What Is Disc Golf ? Disc golf is played like traditional golf, only instead of hitting a ball into a hole, you throw a plastic disc (similar to a Frisbee) into an elevated metal basket. The goal is the same : to complete the course in the fewest number of shots. A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to the basket, which is the “hole”. As a player progresses down the fairway, he or she must make each consecutive shot from the spot where the previous throw landed. The existing trees, shrubs and terrain changes in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles. Finally, the “putt” lands in the basket and the hole has been completed. Disc golf also shares many of the etiquette and procedural rules of traditional golf.
Why Have Parks Departments Chosen Disc Golf?
A Disc Golf course can be installed on almost any body of land, be it in a groomed city park or deep in the forest. It can be located in an old quarry or on the fringes of a field. There are now well over 3500 disc golf courses in the US and Canada, most installed by city and county parks departments or schools. They have found that there are few recreational activities that offer the high benefit-to-cost ratio of disc golf. Disc golf has low capital and maintenance costs, is environmentally sound, is played year-round, co-exists successfully with other park uses (such as dog-walking, mountain biking and hiking) and is enjoyed by beginners of all ages.
Who Can Play?
The simple answer is that everyone can. In studies measuring recreational activities, “throwing a Frisbee” has consistently been a top-ten activity. A disc golf course serves a broader portion of the community than many narrower interest activities with higher cost, skill or fitness levels required to participate. Men and women, young and old, families with small children—all can play disc golf. A Disc Golf course gives youth's in neighborhoods a healthy and challenging outlet for their energies and adults an outdoor exercise in a casual manner that can help them unwind after a busy day.
How Much Will It Cost To Play? How Much Will It Cost to Build? The course will be free to play and the equipment itself is quite inexpensive. Players use either a regular Frisbee or purchase a golf disc (which flies farther) for around $13. An official 9 hole course can be installed for as little as $8500.00.
How Much Land Would Be Needed? A 9-hole course would pass through approximately 3-9 acres, an 18 hole, 7-25 acres, depending on the final design.
Will It Conflict With Other Park Uses?
One of the outstanding features of a disc golf course is its ability to successfully co-exist with other active and passive recreation uses . The course will be designed to avoid areas where groups regularly congregate such as the dog run areas, picnic areas, playground areas. In addition, the portability of baskets and signs would allow the park department to inexpensively relocate holes if the needs of the Master Plan dictate that.
What Would The Maintenance Needs Be?
After installation, the maintenance needs for the course would be minimal. The baskets are made of rust-resistant, heavy-duty welded steel anchored below ground-level in concrete, and require no regular maintenance. They come with a 20 year gaurentee. In the unlikely event that one of these baskets is damaged beyond repair or stolen, it can be replaced for around $450. The tees, can consist of crushed gravel or wood chips, merely need a few minutes of leveling every few years. A common option is to simply place 2 rocks on the ground at each Tee. Existing pathways may need occasional maintenance, which Club volunteers would do under proper supervision, to prevent erosion caused by pedestrian traffic. The remainder of the course layout would require no regular maintenance.
Is Disc Golf Environmentally Sensitive?
Disc golf is an uniquely environment-friendly sport. It provides the challenges of a structured sport while utilizing, but not altering, the natural landscape. Unlike traditional golf, a disc golf course does not require that trees be cut down, fairways mowed and watered, plants uprooted or non-native species planted nor chemicals sprayed. Rather, the course fits into the existing flora of the park. We’d be pleased to work with a representative of the Parks Department to ensure the draft layout of the course avoids significant natural areas as defined by their environmental experts. The course will also been designed to minimize erosion and damage to trees and shrubs. To reduce concentrated foot traffic, the baskets can be regularly rotated between three positions on each hole. Before the course is installed we volunteer, under the proper supervision of park staff, to undertake an initial clean-up and then maintain the entire course as a trash-free zone. Accordingly, the proposal provides for a trash can to be placed in proximity to the welcoming/course map sign at the start of the course. Finally, the course will not be obtrusive. The tees will be level with the ground and will be visible only from a short distance. The baskets are dull metal and do not stand out, and most will be positioned in the trees. Small signs at each tee will indicate the hole number and will be designed in terms of color and shape so that they blend in with the landscape.
How Could A Disc Golf Course Make a Park Safer?
A disc golf course will increase people presence in the park at random times during weekdays and steadily during weekends. The influx of purposeful visitors would discourage the presence of individuals who are only in the park to cause mischief and perhaps engage in crime. Testimony from parks departments all over the country has shown that the installation of a disc golf course has led to significant decreases in vandalism, litter and illegal dumping since users have a stake in keeping the course and surrounding area clean and well-kept.