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Hello, I have started this new subject with hopes of starting some dialog concerning course maintenance and course conditions. I have recently been placed in charge of maintaining our disc golf course. It's a few years old and has changed dramitically in a short amount of time. I have searched all over the web trying to find sites where people may be discussing maintenance issues, but I have only found sites from the course users, so.. here I am asking the course users for some feedback. My goal is to learn what I can in order to improve the course for anyone who comes to our course to play.

Our course is 9 holes, is in the middle of the woods, is very hilly, apparently rather challenging, the trees that are supposed to be obsticles are being killed off from soil compaction, the fairways are widening quickly, and graffiti on the baskets are becoming a problem. Why do people sign and date the top of the baskets? Is it because it is the only place to do so? If I painted board white and posted next to a tee box, would people sign there instead of defacing the baskets?

Any feedback would be appreciated and probably incorporated into improving our course.

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Personally I think marking aces on the pin IS part of the game, it looks good not bad and isn't damaging anything permanently.
You may want/need to plant trees with chain/plastic tubes to protect them, build steps to help erosion.
Thanks for the education on "Aces", it makes more sense to me now, I thought people were just signing it to say "hey, I was here". Unfortunately the tops of the baskets were completely filled and we had to paint over them on Friday. I guess we just cleared the way for new people to sign and date their aces.

Planting new trees may be something that I need to work into next years budget, but I may try doing some terracing this year to divert some runoff away from the center of the fairways wher eit tends to wash out the layers of mulch that we lay down.

Thanks for the information.
People sign and date the baskets when they score an Ace - a hole in one. As for saving soil compacted trees, that's not something I can help you with.
We have plastic 5 gallon paint buckets with drain holes drilled into the bottoms for drainage at each tee box, as long as they don't get chucked into the woods, they have worked out well so far. I guess I could dress them up a bit by painting them or something.
Sometimes having a popular/high traffic course can have downsides.

Most of the graffiti I've seen at courses are on picnic tables and trash cans. I don't have an Ace yet so I've never signed a basket, but it is common to see them signed in my neck of the woods.

I'd hate to be a tree on a disc course. The trunk's on some look like they have been through hell, or a bad case of herpes. Those are usually by the tee box. Those smaller trees don't have much of a chance. Many of them need to be cut down after a few years of heavy abuse. One place I played had chain link fencing around the trunk of the mature trees, but that can get expensive in a woody course.

Extra soil and mulch around the base of the tree's trunk might help prevent erosion and compacting. See if you can contact an arborist or conservation office in your area. They might be able to offer you suggestions.
I had an idea we might try to institute for our new course when/if we get a message board. There would be a link to here and a place to say the date you aced and what hole#, and it can be added to an online list that gets printed/posted on the board at the course.
Adopt a hole like they do on the highway.....We did it and it worked great! Garbage cans on everyhole are alot to keep up with, keep the buckets. Paint them if you like but,as you said they end up in the woods sometimes. As far as the people tearing up the course..all you can really do is say something when you see them doing it. You feel like the fun police when you do it but at least the tree or whatever they are hanging on may live another day before it gets struck by lightning. Jk ! Best of luck!
Dont forget to tell them they are not too alter the hole..we did have an issue with that.
Hey Rick!

I guess I am just wondering...are folks sure that a majority of those signatures are coming as the result of aces? Our course here in my community has been open for 18 months now, and I have only heard of one ace occurring to this point. My guess is that you have a few people signing baskets for aces, then a lot of other players just signing their names a la "_______ was here." If you have a shorter course though, I suppose a ton of aces are possible if you've got a heavily-played course! I've never seen anyone mark-up our baskets at all yet though. About the worst that has happened to us so far was when one of our grounds crew trucks accidentally backed into our 4th basket...but within 24 hours, that damage was repaired.

Our biggest problems? Litter (though most of it blows on to the course from other areas) and public urination. Not sure what makes people think it is okay to whip-it-out and relieve themselves in public spaces, but that one kind of bugs me...especially if kids are around.

Will you have a group of people helping you maintain your local course, or are you going to have to be a one-man wrecking-crew? I'm in the same position you are, from the sounds of it, and I probably personally spent 100-150+ hours/year just keeping our course clean or making the "easy" improvements that don't require heavy equipment. GET HELP though if you can...so you don't burn out. ;-)

Hope that helps! Good luck with your course.
I went out to the course and took pictures of each hole, I have uploaded two of them to this forum, I don't believe that the signatures are Aces, they would have to be incredible shots. I think it's mostly people letting others that they were there. We have painted over the signatures and are planning on sandblasting the baskets and repainting them at the end of this season. We were actually talking about posting a piece of plywood painted white at the course so people could hopefully sign that and not the baskets, Aces aside.

Litter is always a problem at the course, mostly beer bottles and Monster cans. For the most part, people place them in the buckets that we set next to the tee box, but a good many of them get chucked into the woods. At the end of the year after the leaves fall off, we go out and litter pick the woods to clean trhem up for the next season.

As far as maintenance goes, this course is a Park District course, I have a staff of 3 full time workers, and I pick up 9 seasonal workers from Spring to Fall. When the course is open for the season, we start each day off by sending 2 people out to the course to unlock the gate and walk the course to empty the trash buckets and to move fallen / broken limbs off the fairways. We regularly bring loads of mulch to the site and when we get time, we bring a couple of John Deere Gators and Bobcat to the site to haul mulch out to the fairways. When trees come down, we send our Horticulture crew out to cut the trees up into piles to be burned during the winter.

This year will be my first full season at the Park District and I am working on developing a more invloved maintenance program, as well as implenting plans to improve the course. Luckily I have a staff and many pieces of equipmpent that I can utilize. One imporvement that we are going to try out this Spring is to improve the Tee Boxes. They are currently 6X6 timbers framed 6ft by 9ft filled with crushed limestone. Unfortunately the limestone gets kicked out over time. I have a line on some used driving range hitting mats with the heavy rubber base and artificial turf surfaces. I'm picking up two of them this week to try to install them over the 6X6 frames and limestone. If it works out well, I'll retrofit the other 8 tee boxes with them and the course willl have artifical turf tee boxes.

Hopefully the snow and heavy layer of ice will melt off by next week so we can get the course open, we usually open it on March 1st, but the WInter has been rough here in the Chicagoland area. I'll have a better look at the grounds soon.

Thanks for everyone's comments and input!

Rick
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