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It's difficult to describe this opportunity without images, but I don't have anything decent to post yet.

Brown Park was the City of Ann Arbor's only disc golf course up to two years ago. Then it was pulled, because that park is mostly owned by the Washtenaw County Drain Commission and it was about to re-do the northern half of the park to redirect the water flow of Mill Creek in order to make the area a more efficient remover of silt and increase the value of the related wetlands, while keeping its functionality as a catch-basin for 100-year and 500-year floods.

More below.

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The course has been out of the ground for two years now. Because of the delicacy of getting the wetlands preserve part established, the course has not been able to be put back in yet. However, the county is about to finish its part and hand the park back over the city.

Brown Park was an 18-hole course with a mix of semi-open and wooded holes. Quite easy, with only one hole over 400-feet in length. My own personal best was a 39 on a round where I only missed deuces on holes 8, 13, and 15.

The re-do of the north end of the park removed completely holes 15-18. We also lost three holes on the edge of woods (holes 12-14) due to the pressure from the strong Natural Area Preservation (NAP) interests. Further, the city would like to abandon two holes that were very muddy most of the time (holes 1 and 2).

While the course was out of the ground, the city budgeted to put it back in with two sets of tees (instead of the original one per hole). Only in the last couple of weeks has it become clear that we will finally be able to get it back in the ground this year, because it wasn't certain when the county would give up its re-do control.

The city first suggested that we consider a complete redesign, which I personally think is a great idea. I've spent some time out there walking around and Sheila and I put a few stakes in the ground to help conceptualize some things today. I'll post more thoughts below, but am interested in what other locals think.
If you know the course, try to conceptualize this rough approximation of one possible re-design:

Starting in the parking lot, a large clockwise circle of probably 7 holes with water in play going around what was the huge grassy marsh-like area before but is now a much more attractive stream and water catchments. The "front nine" would finish up with 8 going up over the hill where 2's basket used to be, to a pin near where 3's tee was, and with hole 9 going back across that empty ball field to a pin perched on the edge of the hill near the big rock and basketball court.

The "back nine" would go back up that hill and across the ball field over towards 3's former basket (hole 10) and finish up with a very visible hole 18 that tees off on one of the grassy knolls by where the playground used to be and finishing with the basket near but past and slightly uphill (by the old backstop, sort of).

In between, the previous holes would be redesigned using some more of the woods that were to the right of what was hole 9 and also to the right of what was hole 11 (lost of unused stuff back in there).

Anyway, that's my current take on things.
Hi Terry,

Thanks for the much anticipated update. I like your idea of the new layout. I'm pretty familiar with Brown Park as I used to hit it for 18 over lunch during work quite a bit.

I stopped by the park a couple months ago so I'm familiar with the new layout of the park and the large pond that encompasses what used to be the last few holes.

I sounds like your proposal would play the course in the opposite direction as the previous one, starting out working your way around the pond. I like the idea of running the front nine ending up back somewhat close to the parking lot. It would make for a good "9" over a short lunch, or you could continue on to play 18.

One thing to keep in mind is that those woods get pretty wet in the early spring. The previous hole 2 tee pad was usually encompassed in mud (but it sounds like this area isn't going to be used). One question regarding the woods holes. Are you planning on utilizing the woods where hole 4 (sharp dog leg right) was? These were still pretty wet in the spring but I think they would be good during other parts of the year, or there could be some sort of walking deck to cross constantly muddy areas.

In any case I'm excited that this is being looked at again! Can't wait to see what transpires...

after speaking with mike raley, i will be among the disappointed portion of the community if you do not get his input on the redesign... i'd be happy to share my opinion too, but you need to call mr. raley.

I loved Brown Park, it being near my house and a great little course. I am also really excited about the park's rebirth as Mary Beth Doyle Park. Mary Beth was a friend and colleague, a woman with a great energy for doing good in our world. I believe that she would be delighted to know that her name graces a park that will see lots of traffic from happy people, outside, having fun.

So, when you get out there, remember how lucky we are to have so many great courses and to have the luxury to walk, throw and "smell the roses."

In any event, I am excited to see the course go in and glad to hear that current plans retain 18 holes.
I've invited him to every possible meeting I've called so far. Do you have something that works for him? His emails keep bouncing. I don't have either the time to do phone calls to people, or his phone number.

glane said:
after speaking with mike raley, i will be among the disappointed portion of the community if you do not get his input on the redesign... i'd be happy to share my opinion too, but you need to call mr. raley.
sir, i will see what i can do, sir... and plan to mail you my findings. i'm not the only one that appreciates all of your efforts, mr. calhoun. thank you.
thanks for the update, terry. I was starting to think that this course would be an '09 install!!! I second Glane's comments!!
Well, the city parks planning staff wants it to move ASAP.

If you go out there, you may note some stakes indicating Holes 1, 2, 8, and 18. Those are NOT finalized holes, just some thoughts - and the stakes are there primarily to show the park staff and see if that kind of marking is okay with them.

any updates??? any luck getting making contact with Mr.Raley???
Yes, Peter, I exchanged emails with Mike and invited him to another visit to the park, but he didn't see the email in time to join me. I have been, since then, on business travel to Montreal and won't be back and having time to visit the park until next week.
i went by there today. it looks like the grass that will grow in is. where there still is not grass was probably under water and will flood those spots again.

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