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Ammon gets discin'!

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Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Ammon gets discin'! Reply with quote

Announcing a new concept in disc golf. Play, then ride your bike or walk or run, then play some more.

A nine-hole, recreation skill level course has been installed in McCowin Park on Midway Street in Ammon. (Sunnyside, past Hillcrest HS, about a quarter mile, then left on Midway, 1/2 mile to McCowin Park) The baskets and signs are in. Concrete tee pads and a few landscaped elements (a crater, a couple berms, a bunker or two) will be installed in the spring. Park between the tennis courts and the pool. First tee is just to the south of that lot. For all you big arms, leave your drivers in your bag and take an approach disc and a putter and practice your short game skills.

Just a mile away, in Peterson Park, at the end of Samuels Street (1/2 block north of Sunnyside and Ammon Road 4-way stop), there's a new MicroCourse. This has three Discatchers, Red, White, and Blue, and three tees from which you can play nine different combinations. Some shots are blind, some are risky for rollaways. A good test of your accuracy and finesse.

Another MicroCourse was finished yesterday at Hillcrest High School. This one has Red, White, and Black Discatchers, and it's in the flood control basin to the southwest side of the campus. Enter through the pass gate above the softball field and walk to the south on top of the hill to get to the first tee. This course has playing distances from 95 to 340 feet. The hillsides of the basin introduce some interesting putting situations. In the spring there will be some landscaping and tee planting to introduce some risk and reward elements.

A third MicroCourse will be installed in Spring 2009 at another small park in Ammon. The three Micro's and the McCowin Park course will then be linked by marked and signed bike paths, so you can play 18 (or more) and get some exercise at the same time. The likely distance for the loop will be around 3.5 miles.

Thanks to the City of Ammon and Hillcrest HS for bringing disc golf to their community.
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, ones a really short 9 hole course and then there are 3 3-hole courses within like 2 miles?

I dont get it.
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Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 348
Location: Poky

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:03 pm    Post subject: This sounds awesome Reply with quote

Mook - that 's what it sounds like.

I think this sounds like a great idea - I'm inclined to strap a bike to the roof rack and head to Ammon to try this out. Get in some disc golf and also a bit of additional exercise. Better than a bike, it'd be easy to take a roc (or a buzz, for all you discrafters), play a course, then run to the next course. It sounds like this would be a perfect candidate for some kind of biathalon - where you play golf for low score and try to complete X number of holes in the shortest amount of time. Then, add golf score and time and lowest total wins. It's an idea....

I could see where a configuration like this promotes both the sport and exercise. I think it's great!

Way to think outside the box!

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Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: More on Ammon. Reply with quote

mook wrote:
So, ones a really short 9 hole course and then there are 3 3-hole courses within like 2 miles?

I dont get it.

I thought it was pretty well explained. The city of Ammon wanted disc golf. They don't currently have the parkland to support 18-holes, nor anything longer or more complex than a true recreational level course. So, we gave them:
9 holes (Recreational skill level, call it short if you want) in McCowin Park.
3 holes in Peterson Park
3 holes at Hillcrest HS.
3 holes to be installed in the spring at a third location.

Once all are in, there will be a striped bike lane and signs to get you from one to the next to the next. Approximate 3.5 mile loop. The 3-hole MicroCourses can stand alone as 9-hole challenges by playing each basket from each tee.

The thought is to: 1) introduce disc golf to the Ammon area; 2) take some recreational pressure off of Freeman Park; 3) integrate other recreation with disc golf (bike, walk, run).

Also, the schools in the Ammon area (Hillcrest, Sandhill Jr. High, and three elementary schools) will be starting to teach disc golf as part of the PE curriculum, through EDGE. There's already talk about a home to home disc golf league between Hillcrest (playing at Freeman) and Soda Springs. Other schools are discussing this opportunity too.
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, can we abreviate this from bike and disc golf to bfrolf or disc gafiking?
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Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went out to look at the McCowin Park course today. I didn't look at the "micro-courses." The idea of playing a micro course has the same appeal as wearing a micro brief to me. This is Idaho- if anything we have empty spaces. A more developed/urban area would need micro courses.

Respect to Jon for all that he does and I am a small pissant in the DG universe, but I had to laugh and cry when I saw the McCowin Park set up. I went in with the idea that it would be a rec course, like Ross, Blackfoot, Stebbins are rec courses. McCowin is to DG like miniature golf is to ball golf. When you get to the park, you see 3-4 of the 9 holes all clustered in the center of a small part of the park. There is a 333' hole, but everything else is about 200' or less. I laughed because it was weird to see a bunch of brand new baskets clustered together like giant yellow mushrooms.

