The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf

All you golfers out there, what would you want a course neighbor to do to make the park more friendly. I live near a course and play a little bit also. In fact the course is one of the reasons I bought the house. So I want to let my fellow golfers know somehow that I am a golfer friendly park neighbor. I would even be willing to put up a sign or something letting golfer know I am also one of them. I am always looking out for errant discs in my yard and putting them on the fence so they can be reclaimed by ther owners. I have even called people that have put their phone #'s on the disc and let them know that I have their disc. What do you think would be a way to let golfers know I want to help them...Let me hear from all those golfers out there that have had pleasant or unpleasant interactions with park neighbors. I want to know how I can be a good disc golf park neighbor...

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Burton-Sounds to me like your already being a good DG neighbor! If you don't mind people coming into your yard or over the fence 9 (or through a gate if you have one) to retrieve discs, you could put up a sign saying it's OK. Otherwise just do what you're already doing ,I'm sure the word is already out to the locals that you're Disc Golf friendly. Wish more people like you lived along our local courses. Steve L.
Ya thanks I think some kind of sign would be a good idea. I'm going to get in touch with the local club to see what they think. I want to support DG all I can.
I also would like to form an alliance group of disc golfers and neighbors of the park so we can all get to know each other. Do you have any ideas for a group like this, I am going to start just talking to my neighbors and represent myself to them as a player/neighbor and let them see that the average golfer is just like them....I have another buddy that is a player/neighbor like me, and maybe he will go along with me...I am also a member of the local disc club...Thank again for your encouragement...
One more thing... maybe setup a wooden box for lost+found discs. Put something on their about your neighbor presents lost and found... or something.

I saw one of these in albuquerque one year...

Its good to see there are neighbors out there like yourself. Being that part of my business is designing and installing courses, I run across many park neighbors in my dealings. More often the ones that get involved (I affectionately call these neighbors N.I.M.B.Y.s, which stands for not in my back yard) are the ones that are concerned about increased traffic through the park, increased vandalism, increased litter, and park departments spending 'unwarranted' tax payer money on maintaining the course.

One thing you could offer is a trash receptacle, if there are none around. The disc box is a good idea. Unfortunately here in Minnesota anybody seeing a disc in a box along a course is probably going to pick it up and start playing with it. A sign on the fence that allows individuals in the back yard may be OK but don't be mad if the dog got out when one of the disc golfers forget to latch the gate...

Thanks for everything you're doing to foster goodwill in your neighborhood.

Hang a Discraft or Innova Banner on the inside of your chain link fence! (if you have one) (-:

Actually, any indicator/sign on your fence stating that you're DG friendly & will return anyone's discs, etc woudl be just fine. Maybe a phone # to inquire about lost discs? That might be a little too much info though. Maybe even that any discs not lableed will be taken to the city parks dept to be reclaimed?

Good park neighbors are aewsome! In our area we tried to get a GEM of a course put in jut off the downtown area in the rich (old) section of town. Once the rich/crazy/lawyer-obsessed neighbors found out about it, they "did whatever they coudl to get the idea removed from the park board's agenda", and succeeded! Amazing, huh?
Post a little note on the board at the course.
You can always put a basket in your backyard which is a dead giveway. And will make you want to play even more!!!!!

I don't think I've ever had an unpleasant encounter with any neighbors of a course where that negative response was either not deserved or (usually) misdirected anger/frustration as the direct result of disrespectful play of others who came before me. If I only had a dollar for every time I've seen litter that was obviously the result of people using a course, seeing/hearing-about people relieving themselves on private property, loud voices and "colorful" language when small kids are nearby, etc. If I lived next to _________ (disc golf course, golf course, bike trail, etc.) and had to deal with that, it would honestly make me upset too if it were occurring.

