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Is Your Location Suitable For Disc Golf?


There are a few criteria for establishing the suitability of a location for a disc golf course. The first is the physical space itself. Ideally, it will have most or all of the following:

  1. Be within a community or close to a population centre

  2. Be adjacent or very close to a school

  3. Be easily accessible, with good parking

  4. Have between 3 and 20 hectares of available space

  5. Have public toilets and drinking water available

  6. Have a variety of mature trees with wooded and open areas

  7. Have some variation in elevation

  8. Be recognised as not used sufficiently by the local community

  9. Have well-tended surroundings, ideally with close-cut grass

  10. Great views

Suitable Location For Disc Golf
Cardrona Disc Crew.jpg

Conversely, there are things a potential disc golf course should NOT have, and which would tend to indicate that it is not a suitable location:

  1. Steep terrain

  2. Lack of trees and shade

  3. Long grass

  4. Stock use the area

  5. Difficult access

  6. No drinking water or toilet facilities

  7. Uneven ground

  8. Distance from playing population


Using Google Earth, we’re able to very rapidly get a decent idea if an area is worthy of a visit or not. Then we need to make a decision about what type of course it is going to be; a Community Course or a Destination Course.

Community Courses

Are usually installed in parks in residential neighbourhoods, and often will be associated with a school and/or playing fields. These may be smaller spaces, down to as few as three hectares (300-metres by 100-metres) and often they’ll be somewhat neglected, and used only for transit purposes and by the odd dog walker.

Parks which have playing fields in them are already designated by local councils as sports fields, and so getting a disc golf course installed is usually very straightforward, as no re-designation needs to take place.

Interestingly, in Wanaka, the Queenstown Lakes District Council has designated disc golf as a passive activity, and therefore it can be installed in parks where a sports designation has not been made.


Community courses will sometimes consist of nine holes due to constraints in the space or funding available. But it is our view nine good holes are always superior to a larger number of lesser holes, and some of our favourite courses have fewer than 18 baskets.


We anticipate the majority of players at community courses will be local children and families who discover the game soon after the course is installed. Disc golfers from around the region will travel frequently to play the course.

Community courses, especially if they are the first in a region should always feature the fun aspects of disc golf, and purposely avoid designs that tend to lose discs or discourage players.

Destination Courses

These are courses that do not border residential housing and generally do not have an associated community of local residents. It may or may not be a public space, and even though it may not tick all the boxes for a community course, it may still become a viable and busy disc golf course depending on how it is designed.

Destination disc golf around the world often offers something extra to players; perhaps superb views, such as those found at our recently developed course in Tekapo. Or tremendously long holes on challenging slopes as found at the RPM-designed Bethel’s Beach in Auckland. Or be built on a ball golf course, such as at Inglewood and Berhampore in the North Island.

Destination courses also include those on private property and are sometimes made available to the public, usually on a pay-to-play basis, and purely at the convenience of the owner.

As with all course design, we take great care to design courses appropriate to the space and the intended target market, and if a highly challenging and difficult course is required, Vortica will deliver.

Talk to Chris today, on 0210 69 58 69


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