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  • Beginner/family-friendly course?

    Thinking out loud here. There is a lot of stuff happening in Spokane with course redesign and new course development, which is great. However most of the effort seems to be in the direction of more challenging, pro-level layouts. I'm curious if any of the new course development efforts have looked at potential beginner/family-friendly possibilities. I would love it if Spokane had something like the Blue Heron course in Moses Lake.

    I've cut-and-pasted Parks' post from the Blue Heron thread since I agree with what he said:

    "I stopped there on my way back from the west side and played it yesterday.
    Its a fun course, but very much on the easy side. Its got a few pitch and putt holes, but also a few holes that aren't easy birds.
    It would be nice to have a course like this in Spokane to funnel all the beginners to, rather than having groups of eight wandering around Downriver."


    Comments?

  • #2
    Right now, all we have is Eagle Ridge. Its technically a private course for that community, but its playable by anyone.

    The problem with a pitch and putt or very short courses is that its tough to get a club excited enough about one to put up the cash for the course.

    If a community or organization wanted to put up the cash for a family friendly course, then I'm sure the SDGA would fully support it in whatever way was needed.
    We're at our best when it's from our hips

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    • #3
      Where is Eagle Ridge? I'm not familiar with that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Timber View Post
        Where is Eagle Ridge? I'm not familiar with that.
        Eagle Ridge is in the Eagle Ridge housing development on the highway thats on the way to Pullman. seriously like 5 minutes down the road from Highbridge. It's all the way at the top of the development. I think the development road is Sunset View or something like that. 7 holes, pitch n putt. Good little layout for the tiny amount of space they were given to use.

        It is private but that's never stopped me or been an issue for anybody I know. So long as you look like you might belong to the development, nobody says anything. Discatcher baskets too!
        "Honest work is for the downtrodden and the Polish"
        Cleveland Brown

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        • #5
          GS: Thanks for the info, I'll check it out.

          Parks: I'm sure it would have to be a more community-development type thing. I was just wondering if there were any potential locations people might have come across, for future reference. Having an easier course option would be great for growing the sport in the area. I've brought several newbies out for rounds at DR and HB and none of them had enough success/fun to want to come back.

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          • #6
            My 2 cents on People's Park

            I've been thinking that the course that Lyle and I laid out at People's is actually a course that I (of course) like in some ways. I think it fits the land alright, but honestly I would like it if I could see a bit more holes at 350 and under. Truth is at my level of disc golf skill I can't get to many of the buckets as it is laid out.
            As everyone I'm sure knows by now the layout that we put out there is just an example of a possibility. I wanted people to get out there and explore the land and get to know it. I can actually - after spending about 8 to 10 hours out there picture the whole peninsula in my minds eye. If you can't say that then you don't have any business trying to design something. I am interested in course design but I am just a beginner at that endeavor. Hey, even Houck had to start somewhere! So, I encourage everyone to get to know that piece of property and see what it suggests to you. No matter what the Board decides as to an approach to getting the job done - it sure doesn't hurt to hear from the disc golf community about what might be a good, exciting and challenging course. So, get out and try our layout and think of ways it could be done better.

            Sky Pilot
            Steward
            Rely on Me

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            • #7
              Ha the word newbie was in a thread ha ha I'm not the only one, I don't think its an insult but I got blamed for insulting new discgolfers with the newbie thing. But yes peoples park should try and tailor to the newbeginerams to maybe help the golfers get comfortable with there game. Then we can make a huge big hard challenging course at camp sekani or how ever its spelled? I hope we can do something good with the 100 plus acres that will be more a PRO type of course for future PDGA events that we can bring in some of the best pro's in the sport.
              I said whippet, whippet good.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Eric whippet Brown View Post
                But yes peoples park should try and tailor to the newbeginerams to maybe help the golfers get comfortable with there game.
                There are some real problems and hurdles that we will need to overcome if this is the direction we wish to go.

                I feel there's a better way to plan this out that will make our lives easier and make for a stronger golf community in the future.
                We're at our best when it's from our hips

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                • #9
                  Just for the record I was not suggesting that any of the courses currently under development should be made into beginner courses. I was speculating about future possibilities around the city. I think we should make the best courses possible in the land we have been given. You can always add red tees to make a short course out of a longer one.

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                  • #10
                    I'm down with extra tee boxes but for the cost of 2 tee boxes I can have 18 alt anchors built. That's one of the reasons we don't have alt tee boxes, 2 alt boxes on a new course would be close to $3600 in just the fly mat's that we use. We need to get more money in our club in order to be able to add alt tee's to any course we make.
                    I said whippet, whippet good.

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                    • #11
                      Alt anchors are great because they are cheap and give you a different way to play the hole, yes.