I think a BIG part of being a good disc golf course neighbor is also being treated with respect by all of us users of the courses too. If we're polite and respectful of your property, you'll be out there with the cookies and lemonade after a few months, happy to see a great bunch of people enjoying the best recreational opportunity that I've personally come across in my nearly 37 years on the planet. :)

That, and remembering the quote of several well-known individuals: "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" works 99% of the time...
It's great to hear your a friendly proactive disc golf neighbor. Over the years, I've helped to install a number of courses here in Minnesota. Back in 2005, I helped to install my current home course in Apple Valley, Minnesota. It's had nothing but negative feedback from a few neighbors from the start of the idea. However, it's also brought out several neighbors within the park area that are totally for it such as yourself. Keep up the proactive network!

Here's a little background history to the negativity, I've personally dealt with in terms of calming the negative Nimby's as Mike Snelson referred to them as in his post.


I'm currently undergoing neighborhood issues primarily from one
resident who lives on the park in the community of Apple Valley.
This particular couple has been complaining about problems and
issues with the park even before disc golf was installed (Summer

From what I've been told about the park, it's had severe problems
with juveniles hanging out, drug deals, fights and vandalism over
the past 10 years or so. The park had gotten so out of hand, people
we're afraid to utilize the park itself. A gate was built to keep
traffic out of it's parking lot. The neighbors felt by closing the
entrance to the park by vehicles, it would limit the bad clientele
within the park.

When I presented the idea of disc golf to the community of Apple
Valley, I had and still do have strong positive support from the
park and recreation department. The neighbors that have had issues
in regards to the park were present at all park board meetings
dealing with the discussions and approval of the course. So they've
been aware of the program from the beginning.

The night the course was approved, the only concerns the neighbors
had were to keep the gate to the park entrance closed. I really
didn't have a problem with that at the time, but just thought it was
weird to have a park opened, but closed to parking?

The park board decided to have a review meeting to discuss the first
year of the course this past January. At the review meeting, the
only issues the neighbors brought up were the concerns of players
actually playing their discs from peoples yards on a hole along the
sliding hill. Here we compromised with posting signage that
mentioned for players to retrieve their discs from yards and replay
discs from where it went out of bounds. We also agreed to take down
two holes which were in close proximity to the sliding hill during
winter usage.

Today, I'm still dealing with this same negative neighbor. This
couple just never seems to be happy? I know the park department is
tired of dealing with their constant issues, but we need to find a
compromise. The neighbors have continued to raise negative issues
with the park department. They have in my opinion, really sort of
nitpicked the course, since the park department has chosen to open
the gate to the public. The park department is now forced to react
to their constant complaints, since they have taken their platform
to a member of the city council.

It appears the park department wants to satisfy the neighbor at this
point to quiet them down and to also have them agree to stop
complaining about the course. However, they'll be no guarantee of
that happening? I've worked especially hard to bring disc golf to
the Apple Valley Community and I believe we have a great community
course. It's being utilized. What was once a very passive park has
now turned into a unique haven to play disc golf. It has developed
into one of the fastest community courses that I've helped
establish. The disc golf course has certainly improved the park,
which is why the park department felt it was time to open the gate.
Since park usage is up, it has helped to have active people around
to be open eyes to trouble. It has also caused the kids hanging out
to either move on elsewhere or they've now begun to play disc golf.
I feel that's a 100 percent improvement!

Within the first year of course operation, I had five different
media publications pick up the story about the new course. I've ran
a successful tournament and am currently running a disc golf league
at the course which has gotten a total of 73 total players over the
past ten weeks. It's totally open the door to new Amateur players
from within the community. I've also got Suzette Simon of Innova
Discs to supply some discs to help promote women to play. So far we
done that as well. I've raised an awareness to women's play with
the league by attracting seven women thus far.

I'm not sure how things are going to pan out, but I'm certain there
will be some changes happening. It's amazing how one bad egg can
continue to raise havoc on such a good recreation for the park. It
has been quoted by the park director that disc golf has really
helped to improve the park.

Why can't the neighbor just see that? It's because in my opinion,
they'll never be happy until they have a passive park once again.
They're just used to nobody utilizing the park and thinking the park
is their backyard.

Show your support by contacting the Apple Valley Park Department
to voice your comments by calling 952-953-2300.


