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Old 06-05-2019, 05:45 PM
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scarpfish scarpfish is offline
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Default An open letter to travelling reviewers...

And I'm not going to name the individual, as I don't believe in these episodes where we stone someone with red thumbs for having obtuse tastes in the desirable disc golf experience, and the reviewer that inspired me to write this commentary is hardly the only offender. Anyways, the gist of my point is...

Sometimes, its best just to not submit a review.

Yeah, I get it. You invested a lot of gas money to get there. You may never pass that way again, and you want to document the experience. Totally, I get it. Back when life was a little more free and happy going, I was one of you.

But let's be real. We both play a sport that 85% of the time, has no entry fee. When you are not paying specifically to access the venue, you can only expect so much in regards to the conditions you might encounter when playing a particular track. Sometimes, overgrowth hasn't been addressed. Sometimes you hit the bad part of the mowing cycle. Sometimes the foliage isn't in on the trees yet, and these are things that can happen when the weather is normal.

Speaking of the weather, it isn't always normal. Around where I live over the last month, it has been anything but. May was one of our wettest months on record. We have reservoirs statewide and in neighboring states that have had to do emergency water releases. Major highways have been shut down due to floodwaters. Some towns have had to have evacuations.

Like many places, a number of our disc golf courses are in flood plain areas that aren't much good for other things, and as a result courses built on those pieces of land aren't doing so good. Even on courses that are still playable, the soil is saturated, parts of those courses are muddy and as a result, the local parks department hasn't been mowing for awhile. So yeah, when that hasn't happened for a few weeks, you can expect taller than normal grass.

The thing is, had you arrived 30 days sooner, or 90 days later after everything has been cleaned up, these issues you're carping about like they're a permanent fixture of that course, wouldn't be there. Do you honestly expect the red carpet to be rolled out for you, when it isn't even rolled out for the folks who play there all the time? If a course in your neck of the woods had just had an episode of flooding, storm damage, fire or some other issue that was probably an acute matter, and someone from out of state, ignorant to the situation, came by and complained about it not being in impeccable shape, how would you feel?

I too have come across courses where there was unkempt grass, standing water, chiggers from too much standing water, branches and sometimes entire trees down. Parks departments and nature can only clean this so fast, and for a niche activity that they likely don't make any revenue from, their incentive to expedite things isn't exactly a priority. It has been that way for as long as I've been playing. Those of us playing long enough have made peace with it. Its a price many of us are willing to pay to keep disc golf cheap and accessible.

I know I can't stop you, hell, I'm not even going to implore you do so, but in all honesty, its just better in some cases to tick a course onto your played list, and let any judgment of it go. You honestly didn't get to experience it during reasonably normal conditions. That's not its fault. You're welcome to keep your notes in case you do pass that way again to see if that acute situation has been dealt with.

Just my $.02. Agree if you may, disagree if you must, discuss if you wish to. This isn't the first rant regarding this subject on here, and i doubt it will be the last.
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Last edited by scarpfish; 06-05-2019 at 05:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:58 PM
Karl Karl is offline
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Agreed.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:06 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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I "niced" that for the "stone someone with red thumbs" phrase. The rest was a bonus.

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:18 PM
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brutalbrutus brutalbrutus is online now
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I think Sisyphus started out only doing reviews of courses he has played on more than one occasion... not sure if he still has that standard.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarpfish View Post
Like many places, a number of our disc golf courses are in flood plain areas that aren't much good for other things, and as a result courses built on those pieces of land aren't doing so good. Even on courses that are still playable, the soil is saturated, parts of those courses are muddy and as a result, the local parks department hasn't been mowing for awhile.
There’s a review for one of the Myrtle Beach área courses, must be from six or seven years ago. Reviewer played it right after a tropical storm or a week of record rainfall. Something like a foot of rain fell in a couple days. Reviewer from out of state plays it about a week later and knocks the course and the park for overall conditions, including damage to the park due to part of it being under water just days prior. Of course he railed on the course because it wasn’t back up and running. Honestly, if I were with a small town parks and rec, and I heard feedback like that, I’d just say screw it and get rid of the course if that’s the appreciation I got.

