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I went out with my dad and did the MBD course walkthrough with the Ann Arbor parks dept. peeps today. It's shaping up nicely and I feel like it may actually exist soon.

That was the only good part about area disc golf today.

Then I went to the Farm @ Founder's Park in Farmington Hills for the first time (#1,056) a little 9 hole course with Chainstars and 2 sets of dirt tees and with signs. It was poorly laid out (lack of land to make a good layout flow though) with crazy long walks and a jog back to your car afterwards. The real problem is that it looks like no one has played it since 2005 or even bothered to cut or trim a single branch. There are 3 woods holes with trees fallen down in the fairways blocking them entirely/mostly and they don't even look recent! It's a complete waste of time and baskets right now. Very disappointing.

Then, off to Cass Benton, one of my Top 25 list courses. It is no longer on the Top 25 list. First to be erased off of it. Since this course was installed for PAW 2000, it's been slowly going downhill (almost literally as it erodes away) as it became so popular and over-used. Casual jerks have been ripping trees out of the ground for years, smashing tee signs and glass bottles, leaving trash everywhere and creating a muddy nightmare. The difference from a year ago to now is shocking, possibly the worst overall long term damage to a course I've witnesses. Hole #9 has full size trees fall across it a year ago (or longer?) in heaping piles like toothpicks, and now that's occurred on nearly every woods hole thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer and Dutch Elm Disease. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CLEARED YET, after a year. Still piled up blocking the fairway and making it ridiculous to play. Hole #4 has a tree IN the basket, I hit chains and who knows if it would have been an ace or not if not for the tree taking up half the chains! I can see why the parks dept. hasn't done anything after the way disc golfers have treated this course. The mud problem has gotten out of control- with the worst erosion I've ever seen on a course on hole #2 around the basket. 6 inches to a foot of earth washed away into a now house-sized plot of deep mud on a hillside. It's not even safe to climb down the hill after #3 without cleats.

In this condition it doesn't deserve Top 25 status, and I can't see how it could ever be fixed without being pulled for year(s) and allowed to recover.

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Comment by Sweetwater on June 9, 2009 at 3:39pm
"Casual jerks have been ripping trees out of the ground for years, smashing tee signs and glass bottles, leaving trash everywhere"

I can relate with that. Our course has garbage cans at every other tee starting at 4. Yet these little shits find it hard to make it to that garbage can before their bottle or can becomes too much to carry. We pull out 3 large garbage bags a week. I just got a job at the state park so hopefully I can take care of this and catch em and write some hella tickets. Lots of branches get broke to create an easier shot for them. Roots get pulled out for no reason but to somehow look cool, which I dont understand. The worst part is that these kids consider themselves hippies. WHAT KIND OF HIPPIE DETROYS NATURE!?!?!
Comment by Birdie-man on March 7, 2009 at 11:59am
Willow ranks as one of the most mosquito-infected course's out there!!! :) As for Cass Benton the erosion is mostly from foot-traffic but the natural hilly area also provides great opportunities for erosion. I have only seen the course in the last three years and it hasn't really eroded that much.
Comment by John Hornyak on March 7, 2009 at 12:24am
Where does Willow rank????
Comment by A.I. on March 6, 2009 at 1:42pm
Both courses are definitely in poor condition. The Farm has some potential, but I'm not sure who is willing to put forth the time and effort to shape the course up. I really like both of the water holes, and the third hole (long thin woods; currently unplayable) would be worth playing if it was trimmed a bit. If this course could be modified, I would definitely play it.

Cass is a disaster, and I can see why it has been removed from your list. Is this a normal result of public parks with incessant foot traffic? Or is it a combination of soil and erosion problems, along with heavy foot traffic? I didn't know the course when it was young, but from what I hear, it used to be a lot different. I live in Wayne county, and I would be willing to request volunteer cleanup to local authorities.

Ben - if you have any remedies for the erosion problems, I would like to hear your ideas. Is there anything else that can be done to save the fairways and trees, other than removing the pins a period of time? Something should be done sooner than later, if anything can be done at all.
Comment by Joe Gill on March 5, 2009 at 2:35pm
Ben Let me know when you get to the west side of the Michigan. I would love to have you play BlueGill Disc golf course. Not sure if it would make you top 25 but from the feedback I get it would be close. Joe Gill

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