Things to consider when building a disc golf course

Aug 26, 2013
Kiwanians survey disc golf course

The September 2013 Kiwanis magazine published a feature ("It's Like Golf ... With Baskets") about a Kiwanis-built disc golf course that attracts amateurs and professional players to Morristown, Tennessee. Veteran designer H.B. Clark, who laid out the course for the Kiwanians — along with more than five dozen other courses across the United States — offers his top five things to think about when considering construction of a disc golf venue:

Land availability: How much and what type of land will be used for course development? Will the course be wooded, is it in a flood plane or are there wetlands issues? In terms of the infrastructure (roads, parking, restrooms), are those items already in place, or will they also need to be built?

Audience planned for the course: Will the course be recreational in nature or championship level? Community courses, like the Kiwanis course in Morristown, Tennessee, are generally 18 holes and are capable of hosting large events.

Ongoing maintenance: Who will be responsible for maintaining the grounds or handling issues related to vandalism? Are there liability or safety issues?

Budget: Every disc golf course must first start with design and construction plans. A detailed budget will help determine whether the course will be 9 or 18 holes. Are there funding options available such grants, hole sponsorships or volunteer labor?

Hire a qualified designer: A full-time designer can commit the time needed until the project is complete. Make sure your designer has disc golf experience and a background related to the business, whether it be engineering or construction. It’s a must that your designer has liability insurance.

As a first step to any planned construction, Clark recommends bringing in an expert to conduct a land feasibility review, provide budget estimates and speak to local organizers or leaders who may be key in getting the project off the ground.