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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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your formula works for my home course #3.Sedgley Woods 27 holes.
It actually is a very crowded and played course- we are always looking for more land in the park system to put another course. we have 2 ways of assessing our numbers- one very simple one- we staff our "clubhouse" which is a bench by the kiosk on the World's greatest Weekend and do a head count. we also do random days throughout the main disc golf season to take headcounts of players while we have our disc sales set up..
the other count is our Tag Challenge numbers. We sold 225 Tags in 2008 and expect to sell 225 for our 15 th anniversary year. All year around we run Tags on Thursdays and Saturdays and a few years ago added Sundays due to sheer numbers of players. We often have more than 40 people per round. Even this winter in the bitter cold we were getting 18 or more for a noon tag round on a weekday. Tags are followed by doubles, During Daylight Savings Time we have on Mondays Women's league, Tuesdays is after work doubles. once a month we run a 2 round tournament or a charity/fundraiser big doubles event. those are often attended by 80 people. That is just the amount of rounds for our official club play. and we do keep statistics on all those rounds, including player rankings. Our official club play is probably not even 25 % of the total course play.
the other non-number way that we know our course is "overplayed" is the constant amount of course maintenance that we do to repair teepads, pathways and green damage that is strictly caused by traffic wear.
I also live near #2389 Wilson Park in Chesterbrook Pa and your stats on that are dead on- that is ,so far,a 4 hole course, just starting out and hardly anyone knows about it yet.
I hope this gives you a few ideas of how to get some input from actual courses as to their use. good luck with your project.
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.


That may be slightly incorrect....these two courses actually shared 2 holes for a while. From a general central point inside Barnett.... I don't think the farthest away hole on Parkside is much more then a half mile away from the farthest hole away on the Northside course.
I have to say that it would be hard to assess this with just raw data, you would need incite to the local scene.

As mentioned with the Salt Lake Valley there are 6 courses within 1 hours drive.

1. Creekside Park: Great course. Yes it is crammed on to the land but it was established in 82 when discs didn't go quite so far. This park is almost always over capacity. lots of holes will have groups of more than 6. There are cars parked all down the street as the parking lot is always full.

2. Solitude: Great course. Only open in the summer, pay to play and not beginner friendly. 1200' par 3 with tons of trees and grass to loose disc's in.

3. Art Dye: Great course. Not established, very rough, hard to find, not beginner friendly.

4. Dry Creek Trail Park: 9 holes, very rec course.

5. Saratoga Hills: 9 holes very rec and no obstacles! not worth mentioning.

6. Riverpark: Good quite used golf course. But it is right at the 1 hours dive.

There are many unknown variables. Yes there are other courses in the area but that dose not mean that they have any draw.
I'm curious as to why you didn't use more recent data for the population factor...?
Take Jacksonville for instance....There was considerable growth from 2000 to the present. I do see that your just factoring in the core city area for that...however if you were to consider the entire city limits of Jax...That population number is 1.3 million as of 06....the core area an increase of close to 250K. Even though there is a moderate disc golf contingent in the Jax area and they do have another 9 holer relatively close....in conjunction with a massive population in that area...those courses would seem like ghost towns in comparsion to others farther down the list.


I'm somewhat familiar with Sedgley...and can see how that course is 'overworked' it is an incredibly busy course with a strong disc golf contingent...in a large populated city with no other course to terribly close, as I recall.
Mark – I agree "overworked courses" is not the best thing to call it. I couldn't think of anything shorter than "courses that have a lot of population nearby, but not many other courses". "Underbuilt areas" is OK for looking for places that really need a course, but it didn't seem appropriate for describing the courses that exist.

Nan – Sounds like you have good data. I wish there was somewhere you could upload it, and others could do the same with any counts they get.

Jamie – I just have the first tee coordinates from the PDGA directory. Anyway, their actual distance apart is probably insignificant. They're both going to reduce the value of building another course anywhere near them.

A bigger problem is that the majority of the courses use just the location of the zip code, not the actual coordinates of the first tee. [Everyone, please go look up any courses you are familiar with and fix the latitude and longitude. Just download Google Earth, zoom in on the first tee, and read the coordinates off the screen.]

For example, Solitude was listed as being at the corner of S2300E and Fort Union, just 3 miles from Creekside. That "garbage in" caused Creekside's numbers to be too low. With Solitude "moved" to its proper location, Creekside is computed to be 25th on the list, with 374,247 people served, and a 50% market share. Solitude's numbers also change, to 93,772 people served, less than half of what they would be if they were actually within SLC.

