The benefits of disc golf are numerous. For parks, the sport provides quality recreational opportunities and attract new users the park system. For players, the sport can be played at any age, provides a healthy outdoor activity and is inexpensive.
“The activity provides low cost recreation to the community while being low cost for installation and maintenance… As The Trumbull County Metroparks look into the tenth year of offering disc golf we have no regrets. disc golf may be the best kept recreational secret.”
Trumbull County Metroparks
Inexpensive to Install
A disc golf course is inexpensive to install and can make use of land unsuitable for other sports, activities or development. This differentiates disc golf from most other outdoor sports that require specialized sport facilities, buildings or extensive land development. Once installed, a disc golf course has few maintenance costs associated with upkeep and operation. In addition disc golf can be played year round, rain (snow), or shine. A small basic disc golf course can be built on as little as two acres of land. A full championship course usually is built on one to two acres per hole.
Benefits to the Community and the Park
Disc golf is found in state, county and neighborhood parks and private property in diverse climates and terrain. A disc golf course brings the local community to your parks as well as attracting disc golfers from the surrounding areas.
“Disc golf has been very beneficial for the Kalamazoo Parks system”, Bob Gregersen, Kalamazoo’s County Parks Director states. “We’ve received a lot of extra visitors and attention because of the game. disc golfers are in the park 365 days a year. Whatever the season, whatever the weather, I see players on the course. That’s what is exciting to me. We have something that attracts people all year round. We’ve had ice fishing and cross country skiing for years, but disc golf is now our biggest winter activity. If you build it they will come.”
Schools have been increasingly adding disc golf to their curriculum. Schools are finding that kids not only love the sport but that it helps developed critical thinking through scrutinizing and negotiating obstacles, it provides a safe means of exercise and can be used for other life lessons like ecology, planning and socialization.
Disc Golf Courses are Environmentally Friendly
Well designed disc golf courses are environmentally friendly and utilize an area’s existing topography. Varied terrain is an advantage. Trees, shrubs, hills, creeks and lakes offer more obstacles and challenge to a course. There is no clear-cutting of trees, grading of land, costly fertilizer, or mowing maintenance necessary. Courses have been installed on old landfills, around reservoirs where there is a hundred year-flood buffer and Pole Holes have been anchored into above-ground concrete forms so as to avoid any digging in sensitive areas where land disturbance needs to remain at a minimum.
Many of today’s course designs employ the use alternative tee positions so that parts of the course can lay fallow for a season or two. DGA first designed an anchor and collar system for our Disc Pole Holes™ so that alternate anchors could be installed on your course. Additional anchors allows one tee off position to have 3 or more hole options. This not only limits erosion from foot traffic but creates depth and flexibility to your course layout.
Low Cost and a Positive Investment
A disc golf course provides bang for the buck allowing dozens of players to play the same time. A successful disc golf course like two local courses De Laveaga in Santa Cruz, California and San Francisco Golden Gate Park disc golf Course can have over a hundred players playing the course at the same time on a given weekend. In contrast, a tennis court that costs more to install only has two or at most, four players at a time.
In addition, the sport attracts positive and dedicated disc golf players and disc golf clubs who bring a beneficial element to the area. The players tend to take an active role in the course and the surrounding areas, making sure the course is in good shape and taken care of.
“We had a problem with vandalism in certain areas of the park, but after the disc golf course was built, the increased activity in the park really decreased vandalism”, states Rich Dippel, Director of Parks and Recreation for South St. Paul, Minnesota. “It only takes a piece of park space that wasn’t being used and makes it an important part of the park system.”
De Laveaga for example, designed by Tom Schot, is part of over 1200 acre multiple use recreation area which today includes picnic areas, lighted softball fields, an 18-hole ball golf course, miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails, an archery and shooting range, all situated within the Santa Cruz city limits.
Prior to the installation of the disc golf course, the area of De Laveaga disc golf Course was used as an illegal dump. Tom Schot and the local disc golf community removed thousands of tons of trash and created what is today a beautiful, cared-for and trash free park, recognized as one of the premier disc golf courses in the world.
Bob Downing, Portland Parks & Recreation District Manager, had this to say about the benefits of disc golf in his district:
“The positive change in the park brought about by disc golf has made a lot of people happy – neighbors, police, golfers, local businessmen, and parks workers. The old adage that positive use will displace a negative use seems to be much in evidence at Pier Park.”
Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Vera Katz, found a recent disc golf tournament a positive addition to the Portland Community and Park System.
“As Mayor of Portland, I welcome any opportunity to support events that bring together members of our community in a positive and sustainable way. The NW Amateur disc golf Series is just such an opportunityâ€¦ On behalf of the citizens of Portland, I welcome you! We are proud to be the host for the 2004 Progress disc golf Tournament. I think you’ll find Pier Park to be one of the jewels of our Portland parks.”