Friday, May 30, 2014

Kaposia Park Disc Golf Course Signage – South St. Paul, MN

This is one of those posts where I complain about something I’m passionate about. Some people don’t like it when I post negative things here, but this is my outlet and that is why Al Gore invented the internet (yes, I know that isn’t true). Be offended if you want. I’m not hiding behind anything by writing this. If I knew who to talk to, I’d talk directly to them. This is just a heads up to anyone designing future disc golf courses around the world.

I’ve been playing disc golf for 20-ish years now, so I’ve seen a lot of courses. This also means I’ve seen a lot of basket styles, tee pad styles, course amenities, pay-to-play courses, as well as public and many private courses. I don’t mind pay-to-play courses, especially when you can actually SEE the results of that money going into the course. The Twin City area has a handful of pay-to-play courses and you can really see the results in the upkeep, maintenance, landscaping, and improvements on the courses. I LOVE this area’s disc golf community. Especially since the Twin Cities is hosting the Amateur World Championships this year at some of the area’s best courses.

Kaposia Park is one of the longest running courses in the area and has a history of being a top notch course, in both challenge and appearance. To prepare for a host of upcoming national-level tournaments, Kaposia (with some members of the Minnesota Frisbee Association and the South St. Paul Parks Department) has done a lot of work on the course. Fixed some baskets, cleaned up some tee pads, trimmed some foliage appropriately, and put in some brand new tee signs. Sadly the tee signs are what have brought about my displeasure this particular day.

Here’s what the new tee signs have going for them:
  • Distance from both tee pads – Check – extremely helpful and important on a sign
  • Elevation Change – Check – not necessary, but helpful to top-level pros and impressive in some cases
  • Quirky individual hole “name” – Check – not necessary, but amusing and nostalgic and interesting
  • Flight path of the disc – Check – not necessary, but it can be helpful to know where the majority of people will throw their shots and where obstacle, out-of-bounds, streams, and trees are
  • Pointer to the next tee – Check – again, not necessary, but VERY helpful in walking the course for the first time
  • Compass/North Arrow - Check - really not necessary, except in a zombie apocalypse when I will be lost in the woods with my discs
What’s the one thing that’s an absolute MUST for a tee sign and the reason tee signs were created, especially for a course with parallel fairways and close groupings of tee pads??????

THE HOLE NUMBER

If I had never played this course before, I’d be extremely upset that I couldn’t tell if I was on hole 1 or hole 3. Or if I was on hole 2 or hole 18. Or if I was on hole 11 or hole 14. Or where to go after hole 16.

Yes, these signs look really fabulous and are high quality. I understand someone or some group took a lot of time to design and make them look nice, but tee signs are for people who haven’t played your course before and so people don’t get lost. It’s a really simple thing to do, and probably easy to forget if you’ve played that course a hundred times. The hole number is an absolute requirement on a tee sign.

Having run many tournaments, big and small, and designed many courses, public and private, one thing you always hear people say is “If you can think of that scenario happening, it WILL happen at some point.” If you think people could possibly get lost during your tournament because your holes aren’t numbered and then have to penalize them for playing the course out of order, then it WILL happen. For that matter, during a tournament (filled with non-Twin City players), how will you send people out to Hole #14 if there is no indication as to which hole is #14??? 

Sorry to go off like this, but it’s really frustrating to see high-quality work go into something and then the most important detail (not even a detail really – it’s the overriding reason to even HAVE a tee sign) has been overlooked and not included. I’ll repeat: the new tee signs look fantastic! There’s just a glaring mistake on all of them.

Again, I realize no one cares about my rant, and I’m fine with that. I just needed to get it off my chest.

Rant over.

Now, I’ll be straight up honest with you and tell you that Kaposia Park also has some of the most hilarious and creative graffiti I’ve ever seen. It’s things like this that absolutely crack me up when I see it and make me relax during the round. Despite it being vandalism, it’s (at the very minimum) hilarious. Thankfully, there’s a huge lack of racist comments, pot leaves, mushroom drawings, and proclamations of love. All of those things aren’t welcome anywhere. But hilarious comments? I can get behind that. Here are two examples.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy Cartographer those are detailed.

Luckily it's just a trip to the hardware store for 43 mailbox numbers:

1 x13
2 x10
3,4,5,6 x3
7,8,9,0 x2

-Wes