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:43 PM
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Doofenshmirtz Doofenshmirtz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarpfish View Post
Sometimes, its best just to not submit a review.
Reviews are reviews. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't take them personally, especially when they are not a review of you.

Sometimes, its best to just ignore a review you don't like.

If a course is unplayable after a rain, the review should probably mention that. If they don't like the design, aren't happy with the amenities, lost 50 discs in what they consider to be an unfair hazard placement, don't like the tree color, etc., that should all go into their review if that is what it important to them. If a fire just took out all the trees and melted the baskets, this should be reflected in their review no matter how "acute" the fire was. If they found that breathing without the inhalation of mosquitos was only possible if they wore a face mask, that should also be mentioned. The traveler reading that review a week later might be thankful for being given the opportunity not to experience the same conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarpfish View Post
If a course in your neck of the woods had just had an episode of flooding, storm damage, fire or some other issue that was probably an acute matter, and someone from out of state, ignorant to the situation, came by and complained about it not being in impeccable shape, how would you feel?
Reviews of your local courses aren't about you. In life, other people are going to have opinions different than yours. Accept this, or don't, but it will be true either way.

Anyway, reviews are for travelers - for people who have never been to the course. Not for locals who think that the course they learned the sport on (and play every day) is the 11th greatest course in the world (but who are afraid to click on the "More Top Rated Courses . . ." link for fear of having their bubble burst). If there were a check box to exclude the reviews of locals, it would be the most useful check box on the search page.

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofenshmirtz View Post
If they don't like the design, aren't happy with the amenities, lost 50 discs in what they consider to be an unfair hazard placement...
The unspoken truth is that a lot of lowball ratings are from people who weren’t good enough to play an advanced skill-level course. The course isn’t unfair. Your 250-foot drives just won’t play well on a 12,000 foot course.

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:55 PM
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Rob Martin Rob Martin is offline
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david?
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:08 PM
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davetherocketguy davetherocketguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofenshmirtz View Post
If there were a check box to exclude the reviews of locals, it would be the most useful check box on the search page.
So true.

A smart person looks at all the reviews and if they see one mentioning flooding and the rest don't its pretty easy to draw the conclusion that the flooding event might be an anomaly.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:05 PM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarpfish View Post
Like many places, a number of our disc golf courses are in flood plain areas that aren't much good for other things, and as a result courses built on those pieces of land aren't doing so good. Even on courses that are still playable, the soil is saturated, parts of those courses are muddy and as a result, the local parks department hasn't been mowing for awhile. So yeah, when that hasn't happened for a few weeks, you can expect taller than normal grass.
Thank you. My DG experience is richer having been able to play Harmony Bends... a course that I'm pretty sure wouldn't exist if that parcel was more suitable for some other activity.

Sometimes mother nature (or perhaps man-made factors) don't cooperate with your travel plans, be they DG or otherwise. Life comes with no guarantees. How much you personally $pent to arrive at the course is irrelevant, and quite possibly how much time you spent getting there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofenshmirtz View Post
Anyway, reviews are for travelers - for people who have never been to the course. Not for locals who think that the course they learned the sport on (and play every day) is the 11th greatest course in the world (but who are afraid to click on the "More Top Rated Courses . . ." link for fear of having their bubble burst). If there were a check box to exclude the reviews of locals, it would be the most useful check box on the search page.
Not only do I agree with the bold part, I've said so several times in the past. As for the underlined...

While I understand the idea behind dismissing/ignoring local reviews because so many of them have a severe homer bias, something locals can (and in my opinion, should) do far more effectively than travelers can, is provide a perspective of consistency of course conditions.
How often is this course flooded?
How well does it drain after a storm?
How often is long grass a problem?
How good is the park/proprietor about trimming back growth/general maintenance?

These are things travelers basically have no feel for (except maybe drainage).
Wish I'd thought about those points before reviewing my local courses.
Maybe one rainy weekend, I'll update some of my local reviews to include that info.


Last edited by BogeyNoMore; 06-05-2019 at 08:08 PM.
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