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I live next to a disc golf park and would like to form a group or develop a program that would help improve, and or stabilize the relationships between the golfers of our park and the people that live next to the course. I am a player and neighbor and have heard and seen a few scrapes between both. Please let me hear from you fellow golfers who would like to share your stories of interactions with park neighbors....

Tags: golf, golfers, golfing, neighbors, park

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Great topic for a forum. I am a long-time player and now the Chairman of my city's Parks Commission. We are installing our first disc golf course in a city park this January, and want the course to be seen positively. The park backs up to a neighborhood that was built alost ten years ago, so we are adding an active use to their backyards where before they had little activity. Granted, we're also removing a lot of trash that had been dumped in that field over the years, but we want the course to be seen as a positive addition for all.

The plot of land is about 8 acres, so we're puttting in 9 holes. The neighbors were invited by mail to a workshop to reveiw the design of the course and other park changes. In designing the course, we have tried to minimize situations where discs can go in backyards - assuming that this is a common source of friction. All of the yards have a 6-foot wooden privacy fence, so climbing into a backyard will not be an option for players. We're also trying to place tees and baskets away from yards that have barking dogs. The park does not allow alcohol, so we hope that lessens the possibility of altercations.

I would be interested in hearing other peope's stories, both good and bad.
That is great that you are involving the neighbors in your planning. I would like to hear ideas on making some kind of neighborhood friendly designation by the nieghbors, by way of a sign or something showing their support for the golfers. I would be one to put a sign on my back fence that shows that disc golf support to all the golfers. Let me know how your plans go. I am going to start a Neighborhood Support Group around my park. I am a park neighbor and player. The disc golf park is one of the reasons I bought my house, just ask my wife, I fell in love with the location because of the park.
Burton
my home park is in the middle of downtown and some public housing and we've had a few scrapes as well...but after years of them seeing us cleaning and texpanding the course and being polite have finallly won us their support...it was a little tuff sometimes, but we also manage to keep out undesirables who came to the park for nefarious reasons...in the past there were needles, condoms etc etc etc...we have sent reps to some community meetings and they really respected that i think...i always thought throwing a cookout/meet and greet would be a good idea as well
Sounds like you folks have done a good job. Where is your course located? I am taking idea like your cookout/meet and greet to the local club, maybe they will be open to some good ideas like yours. The course behind my house is a nice slightly wooded 18 hole course. About 95% of the course is right up next to houses, with a little creek running through it, that seems to suck in your disc all the time. As a business I was thinking of putting a portable hot dog stand near the #1 tee box. Of course I have to get the proper certificates and approval of local citizens. Maybe set a a little pro-shop also.
Thanks again for your idea, I will remember it to use later. I think I have a great perpective being a park homeowner, and player. The disc golf park is one of the reasons I bought the house....Good drives to all-Burton
course is located in downtown knoxville tn...its an old school course with nice evelavation changes, big trees and some of the oldest baskets still in use ... we also have done a couple of fundraisers at course and donated basket to local elementary...
Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.
Our disc golf club has done a couple things that have given us a very positive light in our relationship with the neighbors of the park.
I run two minis every week, one on Saturday morning and one on Wednesday night. I make it a point to tell the golfers to mind their p & q's as they are the visitors and the neighbors live there. It helps.
We signed up for part of the citiy's beautification program and we sponsor the park and have a nice sign referencing us at the entrance by the parking area. It helps.
I personally make it a point to talk to all of the neighbors and know almost all of the dogs that get walked here as well.
One of the dog walkers actually donated 500.00 to our stolen baskets / course fund so we're having a bronze plaque made of his boxer as a dedication. It helps.
We also donated 200.00 to the Bluebird Society as they clean and repair all of the bluebird houses in the park. I even met with them and helped to relocate some of the houses that were getting hit by discs. It helps.
We have Butt Rounds where as a group we play and at every teebox, we stop for a couple minutes and pick up all the cig butts. This has been witnessed by neighbors of the park and went a long long way.
All of the little things we do get us many compliments and very few complaints with the city. The mayor even had a writer from the local paper come out and do a story which was really cool.
All of this helps and each one of us can lead by example and be the golfers the neighbors don't mind sharing their park with if we just remember we are the guests and they live there.
Peace
U Might benefit your project by speaking to someone in Noblesville, IN Parks Dept... or Hamilton Disc Golf Union. They combined to reduce some really Really unnecessary behavior (mainly from Dr. James Dillon Park 's neighborly property owners...but I do have a bias). The stories I heard were adverserial and the behaviors I witnessed were ridiculous.
Anyway in July a large sign appeared proclaiming Peace in the land....the homeowner's discontent being referred to in that their single contribution to the detent would be those rotten spoiled b%#$@s would in the future be turning the yard discs in to the Park employees...would would then give them to the HDGU leaders..who would then...yada yada..you get the idea.

One homeowner evidently liked to lift his trash can lid in view of the disc-er who'd lost it (he literally laid in wait...he had done this more than once I heard) toss the disc into the trash can..slam the lid..and reenter his home.I heard from one Park Employee the he personally handles multiple calls every morning during the season.
thats the right way to go about building a course, but dont count on a 6' high fence to keep out rec. disc golfers from retrieving arrant disc shots. I think you have to assume common sense will not be used in those situations. We have a hole near a nursing home and I have seen rec. players on the roof retrieving discs.When the course is near private property the shots have to be controlled by the course designers , so even the worst shot wont cross the line.
It is a noble task to make peace between the lovable disc golfers and the irrational park neighbors. Once you get that chore resolved can you move on to the Middle East?
I live in Noblesville and play Dillon Park frequently. Most of the neighbors are willing to get your discs back for you, as long as you knock on their doors instead of climbing the fence. Climbing the fence will get the cops called on you. There's a neighbor I have actually played with on several occasions, and he has warned me of the one neighbor that is the most reluctant to change.

Most (if not all) of the homeowners along hole #5 are willing to give your disc back as long as you don't trespass. The owner along #17/#18 however (house farthest north) is the one you have to worry about. The homeowner I play with told me that when the parks department was planning the park, they offered everyone in that neighborhood 3 times the value of their homes and land. He said every owner in the neighborhood agreed to sell, but because the one homeowner I speak of on #17/#18 would not, the deal went out the window for everyone. So needless to say, most of the homeowners in the neighborhood don't like that one particular homeowner just as much as the disc golfers dislike them.

Fortunately my friends and I have lost more discs to the pond than any of the backyards, but one friend has seen his brand new EcoStar Destroyer used as a chew toy by one of the dogs along #5. It was pretty funny watching this dog throw it up in the air and roll around with it, seeming to be laughing at us...
I think one way to help with the disc in backyards issue is to have a place for the neighbors to easily return what goes into their yard. A locked Box with a disc sized opening that the club empties regularily would be one way. If golfers know they'll get it back and know they shouldn't be in neighbors yards perhaps they won't go in.

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