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Both Martin and Chris have been in the game a long time. Chris since late 1988, and Martin from 1994. We are the South Island’s most prolific and capable course designers and design team, having been involved in many of the disc golf courses in the South Island, and we have created numerous highly-regarded NZDG Tour course designs over many years. Here are our installed courses.


We’ve come to understand what the winning formula is for disc golf to flourish in a region due to each of us living in a centre where we have seen disc golf grow massively as a result of the correct location and design of courses, on appropriate public land.

We know how to design a course to ensure the safety of the public – which is our number one design priority, followed directly by player safety. 

Easy access for all ages is key to unlocking the multi-generational enjoyment of disc golf, while still providing sufficient challenges to all levels of player.

New players shouldn’t lose discs on a Vortica designed Community Course (See below), unless it’s up a tree. Vortica designs avoid putting unskilled players in nasty situations, and our designs keep discs (and people!) out of ponds, swamps, wetlands, formal flowerbeds, and the like.

Vortica Disc Golf Course Design Principles 

Martin and Chris have strong views on course design, and in creating courses appropriate to their environment, their time, and their purpose. Beginner and intermediate level courses, with plenty of challenges for all levels of player are what we aim for, and we do this without forcing players to risk losing discs if it’s their first time playing.

We believe each hole design must offer a new challenge, and present different challenges to different levels of player ability. We design with appropriate levels of risk and reward for each basket – sometimes promoting conservative play,

and sometimes not.

Why do you need a great course designer?

More specifically, Vortica?
It’s true anyone can install a teepad, and dig a hole in the ground for a basket receiver. But without the 65+ years of experience we have in disc golf it’s unlikely you’ll get the best course you possibly could.


And, even though the capital expenditure of a new disc golf course is small compared to a tennis or basketball court, it’s correct and proper to ensure it is done right, and done right quick!


Without the set of unified design guidelines we use, and without our extensive studies, and without our critical eye, an amateur designer will always commit elementary design mistakes.


Good course design has many critical aspects. Crucially, courses must become popular places to play disc golf! Low-quality course design effectively prevents that.


We use our own Proprietary Development System

We use a sophisticated in-house, Vortica-developed system to ensure our designs meet all our client’s instructions, and also meet our own very strict design guidelines successfully. It took us several years to refine to the point we’re at today.


Our semi-secret system allows us to refine a course design so that it is fair for all players, and luck is seldom a factor in the scorecard.


It also results in designs which force players to develop a fully rounded game.


It’s our reputation on the line. Every Time!

We’re well aware of how critical disc golfers can be, because we are those disc golfers. And so we are our own harshest critics, and we know when we design a course, it’s always our name which will be associated with it.


This alone is sufficient incentive (even if our mad passion for disc golf wasn’t enough) to do the best job possible. Because we want to do it again and again, many times in the coming years.


On top of this, we want to showcase your property or parkland with our top-flight professional design for your up-and-coming amateur disc golfers. We work our butts off in your park-like surroundings, because to do any less would be unthinkable.


Championship-style Course Design

At this stage in New Zealand’s disc golfing history it’s important that courses not be too challenging, too difficult, too

disc-losing, or too strenuous to play. Until there is a sufficient player base to justify the installation of championship-level courses, such things are best avoided, as they are more likely to damage the game locally, than promote it.


Course design needs to be sympathetic with the area devoted to it, and the local playing population, and it is important the first course in an area is not a “Destination Course”.

A Destination Course is where no homes or neighbourhoods border onto, or are adjacent to the course, and no school is nearby such that children will naturally be walking through it before and after school, and with few natural users of the space. People have to drive, or ride to a Destination Course, and wouldn’t go there ordinarily.


Disc golf can bring communities together

At any Community Course designed by Vortica within a residential area, we expect the majority of players to live within a kilometre or two of the course, and large numbers of locals are expected to take up the game in some way.


We ensure our designs achieve these expectations through our experience and our hard-working and serious approach to course design. 


Disc golf enlivens a park

Disc golf takes marginal spaces and gives them a new life, with massive increases in visitors and park usage. Disc golf causes people to actively engage with a park’s physical nature; the air, the grass, the ground, the trees, and sometimes water – and to appreciate their surroundings.


A Vortica - designed and installed course ensures this takes place by giving the disc golfer an opportunity to shine, and also to punish them for their mistakes. A good score at one of our courses is never a matter of good luck.


Course Design drives sporting prowess

Courses need to force players to perform shots they wouldn’t choose to make themselves. Vortica prides itself on creating courses and hole designs which challenge all aspects of a player’s game and asks them to play all kinds of shots in order to be successful and advance their skill level.


Vortica courses favour neither left-handers nor right-handers, but rather the player who can play all types of shots.


Turn-Key Solutions

Vortica is able to consult with you, take your brief, design your course, go through the approval process, and install it promptly. We leave nothing behind except high-quality hardware and wholesome fun for all ages.


Easy Approval Process

Our extensive experience allows us to thoroughly defend all our design

decisions during the walk-around of the proposed course. We will usually

perform this 1-2 hour process with a local council representative,

an arborist, a parks person, and other stakeholders.


If there were unknown issues not presented prior to our initial design

, we take this opportunity to refine the design to accommodate them.


Your Vortica Course Design

Together, we’ll take your design brief and work within it to achieve the

best possible outcome for you and your playing population. We won’t

leave a single stone unturned in our quest to deliver you the most

interesting, most challenging, most fun course design your location

can yield.


Designs which will stand the test of time, and be valued highly for

their replayability.

Is your proposed location suitable for disc golf?

There are times when we are forced to say no to a prospective client. Some land is not suitable or would take a long time to develop into a suitable area. Disc golf thrives in park-like settings where there are a mixture of obstacles and terrain to take advantage of. See our detailed page on the subject here. 


What’s necessary to develop a disc golf course in a community park?

Only the will to have one, and the funding for it. Typically, we do not ask to have any trees removed for the installation of a course, although we may consult with your arborist to determine if strategic pruning may be employed to enhance some hole designs.


After installation, there may be periodic maintenance of fairways if holes have been designed so that they close up over time. Trees have a habit of becoming much larger, and this means a course evolves as a park matures.


Vortica takes pride in creating designs which won’t be ruined in just a few short years by the growth of existing flora. This keeps maintenance costs down, and our original design intact.

Vortica is 100% aligned with New Zealand Disc Golf’s vision

For five years, ending in 2021, Martin was the Tour Manager for NZDG. From 2020 to 2022, Chris served as the Communications Director at NZDG.

Vortica shares the same vision as NZDG, and is closely aligned with its goals and policies: to increase participation in disc golf at every level, but most especially within communities and this is achieved by creating appropriate designs which encourage and reward participation.

Grandson and Grandfather playing disc golf at Queenspark Reserve Disc Golf Course
Call us today! Martin on 027 226 5343 or Chris on 021 069 5869
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