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I'm new to the site, but came here for a particular reason, and hope to get some assistance.  I'm a landscape architect who, until Friday, worked for the City of Oakridge in Oregon.  I took a new job in Coquille, and one project I (sadly) did not accomplish was the construction of a new disc golf course.  However, I am planning on helping with the project as much as I can anyway.


The City recently passed a master park plan, and outlined the area for the course, which is partially wooded, partially open, with two 20' wide creeks, a pond, and is bounded by a levee along Salmon Creek.  It is a very nice group of parcels, and contains 18-20 acres.  There is also recycled wood and steel I-beams for bridge construction, along with some funding.  (I can also write grants.)


I can easily design a golf course, but have only played disc golf a few times years ago.  I do know how to create plans, though, and can read specs for tees and hole lengths  What I don't know are particulars to the sport that make a course special and fun to play.  For example, I've been told that par 5 holes are very rare, mainly because of limited space.  I'd like to have a "signature" hole that runs downhill, across a creek and into the woods, then ends beside the pond.  I have no idea if that sounds great or silly...


So, as I make maps and designs I'll post them, and hope to get some help.  Perhaps even people who play Dexter frequently could walk the site and make some educated recommendations.  I think people in the area would like Oakridge (it's between Willamette Pass and Dexter), and I've heard dedicated courses that don't share with other sports and activities are on the uncommon side.


Thanks in advance!


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Wow! Awesome and Congrats. I am from Salem, OR, but I have been through Oakridge more times than I can count. BEAUTIFUL area. 


I have talked to a few different people working on course designs now and their biggest bit of advice is TRY and talk to someone that has already designed a course. May not be the easiest thing to do, but I am told that is the way to get the BEST info on what to do, and MORE importantly, what NOT to do. 


Here is a link to a Course Designer's website. I don't know if he charges you just to talk to him or what, but he is a RENOWNED course designer... Check out his site and see if its any help! Congrats Again!



Glad to hear about even more course development in Oregon!  I don't live there, but I just recently visited family there and I hope I'll have a chance to move that direction soon. 

I would second the importance of talking with one or a few experienced disc golfers and course designers before you get too far into the planning stage.  Courses that aren't designed by experienced disc golfers are infamous for just that. 

These sites may help you get in touch with those experienced in designing courses in your area:






Also, here is a very informative site made to assist course designers:



I hope this is helpful and best of luck on the new course!

I can easily design a public plaza, and can read some specs on water drainage and such.  Maybe I'll go on Public-Plaza-Walkers-R-Us and ask for help.  That should fill in any knowledge I don't have.


It sure beats hiring someone with experience.


(Which one is the sarcasm icon?)


Seriously, the combination of a Landscape Architect and an experienced designer is a dream team.   That's also the best path to you becoming a designer.  You're not going to want to stop after your first course.  After you're done with this one, it will be clear how much you would have missed without a designer. 

Steve, I *am* a Landscape Architect.  It would be up to the City to hire anyone else, but even though I'm leaving, I'm offering my services free of charge.  I've seen the budget, and I know how very very little they have for parks.  I'm not asking anyone who does design work for a freebie, but people who are long time players in the sport know what works and what doesn't.  One of the reasons I'm doing this is because without a ramrod, it might never get built, and I want to see it happen.  I don't want to "miss" anything with this project, mostly because the site is awesome, and that's why I'd like knowledgeable people to review plans and such.  If the City can afford it, it'd be great to have a professional on board...  as it is, I'm struggling to get the money to buy the baskets.


I may want to be a designer, but it isn't what I do.  I have a natural love for parks because of my background, but I do public works and planning for a living.   Socsavvy, thanks for the links, very good stuff in there!

From what you've posted it looks like you might not be hiring an experienced course designer.  So, before you make anything permanent, try to get good feedback on whatever temporary setups you're considering.  Flag some temporary basket positions and spray paint the ground to mark temporary tees, then invite people from existing leagues (Dexter?) to hold a couple of their league events at your course, or even an unsanctioned tournament.  Some of those folks will have their own portable baskets they can bring in for an event.  That way you'll get a bunch of players talking with eachother about your course, bouncing ideas back and forth.  They will be analyzing what works and what doesn't during the event, and they will be more than happy to give you reviews and suggestions for improvements.  That will be way more valuable than just having one or two guys walk the course.  Best to test it while you still have a chance to tweak the design, before you start pouring concrete.

I was trying to elicit the response you would have if someone wanted to build a public plaza, and – out of inexperience - could not see the value of using a Landscape Architect. What if they thought they could replace the Landscape Architect by doing some reading and asking the people who will be using the plaza for ideas and suggestions?  How well would that work? 


Would you really want someone to say:"We barely have the budget for pavers, so we can't afford a Landscape Architect."


Since a designer usually only costs about 10% of the budget, and the design can make or break a course, the dollars spent on the designer are some of the most leveraged in the budget.  It's one of the last places to cut back. 


I caught that you are a landscape architect.  As such, you can do much of the heavy-lifting (measuring, mapping, double-checking the scorecards against the signs, etc.)   With you volunteering to do as much as you can, the city can bring in a designer to oversee and review things quite cheaply.  I'd guess for about the price of one basket.  Heck, since you are volunteering, some designer might, also.


You can still gather ideas, try out layouts, and run test-play events, but then have the designer review every draft (on-site in the later stages) until you are both satisfied.

I get your point, Steve, although I'm not sure the example really follows.  If someone well versed in design and construction wanted to build a plaza, I think they could.  Would an LA be helpful?  Perhaps, but only if he had experience with plaza design.  I've designed many parks, a couple amphitheaters, and a golf course, which all turned out well.  But each time I went to people who were experts through use or having designed such things.  I get your point, it's best to get a pro on the job.  I'll see what I can do, but no longer having control of the budget, I won't have that final say in the matter.

Excellent advice IHC, and I'll be sure to do what you suggest.  The more eyes I can get on this, especially from seasoned players (and hopefully a designer), the better.  Right now I'm envisioning a big gas bill running up to Oakridge to gather comments!





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