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Living in the Midwest, the pulling of pins is a common occurance in late fall. We lose as many as 75% of our courses in certain areas of Wisconsin as course pros takes steps to prevent damage or to allow for dual use of park property.

Eventually the thaw and mud are bad enough that the few courses that remain in the ground during the winter months must be closed. This is typically for 2-6 weeks as the snow melts and soaks in, and is primarily done to reduce the damage to the groundcover and limit erosion.

This all seems well and good. The reasons are clear and the benefits explicit. Honorable disc golfers acknowledge the purpose and make other plans during the shutdown.

But then there is this minority of people that continue to play. Of course there are individuals that are going to do whatever they choose regardless of anyone else's interest. We can't do much about them short of beating them (which I wholeheartedly support). The thing that leaves me scratching my head are the otherwise seemingly good folks that keep playing despite the damage they cause.

Have others seen this same phenomena? What do you do about it?

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Here is a suggestion...Cover the Pole hole with a Garbage bag and then get some of that plastic fencing (the kind they use for ski slopes or traffic - usually orange) and wrap the pole holes with it? Maybe this will work or help??

Yes we have that problem here in Colorado...but is so dry here it usually does not last long and for us it's more of a safety issue that a environmental one..
Our Courses here in Chico close whenever there has been a "good" rain. The Park Ranger "flips the sign" to the Trails Closed position for days/weeks at a time. Many people ignore the sign though. For us, it is kind of a contentious issue. The DGC is closed during wet weather, but the Park is still open to pedestrians and trail hikers. I think that the local DG community feels put upon by this kind of "discrimination" and so (perhaps) willingly choose not to obey the rules. I dunno what could be done about it though. Just my five cents...
I haven't seen this ever in MN mostly because our baskets are out all year long. Even on the top courses (Kaposia, Mill Stream, CP Adams, Acorn, Blue Ribbon Pines, Etc). I understand the fact about erosion and ground cover, but come spring I don't see any damage to these courses after having players on them consistently during the winter. However if the course is closed for this reason you should respect the rules. So do these people just go out and play the courses to the pin placements? Or is the course just "closed" and they leave the pins in?
I'm not so sure how bad it is to play during the winter and fall, but during the spring when the snow melts and the rains come erosion can be a problem on it's own, when people walk on the fairways the grass disappears because the soil is so soft, erosion becomes an even bigger problem, courses with hills and valleys are even more susceptible. this can really degrade the quality of a course and course leaders and park officials only have our best interests in mind when they close a course. I think the reason that people ignore these closings is a combination of lack of this knowledge, (maybe a detailed posting would help in some cases,) anti-authoritative sentiment, (which in modern society is understandable, however, chose yr battles wisely,) and some people just have absolutely no regard for the wellbeing of others, the earth or anything, (hence the beatings that Ian mentioned,) On top of all that we have the build-up of anxiety and withdrawal symptoms from many long frigid winter months and there is the urgency to get out and throw the second the sun shows it's face and little patches of green start to emerge, (believe me I feel the pain,) however we still need to find respectful alternatives, not all course close or have problems with erosion....Be Creative
I live down south and my home course in Southaven, MS shuts down not from Late November to Early January not for weather reasons but because they put Christmas lights up in the park.....Now this is a pain, because the weather is not bad to play. So I have to travel elsewhere......It would be nice to play on my home course since I live next to it, but I travel just to get my fix.

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