Capital Area Disc Golf League is a group of disc golf enthusiasts based in Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and surrounding cities in North Carolina.
We host Summer Doubles (First Thursday in May until last Thursday in August (5:30 pm Registration), Saturday Singles in the Fall and Winter (9:00 am Registration), The North Carolina Flying Discs Championship, The Downtown Urban Open (DUO), The Great 8, and the yearly Ice Bowl.
Disc Golf (often erroneously referred to as frisbee golf) is a flying disc game, as well as a precision and accuracy sport, in which individual players throw a flying disc at a target. According to Paul Ince of the Professional Disc Golf Association, “the object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc.” In just eight years (2000–08), the number of disc golf courses doubled and it continues to increase. The game is played all across the US and in about 40 countries around the world.
While the roots of the game are very casual and laid back, the newer generations of players are taking course design as well as the other elements of the game to a new level. Though early on targets were trees or fence posts in the woods, now courses are being cut out and under-utilized parts of parks, schools, and private land are being used to make some of the most challenging and strategic courses around. All courses share the same basic elements: targets, tee pads, signage, topography, and most important, safety.
The first incarnation of targets was known as tonal poles because of the sound they made when hit. These consisted of a metal pipe placed on a smaller pipe that, when struck with the disc, made a gong type sound. While these were much more accurate than a tree, arguments and disagreements led to the invention of the Disc Pole Hole by Ed Headrick in 1975. The basket, as it is known in most circles, is now the standard for disc golf courses.
The tee pad is where a player begins the hole. Solid pads are a must for any successful course, and where early courses had plain dirt pads, modern courses use concrete or more cost-effective materials such as mulch, decomposed granite, or other natural materials. In recent years recycled rubber mats have been developed and are starting to catch on. While many alternatives have been created, concrete is the standard.
Signage is critical to any good course. Knowing distances, par count, boundary lines, and layout for each hole will give a player the information he needs to make a great shot. Many courses have a main layout sign at the beginning of the course to show details of the course as a whole, as well as any needed information about the course. Hole signs give specific details about the hole the player is on, such as mandatory paths, boundary lines, and length. Not only are hole information signs critical, but way-finding signs and informational signs can make a good course great, and the absence of these can make a good course bad.
What makes disc golf unique is the utilization of natural elements, using trees and shrubs as obstacles and elevation changes to make the course challenging. Keeping the raw and environmentally conscious elements give each course its own personality and strategy. You can find courses in many parks, with trees, creeks, gorges, tall grass, ponds, and many other obstacles found in state and local parks to make the course more challenging to play.
Safety is one of the most important elements of course design and actual play because most courses are in public parks: non-players are routinely found in the course environment. Paramount to the planning of a quality course is the detailing and minimizing possible points of interaction with non-players.
Because of all of these elements and the importance of each one to the success of a course, seeking out a qualified, experienced course designer will help to ensure that all of these factors are kept at the forefront. Discs can travel fast and can cause serious injury if they hit a player. This is when it is most crucial to call “fore!” to let others who cannot see you know that you are ready to throw or that the disc is heading their way. This helps to prevent injuries by communicating to others on the park to be aware of discs flying toward them. [more…]