Background

 

Mission

Spread my passion and enjoyment of disc golf. I believe in quality (not quantity) of courses.  I prefer quality courses over quantity and would turn down a propoal to design and build a course on the wrong property. I have a meticulous eye for design and a passionate desire to create unique, varied, and balanced courses which fully utilize the given terrain. These designs often result in unexpected twists, turns, and nuances not seen on other courses. These unique features, though seemingly odd at first, are what really hook players on the sport of disc golf and drive them to elevate their level of play.

Pushing the envelope of course design (and watching it bend), with challenging skill based designs, using professional design concepts, and incorporating natural features and terrain to their fullest to showcase the all the most beautiful elements of disc golf course properties. Watch it (your disc) bend, and sail through the "airways" I create in my unique, challenging, and fun designs!

 

About Me

Professional in disc golf course design, consultation, and construction. Over 10 years of professional experience, and over 16 years active involvement in the sport.  I am a career level licensed professional engineer (15 years), looking to expand my full time hobby of disc golf into my part time (some day full time) career. 

I have begun working as “Watch It Bend – Disc Golf Course Design”. This is a play on words, watching not only the disc “bend” as it travels through the “airways” I created, but also pushing the envelope in course design (and watching that envelope bend). I have played nearly 200 courses in 15 states, and contribute meaningful and often provoking and non-mainstream thought to discussions regarding the latest concepts in great disc golf course design.  Overall, 126 disc golf holes which I have been designed have been installed successfully.  I am proud to be a part of disc golf culture at the grassroots level, and actively involved in the development of new and improved courses.  I am passionately excited to engage communities in this growth spurt of new disc golf activites for their constituent recreational users.  

I am a versed senior course designer member of the professional Disc Golf Course Designers Group (DGCD) along with some of the most talented, innovative, groundbreaking, and dedicated designers in the country. Professional design group membership provides assurance and confidence in well thought out and vetted designs.  It nearly breaks my heart to see a prime piece of property under-utilized, haphazardly and unskillfully thrown together in a lackluster design without thought of skill based tee and target placement, or even worse designed in an unsafe manner. Disc golf course design is as much science as it is a work of art, evolving and changing even over the course of the scouting, layout and marking, and construction stages. Small and simple issues and items can play a vital and complex role in design. Shifting the orientation of a tee pad by as little as 5-10 degrees can drastically impact the intended design, as can shifting the front of the tee in any direction by as little as a foot! One tree, one low branch, one strategically placed bush may be vital to the intended design!  There are so many aspects involved and thought through during course design, that you owe it to yourself to consider a qualified and dedicated designer (at a fraction of a cost of say a landscape architect or ball-golf course designer), rather than the local disc golfer who may be vocal, active, and charismatic, but still unversed and under-developed in terms of executing a truly successful project that meets your needs and objectives.  A good designer will help you see and work through issues you may not have considered.  The "Free Local Joe" designer will over-promise, and likely under-deliver. 

 

Design Goals

 

My design philosophy involves scouting out a property for a period of time. Simply walking, exploring, and getting a good feel for the natural terrain and beauty. Problem spots are identified and avoided early. Interferences are minimized while maximizing use of natural beauty and showcasing unique natural beauties like vistas, rock outcroppings, water features, and unique or majestic trees. Tee boxes and/or greens are identified first based on setting, view, natural lanes/alleys, and then I design the hole backward or forward from these natural features and alleys, adjusting the ultimate pin location to maximize visual aesthetics as well as risk, and adjusting the tees based on natural shot shaping elements and player-skill based hole design. I attempt to create a layout of around 15-21 holes or so and fine tune from there for a typical 18-hole layout with two tees (typically Blue and Red level), a primary pin, and possibly an alternate pin. Flow to and from the starting point is a concern, however longer walks across “boring” terrain are not frowned upon in an effort to showcase all the natural beauty of the property and design a better hole. I primarily suggest designing for Blue level (PDGA advanced amateur thru average level Pro players) as it challenges most recreational players to the fullest, yet provides fun and mental challenge for these Blue level players. The main course design intended skill requirements for a Blue level player will vary per property, but I try and achieve excellent balance and variety of hole types while incorporating specific intended skillsets off the tees, a need for accuracy into the fairway due to punishing rough, and a use of risky and challenging greens so that putting is also a challenge (even if purely on a mental level). But in addition, Red level (PDGA beginning amateur level players) tees are vitally important in my design concepts and mission to introduce disc golf to more people and make it more mainstream. Red tees allow new players, friends, family, spouses, children, etc. to tag along and also have lots of fun without as much frustration (frustration can often be involved in my designs which emphasize accuracy and a variety of skills). If the land allows, I prefer to leave room within the layout and design to install longer and more difficult Gold (top level pros) tees as the course progresses and opens up (an option to be considered in the future). I also leave options for secondary (alternate) pin locations, but typically do not install these immediately as I feel the best use of these locations comes after the course has been played and analyzed. Then the alternate pin location can be used to require a completely different type of throw, showcase some more beautiful terrain, and/or add or remove length to create further variety and balance within the design. In my opinion, courses only get easier – trees die and are removed, undergrowth is kept at bay, erosion and unfortunately vandals widen fairways, etc. – so starting out with an overly difficult design is not frowned upon as long as skill based statistics show the design can be matched to probable player skill levels. [Given an unlimited budget on an amazingly scenic and naturally beautiful property, my designs would include two permanent baskets per hole, opposed to just an alternate basket location. With two permanent tees and two permanent baskets, this would fill a range of PDGA skill based designs from Red to White to Blue to Gold and allow essentially 4 different combinations of courses to be played from tee to pin. At the cost of $450 extra for another permanent basket, $8100 more per 18-hole course is an excellent investment in my opinion.]

 

Project Execution

 

My professional experience is as a senior level career engineer having worked as a Design Engineer, Maintenance Engineer, Project Engineer/Manager, and Environmental Engineer. My portfolio of projects ranges from small remediation and replacements of failed equipment, programmatic and process improvements initiative for organizations, to $14M substation and transmission projects. I have a strong background in project engineering and construction management associated with electric utility projects. This professional background coupled with my disc golf passion, is why my projects are driven toward successful completion in an efficient manner, yielding creative and challenging courses.

 

 

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