As I mentioned in a previous post, since the park department has
decided to open the park gate entrance on a daily basis, the park
department has been getting a great deal of complaints from the
neighbor that had campaigned to get the gate closed in the first
place. I've suggested to close the gate at 10 PM to discourage late
night problems.

Alimagnet Park over the years has gotten a bad rap due to it's past
history, but since the disc golf course has been installed, the park
department has been upgrading the park and making improvements to
the disc golf course. The course has become very popular with the
locals and it has helped to make the park active again.

The neighbor that has been complaining, has been a thorn in the park
departments side for many years. What's happening with the course
complaints litterly sucks, but it's a political year in terms of
positions on the city council as well, so there are plans to
compromise on certain parts of the course with the neighbor. The
park department also wants this to be the last and final attempt for
the neighbor to stop complaining. Hopefully they will stop and
everything will work out? I'm doing my best to stay focused on the
positive and not make this a personal issue. Which is why I created
this Pros and Cons list below.

Bill Ashton
Apple Valley Course Pro


WRITTEN BY: Bill Ashton


1. Inexpensive Recreation - Most Courses are Free to Public

2. Age-less Game - Can also be "Family Orientated".

3. Healthy Recreation - low impact, aerobic workout, walk through

4. Cost effective: 9-holes can be installed for under $5000

5. From a parks' perspective, disc golf is unbelievably cheap. A decent, medium-sized playground will cost around $35,000 and can only accommodate 20-30 kids (at an absolute maximum).

6. Usage: 72 People an hour can play on an 18-hole course

7. Low Maintenance

8. Reduces Vandalism

9. Attracts people from community and outside community to park

10. Businesses in close proximity benefit from course usage

11. Area schools can potentially utilize course for physical education and field trips.

12. A course can be designed and installed easily within the frameworks of many different types of parcels of land such as nature preserve, flood plain, wooded areas and utilized areas.

13. Lifetime Recreation

14. Courses can be designed to be handicap accessible.

15. Disc golf can be a source of revenue for a park department or a pay-to-play facility.

16. Disc golf tends to decrease undesirable activity in under utilized areas of a park.

17. Disc golf provides a recreational facility for local churches and scout groups.

18. Disc golf is easy to learn, but challenging to master.

19. Hosting a disc golf tournament for charity can bring community together to help raise money for certain causes while enjoying the fun of playing and socializing.

20. Disc golf is now also being introduced and sharing space with golf courses across the country. As duel sports, essentially adaptable to each others terrain and topography. Another way to provide an additional source of business growth and income.

21. High Schools and Colleges are now installing permanent courses right on campus.

22. Ski Resort facilities have begun to install disc golf for extra spring through fall season business.

23. Campground facilities have the ability to offer disc golf.


(Solutions to Cons - Ways to help)

1. Litter (Garbage cans at each tee would help to reduce litter)

2. Erosion (Adding cement tee pads minimize erosion)

3. Course Conflicts with Neighborhood Yards (Design away from homes)

4. Extra Foot Traffic Past Homes (Design away from homes)-(however, foot traffic near homes are extra sets of eyes helping reducing daytime theft and burglaries).

5. Basket Theft (Reinforce Baskets by tack welding material to post and ground sleeves).

6. Heavy Course Traffic/Flow - (For heavy course usage; there will be waiting/backups at peak times, and parking area will be full. Potential solutions: Install 9 more holes or build another course within the city).

7. Limited or no restroom facilities: (If restroom facilities are not present or open year round, portable units will need to be provided and properly maintained).


(Provided by: Squipple @ www.playdg.com)

* The problem with CON #6 is if you build more courses, it increases interest because the sport becomes more visible to the which, in turn creates more traffic. This is definitely a good thing for the sport, but doesn't help with traffic flow.


Special Thanks to Suzette Simons for adding additional comments and solutions for Con issues #6 - #7, Tom Monroe for contributing PRO #17, Squipple for adding an additional solution to Con #6, Harold Duvall for providing Pro #18 and an extra solution for Con #4, Lyle McCoon, Jr. for providing Pro #5, Reese Swinea for providing Pro #20 and Tim Gill for providing Pro #21.


