Well, it's exciting to see this course start to go in. Lorie Szyperski and her family are doing the hard work of fundraising and clearing. I get to drive north a couple of hours and do the design work. What fun!
Currently laid out are Holes 1-3, 7-9, and 16-18. They are going to work, for most of this year I think, as the first nine. It's getting a little 'leafy' to be able to go in and visualize the other nine holes.
Lorie and her team have cleared the brush and trees for Holes 7-9 and 16-18. I took them up their first 9 baskets today, Sunday, after Sheila picked them up at Discraft on Thursday.
As I have noted elsewhere, Lorie is using the Disc Golf Foundation to funnel 501(c)(3) charitable organization donations to raise money for the course. Her husband and sons are very handy with cutting and building tools, and they're doing a great job with the course construction.
The course is at Blizzard Hills, which is a nearly defunct campground, marina, bar that has hundreds of feet of frontage on the Pinconning River, about a half a mile from Lake Huron. It's about 5 miles off I-75, so people heading north and south during what is called the Michigan Migration in the summertime, can stop off for a round and some relaxation before rejoining the head-to-tail traffic.
Today I delivered the baskets, and also walked the cleared holes 4 times to look for tweaks on removal of saplings and other obstacles. The technique I use for marking a course I mostly learned from Pad Timmons. I use orange plastic tape to mark the outside perimeter of fairways. (If it has orange on it, you do not cut it down. Everything between the rows of orange ribbons gets removed. Except for things marked with green ribbons.) Two wire flags mark the tee and a single flag marks the pin. (Sometimes with a orange ribbons hanging above it to be seen from a long way away.)
Today, since clearing has mostly taken place, I also used broad yellow 'caution' tape to mark the additional brush areas and saplings I wanted removed that had, so far, been retained. I've asked for 6 mature pines to be removed and I'm eager to see if the owner, Ward Pringle, will allow that. If not, then the two holes they are on will be more 'luck' and 'pinball' in nature than I want, but will still be fun.
For the course design geeks out there, here are my current perspectives on these first nine holes:
These three holes are all in dense pine woods. The kind where there are nothing but dead branches up along the trunks for 40-50 feet and the pines are all in a row, maybe 10 feet apart. I don't even have much in the way of distance estimates on these holes as they are not cleared enough to let me use my laser range finder yet.
When holes 1-3 are played, then the course will head out west, then north, then east for Holes 4-5-6. At the moment, you will be moving from Hole 3 to Hole 7.
This hole was originally, in my head, two holes. But then as I sat at home last winter looking at my drawings, I began to think that, together, they would make a really nice par 4-5 hole. Doglegs that are par 4-5 are tough in disc golf, partly because people eventually begin to throw in areas you did not intend, and short-cut the design. In the case of Hole 7 at Blizzard Hills, a natural feature - a fairly dry, cut-off loop of the Pinconning River - pretty much shuts down that option.
The hole starts off throwing from inside woods out into a grassy area with an OB road on the right and a line of trees protecting the cut-off elbow of the river on the left. It will take a decent 300+ foot drive to end up on the prime spot for your second drive. That spot will be in in an area with lots of mature trees limiting the second throw, which will also have to clear an area that will be wet and OB for parts of the year. From the tee to the basket, this is a 560-foot hole that is about exactly one-half of the circumference of a very large circle, moving counter-clockwise. It is definitely the most left-hander (fore-hander) unfriendly hole on the course. I figure to get a 5 on it most of the time, with an occasional 4. Probably a tough par 4.
This hole is an easy 2 if you have a solid, confident forehand 200' forehand drive or a solid, confident 200' anhyzer. It is a split tee area where you can go out over the Pinconning River forehand or annie, left to right, for an easy two (maybe 3) or instead choose a counter-clockwise hyzer route where 2 is impossible but a 3 is pretty easy. If you are afraid of water, you're gonna get at least a 3. If not you could pull off a 2. A definitely friendly hole for left-handers and fore-handers. The aim here is to make you think and have you make a decision about risk and reward.
This hole is located between the landing zone for Hole 8 and the landing zone for Hole 18. It's 230-foot Ace Run hole! It's equally friendly for left-handers and right-handers, back-handers and fore-handers. A tunnel in the woods lets you choose to go right or left of a couple of big trees to get to the pin, which is in an open area.
More later. I'm going to bed. The best hole here is 18!!!!