Jamie – figures from the 2000 census are the latest ones I can find. I have 65,444 data points; each has latitude and longitude and represents a few thousand people. I don't think they update things to that level of detail in between the 10-year censuses (or is it censi?).

The reason that the number for Jacksonville isn't 1.3 million is because each population data point is weighted by the inverse of the distance away from the course. (See the explanation in the paper on the Service Levels page of my website if you want the details.) For example, someone who lives 8 2/3 miles from a course is only 50% served by that course.
There's an effort underway to replace the first tee coordinates with the parking lot coordinates since GPS units in vehicles have an easier time getting you to the park without going over hill and dale as they sometimes try now. ;-) In the places with multiple courses like Warwick, Highbridge, Turkey Lake and maybe even Barnett, the parking lot might be the same for all courses even though the coordinates are currently given for the first tees on those courses.
Jamie – I just have the first tee coordinates from the PDGA directory. Anyway, their actual distance apart is probably insignificant. They're both going to reduce the value of building another course anywhere near them.


Those coordinates are way off in this case..The two can share the same parking lot and the two first tees are within 1000 feet +/-.

What was your determining factor in establiahing a baseline number for population = number of courses? ...creating an ideal relationship/ratio between the two. 50,000 per course and was that based off your other discussion? ...so in that case would the proper ratio of courses to population be found farther down the list? or with a higher or lower % served?

What is the ideal ratio? Can you give us an example?


Jamie – figures from the 2000 census are the latest ones I can find. I have 65,444 data points; each has latitude and longitude and represents a few thousand people. I don't think they update things to that level of detail in between the 10-year censuses (or is it censi?).



Why??? you got any?? lol!!
I'm glad my state has 4 in the "bottom" 15 and none in the "top" 15. However, I'd rather have a course to myself and my friends than waiting 15 minutes between holes for a tee. A big part of that is Wisconsin has a heck of a lot of courses for people to choose from.
Jamie – I just have the first tee coordinates from the PDGA directory. Anyway, their actual distance apart is probably insignificant.

Exactly why those people served should be identical?????


They're both going to reduce the value of building another course anywhere near them.

Reduce the value to who??? Definitely not the disc golf playing population...they would likely want more courses to choose from.

As for me, I believe more courses = more exposure = more people playing...this is a fundamental key to the continued baseline growth of our sport....not to mention the success of those who have a Disc Golf related business.

With that said....I don't see the value of showing the non benefit of installing new courses solely on overall area populations or proximity to other courses.
Jamie 'gr8rocshot' Ruane said:
Jamie – I just have the first tee coordinates from the PDGA directory. Anyway, their actual distance apart is probably insignificant.

Exactly why those people served should be identical?????


They're both going to reduce the value of building another course anywhere near them.

Reduce the value to who??? Definitely not the disc golf playing population...they would likely want more courses to choose from.

As for me, I believe more courses = more exposure = more people playing...this is a fundamental key to the continued baseline growth of our sport....not to mention the success of those who have a Disc Golf related business.

With that said....I don't see the value of showing the non benefit of installing new courses solely on overall area populations or proximity to other courses.

Any new course would be good. "Reduce the value" only means in relation to locating it somewhere else in Orlando. Is anybody NOT disc golfing around there because they're waiting for a third course? Is anybody NOT disc golfing as much on the other side of town because they are waiting for their first course that is close enough? If Orlando asked you where to install a new course, would you tell them to put a third course next to the other two? Or would you tell them to put a course on the other side of town (or in the middle of town) so those people can have a course near them?

Do you really not see the value of locating courses near people? OK, I'll explain it. Disc golfers are people. People visit places that are closer to their house more often than they visit places that are farther away. So, a course that is closer to more people will have more disc golfers.

Anyway, nobody said it had to be based solely on this; it's only one more tool. Other factors should definitely be taken into account. For example, is the land covered by houses or water?
What was your determining factor in establiahing a baseline number for population = number of courses? ...creating an ideal relationship/ratio between the two. 50,000 per course and was that based off your other discussion? ...so in that case would the proper ratio of courses to population be found farther down the list? or with a higher or lower % served?

What is the ideal ratio? Can you give us an example?

The ideal ratio of people per course would be as low as possible. These formulas tell you where another 18-hole course would do the most to reduce that ratio. 50,000 is just the current average.
J.W.I. said:
I'm glad my state has 4 in the "bottom" 15 and none in the "top" 15. However, I'd rather have a course to myself and my friends than waiting 15 minutes between holes for a tee. A big part of that is Wisconsin has a heck of a lot of courses for people to choose from.

Yep, bottom is good on this list.

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