Old 04-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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optidiscic optidiscic is offline
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Default Courses designed by so called professionals

Why is it so many courses are designed by so called professionals> I am biting my tongue on names<and they end up sucking and then the local core of players is left with a crappy course and they don't want to maintain it and the park or municipailty gets the notion that disc golf is not a popular sport and the courses are overgrown and unpopular. This is the bane of our sport IMHO complain about crap courses but the few who have the credentials seem to just throw in crap and run after they collect a consulting fee or whatever fee they receive. There are a number of terrible courses near me that go to waste and if you go to a county park they say...Oh that sport that no one plays ok thanks for calling...GRRRRRR! I almost wanna go steal the baskets and consider it a rescue mission I swear!
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:51 AM
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I have a course around me that's like that. Sucks so bad no self respecting disc golfer would bother, especially when their are some really good courses near by also. If they are going to spend the money to put a course in, at least make sure it's up to par.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:02 AM
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Im lucky I guess. Home course was originally designed by Steady Ed and some of the others in the area, Danhyzer; who posts here from time to time, has done a lot of work with them.

Im highly critical but they are all very playable and decent courses
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:27 AM
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I am not saying what is being talked about here does not happen, but there are a lot of factors that come into play that are not always too obvious when looking at an end result:
1) The constraints put on the designer (what land was allowed to be used, what trees could/couldn't be cut, what size buffers were required in the design, etc).
2) Commitments from the park people that were not followed through on....such as, clearing of underbrush, installing concrete tees at a later time, trash cans, signs, regular mowing, etc.
3) Internal club or local politics. People can and too often do get caught up in petty turf wars and end up not seeing the bigger picture.
4) Some courses take years of regular play to get "beaten in" (not to mention gallons and gallons of round-up and continuing work by dedicated locals). I remember Renaissance when it was new had briars, kudzu and poison ivy everywhere. Lots of areas had weeds that were chest high where your disc would often land.

On a related note, I find it interesting that some courses are wildly popular even though they are nothing special, while very similar courses less than 5 miles away get almost no play. This is a local thing I am seeing in the north Chicago burbs. I am still trying to figure out why this happens. How this ties into this discussion is that if an activity is popular, the park folks will most likely do a better job maintaining it (and there will be a larger player base that might have some caring worker bees).

Last edited by Dave242; 04-18-2010 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:29 PM
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You must be in the wrong state. In wisconsin it is very rare, no matter how crappy the course, that a course is not packed every single beautiful day and many miserable days. We have more of a problem with vandalism and poor etiquette.

And to Dave242, I agree with the wildly popular nothing special courses idea. I also can't figure it out.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:06 PM
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I do not really want to even get into this discussion....but.....I will point out some first hand experience on my part.....Even though the disc golf course designers group and many others so often admonish everyone to have an experienced designer involved in course design; I would have to note that there are quite a number of courses designed by individuals that are technically supposed to be "our quality" designers; that are poor to begin with; and then, never see a return from these "experts".
In my personal experience, it is persons with largely no financial gain; but, rather, a love of the sport; who make course maintenance and improvements happen. This is not meant to slander all members of the design group, or other "official designers"; as there are quite a few good people amongst that crew. I am just pointing out; that just because you have a bit of a "title" in front of your name; doesn't automatically make you a good designer/person. There are bad apples in all carts.
Also, the post by Dave242 concerning things that happen to course design; once the parks and rec become involved should always be considered when critiquing a course; because, this is almost always the case, i.e. the design is almost always altered from original intent. This can be major or minor. In some cases, you will find that the course has been changed nearly completely, from the original intent. These types of instances are where long term work with the parks and rec (or other appropriate entities) becomes very important....sometimes it takes a full ten years or more to get the course to the level originally hoped for....
Those purely in it, for financial gain, or social prestige, simply do not have the time or inclination to stay the course....in such cases.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:48 PM
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the Allentown area is a little saturated with courses, no? I mean with so many courses, good courses, some are going to be left behind. Kinda like the Wal-mart/BestBuy effect on local economies.

But why not petition to the Park and Rec to take the baskets and transplant/donate them to others that need replacements? I think that's a brilliant idea. With local gov't budget cuts this year, courses are going to be neglected/unplayable/closed. Might as well put the equipment where it can be of use.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:49 PM
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The PDGA Course Design doc on Choosing a Designer makes it clear that being a member of the DGCD is just one of several things a Park Dept or property owner should consider when selecting a designer and not necessarily the most important. Not choosing a designer or design team properly can backfire simply by choosing someone who happens to have paid the dues to join DGCD and hasn't either developed the experience or doesn't follow the guidelines. But at this point, it's too costly for the small amount of money available for designing courses (compared with ball golf) to develop a curriculum, testing and evaluation to do formal certification of designers. So, caveat emptor.


I will say that some of us who do many courses couldn't possibly make the effort to take care of all of the courses we've designed like many dedicated locals will do for their own courses. It's similar to the architect for your house that you've likely never met or even know their name. Hopefully, they did a good job but you don't expect them to take out the trash, fix the gutters, replace the furnace or patch the roof when the time comes. If you want to add a room, there are building codes and permissions required for changes in the outside shape of your house. Unfortunately, we don't have someone overseeing course "building codes" when changes are sought even though we do have a good set of guidelines to follow if they are followed.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:04 PM
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Anyone with good speech can talk a city council into letting them design a course for their local park. So, keep this in mind. I am just glad there is a group of professionals that do take care in making some great and fun courses.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:17 PM
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It wasn't until after I wrote my reviews and really enjoyed all of my local courses that I realized that Houck Design was at the very least a contributor to almost every one of my favorite courses.

That's saying something.

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