I wonder if Jon was under some type of area restriction, because McCowin park is pretty big. I cried because some nice signs and brand new baskets were all jammed into a tiny little space that I wouldn't even drive across town (and I'm as big a DG junkie as they get) to play again. All this investment by the city and I suspect the course will appeal to a very narrow range of golfers and they will quickly outgrow the course.

McCowin Park seems to have a ton of potential. Before the tee pads are poured, it would be great if they would consider a different layout. I look at what Shelly did with North Bingham County Park as a great example that of what can be done. Lots of 250'-280' foot holes, a couple longer layouts and presto, a course that has broad appeal.

Maybe I am spoiled living so close to Freeman and I support the idea of growing golf, but don't take your buzz/roc to McCowin. Take a putter and a teebird (for hole 3 only) or better yet, unless this is the first time you have every played and just got a new Frisbee with your happy meal, go to Freeman. I have never had to wait to get on @ Freeman (I don't know what "pressure" exists there). If this was an "EDGE" course at an elementary school, then o.k., I get it, but it is in an everloving PUBLIC park with lots of space, most of it wasted.

Jon, I love the Soda course and I have a good time at Blackfoot and even @ Stebbins, but I will not be visiting McCowin again with it's current layout.

This is the longest post I have ever made. And for what it is worth, a poll on this forum voted that I am condemned to hell.

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Joined: 02 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Explaining McCowin...not that i should have to. Reply with quote

While I respect your right to an opinion, Kerry (and everyone else that will chime in on this), you don't know what the master plan for the park is. While it looks like there is a lot of space there now, within five years there will be a larger swimming pool, a senior citizens center, a realignment of the athletic fields, yada yada yada. I was specifically asked by the client (City of Ammon) to design a short, beginner friendly course in that corner of the park. If you will read my initial post, there will be several major landscaping features built in the spring that will 'trick up' some of the holes. Berms, bunkers, a crater (hole 6 at Blackfoot), raised tees, and at least one raised green.

As to 'pressure on Freeman,' you've been lucky not to have to follow a group of a dozen or more teens playing date golf with promotional frisbees, clueless as to courtesy or what the game's about. We will be promoting McCowin as a place for those groups to go.

I also stated in the first post that big arms should leave their drivers in the car and play with a midrange and putter. Or better yet, if the course isnt to your liking...stay away.

One thing I've learned while designing and buliding courses is that the client get to choose what kind of course they want...and then you work with them to make sure it's safe, fun for the intended audience, and economical. As to North Bingham Park, that course is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Two holes play very near an unguarded playground (one throws right at the thing), several holes have tees in line with the fairways of previous holes, and two holes play across roads or parking lots. But the two Eagle Scout candidates that did the thing convinced the county that they were experts and wouldnt take advice from anyone. C'est la vie.

When the McCowin course is completed in the spring, it will be a good, safe, challenging course for young and beginning players. It was never intended to be a tournament course, a course for advanced players, nor to satisfy everyone that hucks a disc in southeast Idaho.

Since you've not seen the Peterson Park MicroCourse, I won't try to convince you to give it a shot. But for those less jaded and more open to something new, there are several challenges there that you might like to try. The portion of the park used is quite hilly and there are some interesting problems awaiting.

As big as the city land area is, Ammon is NOT rife with large park areas. It is primarily farm land with no trees or terrain. The Parks Director specifically wanted the citizens of the city to get to experience disc golf, within the current park system. He's also building bocce courts, a croquet lawn, and other less traditional recreation opportunites. If significant park land opens up, he is committed to building a quality 18 hole disc golf course, but that is several years off.

Why I feel I have to defend this project, I don't know. But there you go. I'll not discuss it further. Play it if you want, stay away if you want.
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon, I am just concerned why the disc golf community in the area can't have 2 cents in on the course design before you install them. I just fear that these courses have far better quantity than they do quality. I believe in EDGE. I think it will build a great future for disc golf to embed it into the school system. Where I get concerned is when its more than the school's funds that are used. Then you're effecting the community and why can't we, the community, have a say on what kind of course we want? Why can't we even know beforehand that you are designing and installing a course? Maybe this isn't your intention, but it feels like to me that you are setting us, the disc golfers, aside.

I have been on both sides of the issue. The player and the designer. Ross Park was played many times before installation, and changes were made multiple times to my original design. Now, on a clear day, the entire course is full of golfers. Lava Hot Springs courses are being installed this weekend. I didn't come out and say, "Here's your disc golf course!". I allowed almost 30 disc golfers to come and play it. Due to that fact, there was a hole removed and many other changes made that will make them far better courses. We can't just stick baskets up on any piece of grass or dirt sitting on the side of the road.

