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I've updated my calculations of which disc golf course serve the most people. My formula for the number of people a course serves is based on the population of the area, and how many other courses are in the area, and how many targets those courses have.

I used the PDGA Course Directory as of 12/31/2008 and the 2000 US Census.

Here are the top 15 courses, by number of people they serve (with the local market share %):

1. Morley Field, San Diego, CA, 1,012,194, 70%
2. Prospect Park DGC, Brooklyn, NY, 948,850, 60%
3. Sedgley Woods (East Fairmount Park), Philadelphia, PA, 748,755, 52%
4. Lafreniere Park, Metairie, LA, 691,351, 75%
5. Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah, FL, 620,008, 55%
6. Ed Austin Park (Fore Palms DGC), Jacksonville, FL, 563,273, 73%
7. Edgebrook Golf Course, Chicago, IL, 524,847, 41%
8. Rutgers, Douglass College, New Brunswick, NJ, 513,700, 55%
9. Borderland State Park, Easton, MA, 486,445, 42%
10. Golden Gate Park DGC, San Francisco, CA, 483,337, 48%
11. Chavez Ridge DGC at Elysian, Los Angeles, CA, 478,765, 33%
12. Van Buren Golf Center, Riverside, CA, 470,121, 57%
13. Aquatic Park, Berkeley, CA, 459,287, 46%
14. Sylmar (Veterans Park), Sylmar, CA, 433,973, 50%
15. Calvert Road Park, College Park, MD, 429,476, 45%

Here are the bottom 15 (excluding those that are listed as having zero targets):

2384. Vaughn Monson Memorial, Reeve, WI, 2,061, 4%
2385. Joe Hamilton Elementary, Crescent City, CA, 2,048, 3%
2386. Challenger Point DGC, Crestone, CO, 1,999, 10%
2387. Rexford Elementary School, Clintonville, WI, 1,991, 1%
2388. Challenger Golf Course, Crestone, CO, 1,990, 11%
2389. Wilson Farm Park DGC, Chesterbrook, PA, 1,949, 0%
2390. Lake Creek Village Apartments, Edwards, CO, 1,851, 3%
2391. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 1,725, 0%
2392. Sunset Park, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1,694, 2%
2393. Pilot Mound, Pilot Mound, IA, 1,375, 1%
2394. Jackrabbit DGC, Tribune, KS, 1,272, 18%
2395. SDGC Practice Course, Menomonie, WI, 1,080, 0%
2396. Conchas Dam, Conchas Dam, NM, 1,064, 21%
2397. North Greenville University DGC, Tigerville, SC, 684, 0%
2398. Dysart City Park, Dysart, IA, 475, 0%

The complete list is available on the "Course Statistics" page of my website www.stevewestdiscgolf.com

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Nice list. Good to see stats to back up that my home course is the busiest ever and doesn't just feel that way. Thats good evidence for building another top notch course in San Diego.
I am suprised that Creekside Park in Utah is not on there. The salt lake valley has ~2mil people and 1 course that gets played.
Mark Stephens said:
That is nice and all, but that is no way REALLY shows how overworked a course it. The general population of an area does not necessarily have anything to do with the playing population a course supports.

Let's take NYC. It would be my educated guess that the percentage of people in the population playing the sport in NYC does not equal that of let's say Ann Arbor. So, the huge population areas totally skew your stats unless there is a direct and proportional relationship to population and the percentage of the population that plays which I don't think exists.

My guess is that lots of other factors come into play when determining the number of players in an area than just # a percentage of the population:
Weather
Local disc golf clubs
Local units of government support of disc golf
Conditions of facilities
Other outdoor activities available


Did you know that 65.15% of all statistics are made up. <-----Just like that one. ; )


That's pretty much...what I was thinking..lol!!


......Well my Grandpa used to say ( Not really mine, but someone's)

There are 3 types of lies.....Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics!!!
2397. North Greenville University DGC, Tigerville, SC, 684, 0%

Is really just 3 nice new yellow baskets around the playing fields for a Baptist seminary about 20 minutes north of Greenville SC. Tigerville isn't really a city but it does have a flashing red stop light and a post office (well, a postman). When the seminary isn't in session the population drops by about half.
Morley Field is crowded every day !!!!
Mark Stephens said:
That is nice and all, but that is no way REALLY shows how overworked a course it. The general population of an area does not necessarily have anything to do with the playing population a course supports.

