Course Maintenance with Consequences

Course maintenance can be many things: mowing, pruning, sweeping tee pads, re-hanging signs, etc. When you begin work that will change the signature hole of your course, you need to approach the issues with respect.

Railroad ties installed, ready for mulch!

Railroad ties installed, ready for mulch!

The issue is that the area around the #3 basket is eroding. The basket is on a steep slope that has gotten steeper over time as material has left the upper slope. In addition to the erosion issues, soil compaction has made the slope have to characteristics: 1) any disc that hits the slope has a strong tendency to roll for ridiculously long, downhill distances, & 2) when wet, footing on the compacted clay is extremely poor/ dangerous.

The fix is wood chip mulch. It will provide some traction, alleviate soil compaction, and help slow water flow, which helps fight erosion. The problem is getting the mulch to stay on the slope. The solution was to put two lines of railroad ties into the slope to provide a barrier to wood chip movement. The goal was to create barriers that will help hold the slope, provide a safe surface for play, and still keep the death putt for which hole #3 is famous.

Time will tell if we hit the mark. Because the hole was eroding/ degrading rapidly, It was unlikely to retain its current character. The slight change in slope and big change in footing  from the wood chips and ties will make this hole easier. It is hoped that the basic character of the hole is maintained and a par remains difficult to obtain

The coolest disc golf event…

I recently visited the good folks at Gateway Disc Sports up in St. Louis to obtain discs for

This is the crew!

This is the crew for the 2014 Harrison Road Red Tee Challenge!!!

the 2014 summer Nights Glow Series. While in their shop we started talking about disc golf for kids and long story short, I left with a ton of sweet lightweight plastic. On 28 June 2014 we put on our first Young Men’s Red Tee Invitational. The kids were jazzed! Dads and Moms were not allowed to throw but allowed to caddy for the 18 holes.

The kids were surprised at the distances they were throwing their

The Gateway Magic putters were the bomb!

The Gateway Magic putters were the bomb!

drivers – it is amazing what appropriate weight discs can mean to a thrower. They were all using Gateway magic putters and the gallery was enjoying their excellent results.

I did not have a kid in this tournament, but I knew all the kids in the event through the Martin DIsc Golf Club. The invitational format was chosen to allow us to limit variability in our first foray into

Even though the competition was fierce, the competitors all got along and the parents backed off and let them get along!

Even though the competition was fierce, the competitors all got along and the parents backed off and let them get along!

children’s disc golf. After the event, I can’t think of a thing I would change – everything went super smooth.

We will put on a bigger event next year. Our keys to success were:1) at least one adult on course with each child to help find discs, carry water, etc,. 2) one round of 18 holes (MAX) – it is better to have the kids wanting more instead of burnt out, 3) keep score and track winners but put the $$’s into player packs, 4) keep it positive and fun!

Yet another awesome drive is ripped down the fairway!

Yet another awesome drive is ripped down the fairway!

Our success was confirmed when one of our golfers got home and told his Mom: “I just played the best round of disc golf in my life! It wasn’t my best score,  but it was the most fun!”

Even in paradise, there are issues

In Cape Girardeau, MO there is a park called North County Park. This park has

Tee pad and sign for the #3 hole.

Tee pad and sign for the #3 hole.

playgrounds, a nature center, picnic areas, lakes, and a disc golf course. The course is still a work in progress, but it shows promise. The course has awesome bright orange, DGA mach V baskets that far exceed expectations and some of the most incredible tee pads and signage I have ever seen.

We were pushed for time and decided to play the “front 9” which

This is a tee sign! The trees, tee, basket locations are depicted accurately and the sign is pleasing to view.

This is a tee sign! The trees, tee, basket locations are depicted accurately and the sign is pleasing to view.

consists of holes 1-4 and 14-18. When we got to hole 14 a group of three were finishing 13 and we waited for them to finish and let them play through so we wouldn’t impede their game. As they approached the tee box one of the three said: “You’re not playing the whole course”. I jokingly responded: “That’s OK isn’t it? I mean, we aren’t in violation of any city ordinances are we?” Instead of engaging a sense of humor, this guy responded: “You don’t have to be a dick.” Rather than point out that we were letting them play through instead of making them wait for us or starting a fight over who was the biggest dick, we just waited and they threw their drives and went away. As they threw their drives each of them exited the tee box from the front knocking a retaining wall brick free of the the tee pad, the last of them stopped and placed the brick back where it was, but he didn’t take the basic care of pushing the dirt and rock back so the brick would rest firmly on brick rather than precariously on an uneven surface. So we made the repair and continued on with our game.

Cumulative disrespect caused this tee box failure.

Cumulative disrespect caused this tee box failure.

This course is normally immaculate – the park staff keep it super clean. We were on the course at the end of the 4th of July weekend and there was obvious disc golfer trash on the course: beer cans on the tee boxes and the like. It is too bad that even a course like this doesn’t get respect. When we got to the #14 basket it was dented. As over built as these DGA mach V’s are, that took some doing – but it may not have been disc golfers. The disrespect shown to the #18 tee box was really sad and the result of several disc golfers not caring about how they exited the tee box. It is too bad.

 

The ongoing battle for tee pad supremacy

Regis looks like he is laying down and will not disrupt my throw, but by the time I was in my x-step, Regis was on a corner of the tee pad!

Regis looks like he is laying down and will not disrupt my throw, but by the time I was in my x-step, Regis was on a corner of the tee pad!

Regis, the dog, really likes to tag along when I play disc golf. I only take him when I expect to have the course to be relatively uncrowded and there will be cooler temperatures. Including Regis on a round of disc golf means I will be playing with a certain mellow mindset – Regis likes to get in front of me just as I release my disc and this will destroy my composure and often booger up my release. This game of Regis’s is played to the extreme on the tee pads: Regis thinks tee pads are a nice place for dogs and I think they are for throwing discs from – these two uses are not compatible. Sometimes I will gently move Regis from the tee pad three or four times before I can throw, often he will come back on the tee pad during the throw: he just doesn’t get it. I have gently and consistently removed Regis from a tee pad 100’s of times and have never encouraged or even tolerated him on a tee pad, but this behavior persists. I think he enjoys it.

As a responsible pet owner, I keep Regis on a leash. Not everyone enjoys your dog running up to them and a leash is the polite way to ensure you do not disturb others.