I don't mean to be rude and I don't stand alone on this. Thank you for your disc golf enthusiasm. I am not asking you to stop installing courses. We just want a say. I am really concerned. This is not the only course you installed that we have felt this way about.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This message was deleted and handled privately. Well, semi-privately.

Last edited by mook on Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 258
Location: Pocatello ID

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!!! And people on here were telling me my posts were bad for the club........ Twisted Evil HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

I do think this is funny! Sorry but after I have read that I cant belive all the politics in "The Disc Golf Area"! I though it was just a game... Oh and Brandon does a great job on all the tornys and events he has put together. I will be sad If you go Brandon, because I belive no one will step up to the plate to take over.
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Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 746
Location: Pokytella

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: wow too Reply with quote

well, I'm glad I got to read that thread before it went away.

crazy stuff.

My summary:


Jon does good stuff for the PDGA and EDGE. Installing courses involves working with a lot of entities whose interests and goals do not always match. Budgets, land and time are limited things and fought over tooth and nail. I'm sure these projects cost Jon money, all things considered. Jon is passionate about the sport and a force to be reckoned with in the PDGA.

Brandon runs great tournaments, at a loss, and is the dirving force behind an awesome local disc golf community. His tournaments are well run and promoted in a fair way.
No one else wants his job because no one could do it better (or at all the same)

Blake wrote a funny response

there are some misunderstandings and disagreements about disc coursres, setup tournaments and finances. BUT we all throw the same discs at a bunch of chains for fun. I can't understnad why there wasn't any mention of this project earlier. the club has considerable resouces and has been very successful in getting good courses up and running so far.

I will withhold judgement on the ammon project for now, maybe forever if I was diplomatic.
I have long thought about putting a basket in each of 9 small parks and setting up a "course" that you had to bike/run between holes and make a day of it. the baskets would be great practice for those who live nearby.
Freckleton park by the rec center has the sweetest hole possibility (2 actually) and I wouldn't mind having a basket 50 feet from my lunch spot. It will never happen, but the idea is valid for a traveling course.

There are now more baskets permanantly in place in Idaho. Yeah. If it was truly a terrible idea I'm sure Jon would have had the compass to say "Ammon, thanks but this is not going to work. let's consider..."

My suggestion for moving forward on the ammon stuff is simple enough. if the course is too easy/short for you make it harder. Scott Wardian made up Ross Park Black, Kerry plays Freeman Gold. Add you own mandos, OB, throw all rollers. throw all tomahawk. learn to forehand approach (Or backhand if you are me).

I haven't seen it but I cannot imagine a course bad enough that I wouldn't play it if it was convenient to the area I was in and I had time to spare. I'm a big fan of micro briefs.
Can I get better and have fun at this course? If the answer is yes than I am in.

When Ross park was going in I got really frustrated with the process at times. No one was ever totally happy, a few people thought it was awful. Some people even still complain about portable baskets. but as has been pointed out: it is constantly full, holds great tournaments and has grown the sport tremendously in poky. Time will tell with Ammon.

Jon and I still have our own misunderstadings about EDGE in my program, but I can sympathize with him as the coordiantor for this. it sucks when you try your best and it isn't good enough.

If you are still reading this you either really care about disc or do not want to get back to work.
Look at the size of that pill, I can't swallow that.
Good news everybody! it's a suppository.
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 148
Location: Spokane Valley, WA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I read through everyone's response and this is an interesting topic. If I lived in Ammon, and thank God I don't Laughing , I would love to live near one of those parks. I love the idea of a disc golfing-exercising loop, even if it does cater to beginner players. To be able to go out and play any combination of the holes at one park (and with only 1 or 2 discs) then be able to run to another park and do it again and again and be able to play disc golf and get in a jog, or a long walk, or an easy bike ride would be great. That would strike a great balance for my wife and I since I am always trying to get her to play more disc golf and she is always trying to get me to run more. What a great compromise Very Happy I like it. I think this is a good discussion from everyone since everyone is maintaining civility and stating their opinion in a constructive manner whether they like it or not. I like the idea and brought it up on the North Idaho Recreators Disc Golf Club forum to see what others thought, with a link to this topic. A very interesting idea. Don't forget courses that target beginners are just as important to the sport as those that target experienced players. I do understand the thoughts of others wanting to be kept in the loop to lend a hand to make a great course. That is what we did with Cherry Hill in CDA, we made the best course we could with the land we had because we got all the opinions that we could. Those who couldn't preview the course and form an opinion when it counted didn't help the process and are now the ones complaining about it.
PDGA # 28786
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