Let's take NYC. It would be my educated guess that the percentage of people in the population playing the sport in NYC does not equal that of let's say Ann Arbor. So, the huge population areas totally skew your stats unless there is a direct and proportional relationship to population and the percentage of the population that plays which I don't think exists.

My guess is that lots of other factors come into play when determining the number of players in an area than just # a percentage of the population:
Weather
Local disc golf clubs
Local units of government support of disc golf
Conditions of facilities
Other outdoor activities available


Did you know that 65.15% of all statistics are made up. <-----Just like that one. ; )

That's all true (except maybe the 65.15%). For all those reasons, I tried to avoid implying that these figures were proportionate to the number of actual players at any course.

I have a little data about how weather (specifically temperature) affects the number of players. Do you have any way to quantify everything else?
Chris Taylor said:
I am suprised that Creekside Park in Utah is not on there. The salt lake valley has ~2mil people and 1 course that gets played.

There ARE other courses around, so they count in my formula. A lot of areas of the country would love to have course as close as those up on the ski slopes, even Snowbasin. If you were going to make a case to SLC, I could run it again without any courses that are closed for the winter.

Also, perhaps Creekside appears more crowded than it actually is. When last played there, I got the impression the holes were all overlapping, so I was often waiting for players on other holes to get out of the way.
While I'm not quite sure what the purpose of this is...I know, I don't have a clue....lmao!!!

....no really?

Are you showing how a course is overcrowed..or played the most? What do you mean by overworked?

or are you showing how many people each course serves based on population and/or usage?

if that's the case why would there be a different number of people served...for each of the two courses at Gordon Barnett park in Orlando...same with Turkey Lake, also in Orlando...why two numbers?

Tuscawilla in Daytona and Reed Canal in South Daytona serve the same? These are two different cities each with it's own population.
Steve's just doing what he can with the hard data we have. I'd love to see hard data added to the formula like how many rounds a year are played in a metropolitan area or a particular course within that metro area.

Does this statistic help us to identify areas that are "under-built" for disc golf? If so, then no wonder Brooklyn is under-served. There are way too few courses in that area. Of course, there probably never will be. But it's still useful to know that. A lot of this stuff is gonna skew around urban area densities. Interesting stuff in Florida and Louisiana there.
Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun said:
Steve's just doing what he can with the hard data we have. I'd love to see hard data added to the formula like how many rounds a year are played in a metropolitan area or a particular course within that metro area.

Does this statistic help us to identify areas that are "under-built" for disc golf? If so, then no wonder Brooklyn is under-served. There are way too few courses in that area. Of course, there probably never will be. But it's still useful to know that. A lot of this stuff is gonna skew around urban area densities. Interesting stuff in Florida and Louisiana there.


So...you don't have a clue either? lol!
yulga park in stevens point, WI. during summer, there's a wait all day every day (18 holes) in a city of 25,000. we have a v large dg population in relation to actual population. well used in winter too. tees are clear all winter long, with tourneys in neg. temps and 4 plus feet of snow. will never make your list. your algebra is very flawed!

also there r multiple courses in area, but some r pay to play and some are not 18, so are very less populated.


rethink your formula to include more relevant stats.


ps: was this brought on because of the Austin area getting 800,000 bux to add another course, just curios?
The purpose of the formula is to find the best places to put new courses.

The purpose of posting it here is to get feedback to refine it.

I'm working under the assumption that the two most important considerations are: how many people live nearby, and how many courses already serve the area.

So, Terry is correct in that the formula is designed to find places that are under-built for disc golf. Before anyone points it out, yes, I know that the most under-built places are not near existing courses. I'm working on that. But, there are a lot more places without a course than with, so the calculations take a lot longer. So, far, I've done MN and WI.

Anyone care to guess where the most under-built place in WI is? And, how many courses it would take before it is no longer under-built? We'll see if your perceptions match my formulas.