                      However, alt. pads add on-the-fly versatility. Two groups can be playing the course at the same time and they can play 18 different teepads. You can't do that with alt anchors unless you want to pony up the cash for baskets in the alt locations.

                      Look at Downriver or High Bridge. There aren't too many places to put alt. teepads that could make the course longer or harder. However, there are quite a few places where you could place alt. teepads to make the shots different or easier.

                      Alt pins work at both those courses because they revitalize a course that has been played hundreds of times by many players.

                      Red and easier courses are nice, but they simply don't get played enough to make them worth it for clubs to fund. Basically, if you want to make a course that will be well used in the long term, you want to at least plan the course out for an 18 hole white or blue course and then lay in the red tee pads. That way, if you are in the situation where we were just last year with funds in the treasury and no place to expand, you can go back in and add in the blue or white alt tees.

                      And there's still a better way than that to do it.
                      Last edited by Parks; February 15th, 2010, 11:51 AM.
                      We're at our best when it's from our hips

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Parks View Post
                        And there's still a better way than that to do it.
                        Care to elaborate?

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                        • #13
                          Sure, I'll elaborate. This is going to be a long post.

                          We just need to plan this intelligently.

                          I'm going to make a few assumptions that I'm going to base my idea on.

                          1) People wishing to understand the terminology and basic course needs have at least read http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/...Guides2009.pdf or a similar document, and understand our disc golf community.

                          2) Blue level or harder courses may only appeal to the more competitive element of our disc golf community. In terms of course use and time/money contributed to course improvement, these players represent the largest portion of our disc golf community. However, compared to the actual number of people that play disc golf at least a few times per year they are proportionally small.

                          3) Red or easier courses fall into basically two categories: they are near abandoned and severely underused, or they are full of people throwing on each other, drinking, making asses of themselves, and generally not respecting the course or other park users to a much worse degree than you see at courses with more competitive/respectful golfers. I saw all of the latter stuff today when I played Corbin Park, and have seen the former at multiple courses while traveling.

                          4) We currently have two public courses in the area that are both basically White level courses. We should strive to fill the holes in our course lineup by creating a place for Red players and Blue/aspiring Blue players. We should also try to create unique holes. We are currently low on or completely missing tunnel shots, elevation shots, roller opportunities, long holes with distance lines available, and par 4's and 5's.

                          5) We need to plan for the future, because we will not have unlimited access to money or land. We also should use as much of the land available to us as possible for the same reason as above. Using the land well in the first design can avoid problems and the need for forced or sloppy redesigns in the future.

                          6) A near optimal solution is to create an 18 hole course with both Red and Blue tee pads and an alternate pin for every hole.

                          Given that 18 extra tee pads adds about $2k to $3k to the cost of a course, and alternate pins can only be used %50 of the time, neither is a reasonable solution right now.

                          So here is my practical proposition for solving all known issues at the People's Park/West Hills area: Design the course layout for a Blue course with Red alt. tee pads, but create two 9-hole loops; one with the Blue tees installed and one with the Red tees installed. Try to use the West Hills area for 3-6 holes since we can do elevation shots there and open up more of People's Park for the remaining course. This will cost the same as any 18 hole course.

                          This is a solid solution for several reasons: We create a good nine hole course for Red players. In my experience, many families or organizations playing disc golf don't really have the desire to play a full 18 holes because of the large age diversity and emphasis on fun over golf score. Also, we will create a course without the safety issues that have plagued other community friendly courses that weren't planned by a quality club (anyone remember North Idaho Community College's course?). A nine hole Red loop also makes a great warm up course for more experienced players, who can help the other users learn golf etiquette and show them how to respect the course and other park users. Curious recreational players today are our competitive golfers and sponsors tomorrow.

                          We also create a nine hole Blue course loop where the people who wish to improve their game can challenge themselves. We also avoid the stigma of putting out an 18 hole Red course and then having the players that have contributed all their money for a new course not get one that they can enjoy. The money for doing something at Camp Sekani is probably at least a year out, maybe more, and getting more contributions from people that are not happy with a full Red course at PP may be difficult.

                          Players can play either nine hole loop or the full 18, depending on their preference and skill level.

                          This also lets us plan well for the future. After we have put in the course(s) at Camp Sekani, then we can revisit PP when we have the money to put in the remaining 9 or full 18 tee pads. By then, we will also be able to judge if we need to make either course easier/more difficult and can fine tune the new tee pads as such, and we will also be able to determine if the new tee pads are even necessary.

                          If there are any major problems with this solution, then by all means post your concerns here.
                          Last edited by Parks; February 19th, 2010, 07:21 PM.
                          We're at our best when it's from our hips

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                          • #14
                            what would be the possibility of putting cheaper teepads in for the beginner style tees?

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                            • #15
                              Good question.
                              We're at our best when it's from our hips

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