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Hey all! Just wanted to check and see if anyone out there has any great ideas for how to best promote your courses to players outside your community...outside of the "usual suspects" (hosting tournaments, registering the course at PDGA and any other "directory" types of sites out there, etc.). We've got a short-but-challenging 12-hole course out here in Springfield, MN that opened in 2006, and one of the main things that our City Council was interested in when funding the course ($7,500 investment) was recouping that money via players from outside our community coming in to play, eat in our restaurants, fill-up at our gas stations, spend the night in our Microtel, etc.

One year is in the books since we opened the course, and we know that we've been able to directly attribute about $800 in "new" money coming into the community as a result of the course. However, any ideas folks might have for drawing more players from outside our immediate community would be greatly appreciated. FYI, information on our course can be found here: http://www.springfieldmnchamber.org/attractions/discgolf/course.htm


Derek Tonn (Springfield, MN, USA)

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Be sure the course is registered with the PDGA, many disc golfers travel and play courses along the way. I would consider another 6 baskets, most will want to play a course of 18 at least. Continue to promote your club with weekly league play and by approaching casual players on your course, get them involved. Word of mouth is a powerful tool...

By growing your club, good attendance for league will lead to good attended tournaments which in turn will draw more players. Keep at it, most successful clubs have a leader resource players can call to be well informed. In addition, if there is a business (party store) in close proximity to your course... Be sure it stocks Disc's.

Yours in Disc Fever,

PDGA# 22388
Hi Derek. After reading your post, you gave me an idea. Check out the pictures posted on this site about Treasure Cove Disc Golf Course. Just one way to let people see what you have. Thanks for the inspiration.

Mike Wulbecker
Treasure Cove Disc Golf Course
Thanks Todd and Mike!

We are VERY fortunate here in Springfield to have our first hole within one block of our new, beautiful Community Center here in town (public restrooms, vending machines, ample paved parking, etc.), as well as three restaurants. Most courses out in our neck of the woods are miles from "civilization"...so I think that gives us an edge on a number of fronts. We also sell discs out of our Community Center, and our area Microtel checks them out to guests for free to play.

Plans are VERY QUIETLY in the works for six more holes. The reason why they are "quietly" in the works is the fact that we would need a pedestrian bridge to cross our local river to do it up right...and we don't want to go to our City Council until we've figured out a way to come up with most/all of the $70,000 or so it would take to accomplish that. We're a small, somewhat cash-poor town, and we need to fund-raise most/all of that $$$. Honestly though, if we can get that part of it done and are able to cross our river, we'll have one of the finest 18-hole courses in SW Minnesota. 10 holes immediately adjacent to water, 6 blind hyzers/anhyzers off the tee to the basket, 9 heavily-wooded holes, three elevated tees, etc, etc. We ALSO would have hole 15 be a shot over the river off the pro/tourney tee...no fairway, just a tee pad on the South shore and the basket about 50 feet North of the river's edge (about a 200 foot hole...shooting out of trees and into a small clearing between trees on the other side).

All our course lacks is distance (longest hole is 370 feet), but what it lacks in distance, it makes up for with tons of skill and precision being required to navigate ample hazards. If you get lazy/sloppy off the tee, Holes 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 can EASILY land you a bogey if you're not careful...with only Holes 5, 6 and 12 having you feeling disappointed if you don't get a deuce. Hole 3 is only 137 feet. Easy, EASY deuce, right? Not so fast: Picture You've got literally about a 6-8 foot window about 60 feet past the tee you've got to hit...or you're playing pinball off the tee (and quite possibly your second shot).

Anyway, thanks for the responses! If anybody's got $70,000 burning a hole in their pocket too, I'm your guy to talk to...LOL.
Derek, be sure to see what kinds of state and federal grants there might be for that bridge. If it opened up a nature area, for example.
Do a free clinic for your neighbroing middle schools. We took over the PE class all day at a local school and taught over 2500 students about disc golf, that school now has disc golf in their PE program and our course has a lot of middle school aged kids playing.
Just a thoguht! Good luck
The clinic idea is definitely a way to go. Our city put in a 12 hole in Norwalk, IA last spring, and I'll be running a youth/adult league this year to help grow the sport. In that league I plan on having one night be instructional - by showing kids the proper form back&forehand, and showing them how to throw thumbers, etc... I figure the better the kids get, the better people will hear about our course because of the kids' involvement. Also, I hear that the AMWorlds 07 DVD from DGTV has a pro clinic put on by Avery, Val, Dave, & more... See if you can work with your park dept to get something like a league/clinic going, and use part of the $ raised for that bridge. You could also schedule an "adult mini" every Wednesday night, and make the payout be slighted so that a few dollars each week goes into that account for the bridge. $70,000 - seriously?! Good luck, man... I'd ask the city about any grants you coudl apply for. Also Hardware stores will give gift cards / donations to projects like this as well...
Oh mine, it’s totally unbelievable!
Such a great post.
I was going to suggest that you publish the latitude and longitude to an accuracy of one 22-millionth of an inch, but I see you've done that already.
Ha! I just copied and pasted what the itouchmap.com site told me were the coordinates for the first tee.
One of the easiest things to do is to check what cities in your area might have disc golf clubs....many of those will have their own forums where they discuss things such as new or other courses to play. Even though I'm still working on my course, it is MORE than playable now and EVERYDAY there are people driving 30 minutes.....and hour.....even an hour and a half to come play. And MOST of them we've seen multiple times!
have you thought about getting some of the area radio "DJ's" to do some type of benefit/ challange.. station against station all the better if they have never played because your local disc club could work with them for a few days or a week ahead and possibly get some "air-time" chatter about what they doing. you could possibly even get some TV time due to fact that it could be a great human interest or humor bit. just a thought

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