my work, so I can day dream easily :-D

Here she is from work, Granite Mountain on the left, peering through the fog...
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:23 AM
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DougCrawford DougCrawford is offline
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I'm just breaking the ice on design myself, but so far- the fun stuff is getting ideas for good holes, the bad part is getting your hands dirty and making it happen. Seeing others have fun with your ideas is pretty nice too.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:46 AM
BKRanger BKRanger is offline
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I have been involved for the last 4ish months in adding a back nine to our city's 9 hole course. I have made 2 separate designs as the first one had some issues with what the city wants to do with the land further down the road. I think designing for public land is quite different than the above posts with private property. I have had to try and find a layout that requires as minimal modifications to the land as possible, but is still enjoyable to play and adds to the elements already found on the existing front 9. Thankfully my parks and rec dept has some great people on it and they are just as enthusiastic as me to get the course in the ground. And actually tonight we have our second meeting with them, and I should know if the expansion is finally approved or not! Wish me luck lol.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:20 AM
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goosefraba1 goosefraba1 is offline
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I believe that my experience is probably a little different than most that have built on public park land. I began working on project Black Bear DGC at Shawnee State Park in Ohio back in October 2014. I was lucky enough to have been given pretty much free reign on 250 acres. I was able to cherry pick the best land to put the course on. I had a little help in design from Adam Jones and Drew Zeigler, but would still say that I designed or had a hand in design on almost every hole on the course. From there, I had to raise funds for baskets (probably the hardest and most annoying part of it for me). I raised $3300 for 9 baskets and parks bought 2 baskets. It is a state park, so they don't have a ton of money to wave around just for a course. So, since March, I have been trying to put this thing in the ground. I still find myself cleaning up the hole design a little bit at a time (moving a teepad area here a few feet, moving a basket there 30 or 40 feet). Occasionally, parks will cut out a few trees that I need out or high branches. Sometimes, I will have a local guy or two to come out and help. Amazing how much work you can knock out with double the amount of people.

I am looking to have 11 baskets in the ground by the end of the month. I will hopefully have a pdga xc tier for fundraiser for the course in October. Just trying to get the cash for the remaining baskets.

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Old 07-13-2015, 11:29 AM
BKRanger BKRanger is offline
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That's awesome Goose, thankfully I'm not expecting our fundraising to be much of a difficult experience. For the front 9 they sent out a brochure to local businesses asking them to sponsor holes, and in return they get a logo on the tee sign and on the basket (on the innova chastity belt). From what I have been told by parks and rec they had the funds secured in less than a week with that method. So I'm hoping I can have a similar experience with the back 9.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:41 AM
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Jukeshoe Jukeshoe is offline
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I've one 21-hole co-design under the belt; for the most part she's finished with just some touching up and amenities needed to be fully complete.

It's definitely a fun learning experience. Taking it slow, and putting the course in over a two to three year period of time was essential in not getting overwhelmed. Using a chainsaw, loppers, and an axe, we've gone through super thick MI woodland tree by tree in order to minimize our mistakes. The first several times through thinned things out to a rough design. The last time through has gotten stuff looking kind of like a real disc golf course.

It's definitely a labor of love. It's an opportunity to reconnect to the natural cycles of the land, and a chance to see a lot of great fauna and flora I'd have otherwise missed out on. But it's also a *ton* of work; not just the initial installation, but the upkeep, the multitude of small improvements over time, and also the debate and compromise that goes on between with the co-designer and those that have helped with work days.

From a design standpoint: I've come to have a much greater appreciation for when a designer has not only a good "eye" for cool holes, but also when that hole is a successful design from a scoring spread standpoint, avoiding NAGs, etc. I had heard a lot of those terms talked about here, but until you start putting in holes, and testing them out, some of the subtleties of the concepts aren't immediately apparent.
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:47 PM
Peterb Peterb is offline
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For me the fun part is in the initial design and conceptualization. After that, it's a lot of hard work on:
- approval
- funding
- implementation

Then the fun begins as people come to play it!

My main piece of advice is that you review the design with several folks who are well respected within the community, and that you do NOT put in concrete tees right away. For my course, it was on a mostly grassy field, and we teed from the grass for six months before deciding upon exact locations for the tees. We finally made them, and the course is now a solid, fun, safe place to play.
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