In the meantime, I wanted to get some feedback on the formula by posting the results for places we do know about – existing courses.

I recognize that it would take a more complicated formula to actually determine how busy a course would be. This formula is not that ambitious.

However, I think the formula can be used to compare sites without getting at an absolute number, because most decisions about new courses are fairly local,. Obviously, Stevens Point or Ann Arbor has more disc golfers per capita than NYC. But, I think it is safe to assume that the number of disc golfers per capita for people who live around Stevens Point is about constant. Similarly for weather, the activity of local clubs, etc. Those won't vary much over a city, county, or maybe even a whole state. So, the formula can be used to find a good site around Stevens Point, or a good site within NYC, without being able to say exactly how many players would use a Stevens Point course vs. a NYC course.

That's not to say it isn't fun to speculate about the other data that would be needed to calculate the number of players at each course. For example, I suspect that there is a "sweet spot" or "critical mass" for the number of courses in the area. No courses = no disc golfers. Too many courses = not many golfers at each location.

Anyway, I think population would still be the 800-pound gorilla of determining how busy a course would be. Even if no locals in San Diego ever played disc golf, I'd bet Morley Field would still be busy because relatives visiting from the Midwest need a place to play.

That's not to say population couldn't be trumped. I could imagine Prospect Park not being nearly as busy as the nearby population would imply, since it has no baskets, the other park visitors make it difficult to play and there aren't enough other courses around to sustain a disc golfing community. Still, it would be a good place to put a new, dedicated, well-built disc golf course.

Anyway, to make the formula accurately calculate how busy a course would be, we would need some data on how busy the existing courses actually are. Got a lawn chair and a clicker?

What we CAN measure is how much population lives nearby, and how many other courses there are. That will give us a better guess than pure speculation. Or at least it would look more impressive to the Parks Board.

Also, we can compare the figures to our expectations. That may tell us something about the local scene. If Prospect Park isn't popular, why not? If Creekside seems more crowded than other courses with comparable results, what's wrong with the other courses in the SLC area?

Or, what part of the formula needs to be refined? Which is the purpose of posting it here: to get feedback to refine the formula. So, your comments about how the formula "got it wrong" is exactly what I'm seeking. I'll post the reason that the formula did what it did. If that makes no sense, then the formula can be improved.

I've already addressed Creekside, but I'd like to add that the formula does assign it a number that is about 4 or 5 times as high as the average disc golf course.

The two courses in Gordon Barnett park in Orlando are 1.36 miles apart, according their latitude and longitude on the directory. The formula uses the exact distance from each course to all population centers nearby. It does not just assign an entire city's population to a course.

One of these courses is nearer to more population centers than the other. The 5% difference in the number of people served is equivalent to somebody deciding not to go the extra mile to get to the other course one visit out of every twenty. Seems reasonable to me. The two courses at Turkey Lake are much closer, so their two numbers are also much closer. The formula suggests that one out of 600 people would chose not to go the extra 175 feet. Plausible?

As for Tuscawilla in Daytona and Reed Canal in South Daytona, they're only 3.6 miles apart, so their areas will overlap a lot. A disc golf course's influence doesn't end at city limits. These two courses both serve almost all the local population.

As for Yulga Park in Stevens Point. Yes, it may be busy, but I'm not trying to calculate busyness. I'm trying to find good places for new courses. Do the crowds at Yulga Park make Stevens Point the best place to put another new course? How do you compare your needs against those of other courses that are always crowded? Or, does the high rate of disc golfers per capita indicate that Stevens Point already has enough courses to bring every possible disc golfer out?

I already adjust for fewer than 18 baskets (see Mead Park, for example). I would like to adjust for pay-to-play. I'm open to suggestions. Should a course count for nothing if it is pay-to-play (which would imply that no disc golfer would ever go to Standing Rock instead of Yulga park)? If this is the case, Yulga park's numbers would go up by 23%. Should a pay-to-play count for half of a free course, or what? Private courses should probably also be deflated somehow, but how much?

And no, all this isn't brought on by Austin's new complex.

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