(Created: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:28 AM CDT)

A little over a year ago, disc golf came to Alimagnet Park in Apple Valley - to the delight of enthusiasts, yet, also to the dismay of some neighbors.

Now, the Apple Valley Park and Recreation Advisory Board plans to examine the pros and cons of the park's new use and whether changes should be made to the disc golf course, or keep it as it is.

The public is invited to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Apple Valley Community Center, 14603 Hayes Road.

"We're going to let the public process take its course," said Randy Johnson, Apple Valley's Parks and Recreation director.

Disc golf, also known as Frisbee golf, uses flying discs, which are thrown toward a basket known as a hole. The rules are similar to that of golf.

In June 2005, 12 holes were developed and installed with disc catchers at Alimagnet Park.

"We'd been looking for a number of years for some activity to bring into Alimagnet Park to make it more of a recreational park," Johnson said.

Alimagnet Park, at Ridgeview Drive and Walnut Lane, is a heavily wooded 85-acre park with lake frontage, canoe launch access, and nature trails. It also has playground equipment, outdoor volleyball courts, picnic shelters and a park building.

Johnson said that before disc golf came to Alimagnet, the seclusion of the park served as a haven for teens who were looking for trouble. The activity of the disc golf course, he said, has brought in more adults, children and families. That, coupled with increased patrol from the Apple Valley Police Department has deterred much of the misbehavior.

"I've seen a real variety of age groups," he said. "I think it's a good thing for the community and a good thing for the park."

The addition of disc golf also spurred the opening of the security gate at the park's main parking lot. The gate had been closed about seven years ago with the goal of ending teen loitering, but it also made regular park users go elsewhere, Johnson said.

"We don't have any gates on any of our other parks," he said.

But not everyone agrees that disc golf is the best use for Alimagnet Park, including Corinne Johnson whose yard abuts the park.

"I'm not against disc golf," she said. "You can tell they are enjoying themselves."

Corinne Johnson said the trees are being damaged by the flying discs, and players walking through the park and off paths are damaging undergrowth and creating erosion.

"We want them to use the park - but we don't want them to destroy the natural resources," she said.

She also takes issue with the increase in traffic the disc golf course has brought to the park and people trespassing into neighboring yards to retrieve runaway discs.

Her suggestion is to turn Alimagnet Park into a nature center, which would be used by the school district, and move the disc golf course to the new park Apple Valley is developing at 160th Street and Pilot Knob Road.

Randy Johnson said he is apprehensive to the idea of a nature center due to the cost and the park's close vicinity to the Minnesota Zoo and Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

"It's owned by the public and should be used by the public," he said.

One such group getting much use out of the new disc golf course at Alimagnet is Bill Ashton's amateur disc golf league. Throughout the summer he headed up a group that played every Monday.

"I think Randy Johnson has done an excellent job at recapturing this park," Ashton said. "It's a real gem."

Ashton worked with Randy Johnson and the Park Advisory Board in designing and constructing the disc golf course.

"I try to do about one a year," he said. "It's getting more popular and eventually every city will have one - I hope."

Other communities south of the river with disc golf courses include Eagan, Burnsville, South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Shakopee and Hastings. Farmington and Lakeville are currently working on plans.

Cameron Anderson of Burnsville said he plays at the Apple Valley course every week. "We take care of everything; we pick up after ourselves," he said.

Elliott Grier and MacGregor Grier, brothers who live across the street from hole seven, said they have seen an increase in foot traffic through the park since the disc golf course was installed, but see that as a good thing.

"When we grew up, the park was always open, then they closed it down for a long time," Elliotte Grier said. "It's good to see it open again."

Apple Valley Police Chief Scott Johnson, Public Works Director Neal Heuer and Natural Resources Coordinator Jeff Kehrer will all be on hand at the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting Sept. 19, to give their take on the disc golf course.

If the advisory committee makes a recommendation for changes to the course, it will be brought before the City Council.


(Created: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:42 PM CDT)

The distinct concepts of parks vs. recreation, which are often thought of as complementary, can sometimes be seen at odds.

