Could there be a better place?
Hey Oly DGC, I'm living in Spokane, but I used to live in Oly, on two different occasions, for a total of about ten years, but sadly, all before the Yauger Park course--and even before I started playing disc golf for that matter. But I have been through Oly over the past few years, for a number of reasons, and have had a few opportunities to play the course and, since I might move back Oly in the future, I've got to give a little feedback about the course.
First of all, the course itself is fairly interesting and has a good enough variety of challenges, but the flow is a bit chaotic at first and has a number of fairways that cross each other. The rest of the course is good for big arms that want to open it up a little, but is mired in hazards and distractions that detract from the possibility of having a pleasurable disc golf experience, which leads me to the real problem: the location.
Dude, of all the places, Yauger Park? Oh, wait, excuse me, Yauger Swamp? Is there truly no better place to put the effort into a building and maintaining a course? I'll admit, living in Spokane, I'm a bit spoiled--we have two outstanding, 'tournament quality' courses within the city limits (soon to be four), but WOW, Yauger Park is already an over-used, highly crowded, urban-sprawl, wetland-destroying environmental atrocity that hardly qualifies as a 'park' and should be more appropriately labeled an 'activity complex'. There are so many safety hazard situations throughout the course, and with the level of activity during the weekends, it would be maddening if not unplayable to the point that I find it odd that the city has no problem with issues such as pedestrians, skaters, ball-players, and even traffic. When I was in Oly last spring, I watched a kid pull a drive right out onto Cooper Point Rd. I would imagine this is not an isolated incident. Plus, with the fact that most of the grass areas used to be marsh and wooded bog, walking through the fields is like trapsing across an over-watered peat farm.
Were there no other parks considered possibilities? Watershed? Priest Point? Grass Lake? Pioneer? Marathan? Surely with the current location you've jammed yourself into, any one of these could be better justified from both a 'safety' and a 'better overall disc golf experience' point of view. How much of it is the city's unwillingness to support disc golf as a public activity and how much of it is you just settling for what has been handed to you. Why continue to struggle with a foible riddled location, that is only going to get worse and harder to justify as the use of the 'park' for other activities will increase. I would even think that these issues would be a good starting point for a conversation with the city to allow you to look at other parks as an option to relocate the course. I mean, really, your struggles with the location are only going to get worse. Why not bail?
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