Disc Golf Course Design is many things... an artform... a puzzle... a technical challenge... a balancing act... but it's also a hundred more things! While a good disc golf course will be fun to play, show off the most beautiful natural features of the land, and have a great flow, a great course will do all of those things as well as think about things like safety, maintenance, sustainability, throughput, flora lifecycles, seasonal light, drainage, tournament play, business cases, and the list goes on and on.
Course design is so much more than simply finding nice lines, it is a meticulous craft that requires a knowledge and understanding of the balanced needs of the sport, the land, and the people responsible for it's upkeep. Only a professional disc golf course designer has this skillset!
At Fluent Disc Sport, we ask ourselves 3 questions every time we design a course that help us ensure your solution meets and exceeds all of these needs...
Safety is our baseline, if your course isn't safe to play, nothing else matters! Understanding spray patterns, flight characteristics, tee pad construction, traffic wear points, etc. all play a role in designing a safe course and minimizing your liability. While players may be exposed to some of the repurcussions of these choices, they don't always understand the root causes or how to avoid them at the design stage, which is why using a professional designer is so important.
Land speaks, but you need to know what to listen for. Our process always begins with scouting the property and identifying the most inspiring views, the most impressive flora, and the most unique land features that call to us. Some are obvious, some take a lot of imagination, but our job is to see the big picture and have the vision to tie it all together in a way that makes every hole something unique and awe inspiring.
Fun holes are a balance between challenge and fairness. A fun course has to balance so much more... left and right bias, tunnels and open shots, a wide variety of shot types, the right mix of hole lengths, and more, and it needs to do all of this for each skill level. A well balanced course ensures that every player can continue to grow their game, but always find something to love!
"Long Track" disc golf courses come in three levels: Recreational, Tournament, and Championship, each getting successivly larger with corresponding improvements to the overall presentation and amenities.
No matter the level, each is capable of catering to a wide variety of player experience levels through the installation of multiple tee positions. Similar to traditional golf, disc golf breaks difficulty down into rated divisions of players, and corresponding coloured tees; Red for novices, White for intermediate, Blue for advanced, and Gold for professionals. This means that even the largest courses are still approachable and playable by the broadest audience!
Where they differ most is on the finishing touches and attention to detail, and thus the higher the level of course, the more opportunity to draw a more discerning player, particularly ones that are willing to pay to play.
Long track courses require roughly 1 to 2 acre per hole for Recreational courses and upwards of 2-4 acres per hole on average for a Championship level course. The more space available, the more opportunity there is to design a mix of par 3, 4 and even 5’s while ensuring enough space for safety. There is no one size fits all, as factors like the density of your bush, the topography, routing of the holes, etc. will all have an impact on how much land is required, but we can help you identify what size of course is appropriate for your available space!
Limited property sizes don't need to stand in the way of your course. In fact, they can inspire some of the most creative holes. "Short Track" Disc Golf Courses represent smaller courses and come in a few varieties: Compact Disc Golf Courses, Putter / Par 2 Disc Golf Courses, and Skills Development Courses. These formats also work very well for Events and Temporary Courses!
Each type has its own focus and play style, and can act as a stand-alone course, or be installed alongside Long Track courses for practice and skills training, or to introduce new players to Disc Golf. Shorter courses allow us to introduce challenge and fun through more creative means like water features and islands without the water, hanging targets, artistic obstacles, and more, to help provide a unique, exciting and memorable experience!
Because these courses have a smaller footprint, and require shorter throws, they're able to be installed in closer proximity to other attractions or amenities while still maintaining safe buffers. While Skills Development courses can generally be installed anywhere, including small parkettes, Par 2 / Putter, and Micro Courses can be designed into spaces under 10 acres and in some cases as little as 1-2 acres.
It's exciting seeing what a property has to offer during the first scouting, but the real excitement starts when you begin to see it take shape. The build phase for a project is where we take the vision in the design and bring it to life. Whether Fluent is providing you build services, or you prefer to do the work yourself, our team is involved at every step to make sure that you get exactly what we promised, and that your players get the best possible experience!
Course Design + Build
Short Track Courses
Putter / Par 2 Courses
Temporary / Event Courses
Long Track Courses
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