We are engaged in redesign of a local course and I thought it might be nice to share a series of blog posts about it.
Brown Park was a near-downtown Ann Arbor city park with 18 holes with a large and devoted following of disc golfers. In 2006, after about 15 years of use, the disc golf course was removed (temporarily) due to the Washtenaw County Drain Commission need to reconfigure the entire park so that it did a better job of allowing polluted sediments to settle out in a manner that could be regularly removed, as it performed its primary function as a '100-Year Flood' safety valve on Mallet's Creek.
Here is a map of the course and park as it was before the park was reconfigured.
Note that the holes definitely lost to the park reconfiguration are 15-18, 13, and likely 12 and 14, but we're not positive about that yet. The area defined by 15-18 is where most of the work was done and an image of the changes to that area, showing the potential for a ring of holes bringing water into play should be evident in this next image.
During the past two years, the park has been renamed Mary Beth Doyle Park, in honor of a deceased Ann Arborite who was a leader in the Natural Area Preservation (NAP) movement. What had been a large pond in one end of the park has now become a smaller pond with a serpentine stream that meanders throughout much of the park, inside an area that forms a large bowl to contain flood waters when there is a lot of rain. It has also been reconfigured as a wildlife habitat.
Here is an illustration of the area that previously mostly fell inside the outer fairway edges of Holes 15-18. It's sort of a close-up of the new configuration of that area, as opposed to the course map, above.
The park is surrounded by residential area, some of which is low-income in nature. One of the initial motivations for the disc golf course was to increase individual use of the park and create a more secure feeling for potential park users. It has a basketball court, a playground, a small parking lot, some woods being restored to their natural beauty, the water and related scenery, and the disc golf course.
The park was re-opened on June 1, but the disc golf course has not yet been replaced. The city would like to get at least 9 holes of it back into the ground by August. In a series of trade-offs, the disc golf course can use some wooded and open areas it had not previously used, it is losing one or two holes that the natural area preservation people want to bring into their fold, and it gains a number of potential holes with water hazards - something that it did not have before.
We are waiting for the city to provide us an up to date aerial photograph to work with, and beginning to understand that we have the opportunity to completely reconfigure the course - even to the point of none of the original holes staying the same. Since a few of the previous holes had some serious drainage and mud issues, and with the exception of Holes 8 and 15, the original course was pretty much a pitch and putt, albeit a beloved one, the new course can not only be more varied (water holes) but more challenging. The city has also agreed that we will be able to install two sets of tee pads on each hole, as well.