As in the situation at Apple Valley's Alimagnet Park, west of Gardenview Drive, north of Walnut Lane.

Residents gathered at the Sept. 19 Apple Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting to voice both concerns and support for the 12-hole disc golf course.

"The problem we've run into is we have a big success here," said Charlie Maus, committee member.

The issue at hand - whether disc golf is appropriate at Alimagnet Park - unfolded during the three-and-a-half hour meeting, which ended with a compromise.

Corinne Johnson, a resident who lives near the park, made a 20-minute presentation sighting her opposition to the disc golf course.

"We believe this is the wrong environment," she said.

Johnson said that when disc golf was originally proposed for the park more than a year ago, residents were promised a low-impact sport. However, today she estimates between 700 and 1,000 players walking the course every week.

Disc golf, also known as Frisbee golf, uses flying discs, which are thrown towards a basket known as a hole. The rules are similar to that of golf.

Johnson contacted Dakota County Soil and Water District Urban Conservationist Mikael Isensee to review the area of the park where disc golf is played. The district's findings included worn grass and vegetation, compacted soil areas and damage to trees.

Isensee recommended that disc golf be removed from the forested areas of Alimagnet Park.

Yet other residents drew attention to the positive impacts disc golf has brought to the park and the community.

Angela Prehn, a mother of two, said that before disc golf was set up in Alimagnet, groups of people congregated in the park who she didn't feel comfortable having her children around.

"Since the disc golf course has come into the park, I'm not scared of the people using the park anymore," Prehn said. "I don't want it to go back to the way it was."

According Apple Valley Parks and Recreation Director Randy Johnson and Police Chief Scott Johnson, Alimagnet Park had trouble with teens loitering, drinking and causing other problems in the past.

The disc golf course has brought in more adults, children and families into the park. That, coupled with increased patrols from the Apple Valley Police Department has deterred much of the deviant behavior.

Chief Scott Johnson said that the increased police calls to the park are a direct result of more people using the park, noticing suspicious behavior and calling the police.

"Anytime you have more use of a public facility, calls will increase," he said.

Park neighbor Richard Johnson said that he's had disc golf players stomp through his gardens.

"I could call the police at least every day," he said, referring to drinking, trespassing, swearing and traffic issues.

However, other residents testified that they've never seen such behavior from disc golfers.

James Wagner, a senior at Eastview High School, said that he has seen good students playing, and they value the park and the trees.

Louise Anderson, a parent of three sons, including one who is developmentally disabled, said that it is difficult finding a low-cost activity for a variety of ages and a variety of abilities.

"It's really a nice activity that you can do with all those abilities," she said.

Other communities south of the river with disc golf courses include Eagan, Burnsville, South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Shakopee and Hastings. Farmington and Lakeville are currently working on plans.

Resident Andrea Rivers pointed out that disc golf has changed the personality of Alimagnet Park.

"It gives up natural preserve aspects for more people using the park," she said. "There is a trade off."

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee tried to make another trade off, satisfying both residents adjacent to the park and disc golf players.

The committee recommended changes such as creating a catch barrier to help keep flyaway discs out of neighbors' yards at hole two, and posting more signage to deter trespassing. The target at hole three would be moved farther away from residents' yards. The path at hole seven would be made permanent. Holes eight and nine would receive fresh chipping of pathways. The approach to hole 10 would be relocated down the hillside and to the west. The basket target at hole 11 would be moved away from the wetlands by clearing an area of dead trees. And the approach to hole 12 would be shortened up to narrow the throwing range and distance.

Advisory Committee Chair Russell Defauw said that as the panel looks to build up the city's new park at 160th Street and Pilot Knob Road, the committee will consider adding disc golf. However, the success at Alimagnet cannot be denied and the committee has no plans to remove the course for another year.

Defauw told the residents, "Living near a park is not easy sometimes." But he also told the disc golf players, "Police your own."

The committee voted 6-1, approving the changes to the Alimagnet Park disc golf course. The Apple Valley City Council is expected to consider the committee's recommendations at an upcoming meeting.

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