The Components Of A Course
There are numerous components to a course; a suitable location, the design, the baskets, receivers, teepads, and signage. Some are Critical, some are Important, and some are Nice-To-Have.
First, is the location – it must be suitable for disc golf and it must be either a local park close to a school and a community, or be a stunning destination which will beckon experienced disc golfers from far and wide.
Second, is the design – it must be appropriate to the level of play expected, and it must fully leverage all the features of a location, so the course is interesting, varied, scenic, and challenging.
The course design is generally THE critical component of a course, and many aspects of course design are non-obvious and non-trivial. Both Martin and Chris have studied the subject extensively, and we have created what we call our “Challenge/Response” system of course design development. It is not the fastest system, nor the easiest, but it allows us to arrive at a highly refined design.
Our designs have stood the test of time, and have become well-respected and well-used destinations for avid golfers and casual locals alike.
The disc golf target Baskets are the next most important part of a course, and Auckland-based golf disc manufacturer RPM has us well covered, with the Helix Basket.
These are extremely robust, and easy on the eye. These high-quality and brightly galvanised items rapidly dull so that they soon fade into the background in a park.
Helix Baskets are a lifetime item, and we expect them to outlast us, having lifespans measured in decades, rather than years. Occasionally they may require small amounts of maintenance for the proper operation of the chains, but the baskets themselves should see the next century.
To install the baskets, we bore a hole 20cm in diameter, and 60cm deep. Into which we place a basket “receiver” which is a galvanised steel tube designed to accept the Helix basket. The receiver is held in place with concrete levelled off at 100mm below ground level. The top of the receiver is set flush with the ground, so that when a basket is removed it can be mown over without danger. The actual basket slides down into the receiver and bolted through to secure it.
Teepads are next on our list. Vortica has the experience and technical expertise to install top-quality paved teepads, flush with the ground so they may be easily mown over. We know the exact size they need to be for safety and utility.
Natural materials – we do not believe in using treated timber for framing paved teepads, preferring to use Macrocarpa which does not leach chemicals into the surrounding soil.
Using traditional paving techniques, Vortica is able to create safe and secure teepads which do not present a tripping or fall hazard. We prefer paved teepads to concrete ones, because over many decades, a disc golf course will necessarily evolve, and that may mean relocating teepads. A paved teepad is trivial to relocate, while a concrete one presents some very real disposal challenges and costs, and requires the construction of an all-new teepad.
Disc Golf is, after all, sold as a highly sustainable activity!
We greatly prefer to install the teepads contemporaneously with the baskets. This is to prevent temporary tees from becoming dug-out, and dangerous. A lot of energy is expended on the teepads, and so a natural surface will become a muddy mess very rapidly.
Once you’ve got baskets and teepads in the ground and people are playing the game, and enjoying themselves, or if preferred, at the same time as the main installation, we can install the niceties of a civilised disc golf course. Those being…
A DGC needs a sign at the main entrance, and/or at teepad one, mainly to display the course map, and some basic rules, including the Player’s Code which prevents players throwing if there is even a small chance someone could be hit by a disc.
Pedestrian entrances to the park ideally will get a small sign welcoming people to the disc golf course, and prominently displaying the PDGA Player’s Code.
Each teepad can have a separate tee sign if required, and that can either be proud of the ground, or flush with it. Alternatively, the rear portion of a teepad can be stencil-painted with the hole distance(s) and the par value.
Additional ground receivers
Because variety is the spice of life, and because the additional cost is trivial, Vortica highly recommends a complete set of alternate ground receivers for the baskets. The secondary receivers are installed at the same time as the primary items, and tight-fitting caps are installed on the unused items.
This allows a local person to regularly change the position of each basket.
Often, during our design process we will identify certain holes where we can create a much more challenging use of a basket’s location by the addition of a “Championship tee”. This is for the use of more advanced players, and some of the rules we normally obey for hole design can be dropped, in order to provide a much greater risk and reward for budding experts.
Championship tees may ask the player to throw across a gully, or a pond, and a poor shot may result in a lost disc. They can be added to a course at any time, and often local players will invent their own Championship tees on beginner and intermediate courses.
Vortica is extremely happy to redesign existing courses or to add more receivers or more teepads to courses where the playing population is maturing and gaining in skill.
Call us today!
Martin on 027 226 5343
Chris on 0210 69 58 69