Family Fun To Serious Sport

Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in America.

Disc golf adds a new dimension of fun to any park.

With more than 3,000 courses in the United States as of 2011, according to the Disc Golf Association, it is a multi-generational sport that is great for any skill level.

In addition to being relatively inexpensive to set up, the majority of courses are free to play.

However, in order to be successful, a parks and recreation agency must be prepared and realize the proper steps to design a course for both casual and tournament players.

Creating A Disc-Golf Course

Find a location.

The best location is a nice mixture of woods and open space. A good rule of thumb is about an acre per hole, so an 18-hole course will need almost 20 acres. This can obviously vary depending upon the circumstances.

Most courses are found alongside other public-use areas. If there are existing facilities (playgrounds, trails, or high-traffic areas), these have to be taken into consideration. Obviously one doesn’t want disc golfers throwing near trails or in areas where children are playing or picnickers are relaxing.

Disc golf and other activities can co-exist, but careful planning is necessary.

Get Permission And Approvals

This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of creating a disc-golf course. Since board members and staffers may not be too knowledgeable about the sport, here are some key elements necessary to gain approval for a new course:

• Walk the site to learn the nature and main purposes of the particular location.

• Have a preliminary “concept of the course drawing” and the areas of the site that will be impacted.

• Be prepared to explain the sport extensively and why it would be a good addition.

• Know how the course will be funded. Don’t count on the city to contribute substantially toward the expense of the course. In most cases, the park board and staff will be supportive (after approval), and perhaps even provide manpower and equipment to help. But it would be wise to come up with alternative funding sources to buy equipment and build the course.

• Be prepared for this approval process to take time. Don’t get frustrated; a little patience is required.

Obtain Funding

The average course costs between $8,000 and $15,000. I recently worked with a park where a major utility company provided a grant that covered about 60 percent of the total cost.

The layout of the Blue Heron Disc Golf Course in Indiana.

In addition, you can obtain sponsors for each hole. For a donation between $250 and $500, the name of a business or individual (plus contact information) is placed on a tee sign in recognition. If 18 sponsors donating $500 each are secured, the entire course could literally be funded.

Another source of income is the creation of a disc-golf club for which members pay annual dues. As a benefit, they might be given a club T-shirt and would be able to help make decisions about the course and perhaps participate in tournaments for a discount.

Find A Course Designer

It is helpful to have someone who has experience in designing a course. This will help to avoid costly mistakes and errors that detract from the design.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page

Related posts:

  1. Driving Home The Point
  2. “Disc-overing” Disc Golf
  3. Rattle The Chains
  4. A Disc-Golf Course In The Woods
  5. A Disc Golf Course In The Woods
  • Columns
  • Departments