Beware of Children on the fairways!

Fulton County - Alpharetta, Ga

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Beware of Children on the fairways!

Postby Lewis » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:32 pm

I played a quick round today on my lunch break, and although the disc golf course has moved to accomodate other park-goers, the pedestrians are still moving in and loitering on the fairways. Two places in particular stood out to me today. On 18 there was a family of about 6 who were picnicking on hole 18 right in the middle of the fairway by the creek. I gave them an unpleasant look as I played around them, but bit my tongue because I figured it wouldn't do any good to open my mouth out of frustration. Then on #4 (I started on #6), right at the end of my round, there were children running around on the fairway. They ran off after a moment and I though I was clear to make my drive. I threw my Stalker right up along the creek and it kicked off the bank into the water about basket-high. As I approached, I was surprised to find a bunch of children playing in the creek, and my disc by the basket. One of their moms was with them, so I told them there was a disc golf course right there, and they didn't want to get hit by one of the discs. I suggested that players would probably call out when they were teeing off, but damn, those kids were hidden behind the shrubbery and the high bank on the near side, and their moms were totally oblivious to the danger. If I had known they were there, I could have played a "safer" shot to the left of the basket, but I didn't even realize they were there.

I would love to ask the course designer (Keith) to consider moving the #4 basket away from the creek. With the playground right there on the opposite bank, there's no way we're going to be able to ask the kids from playing in the creek this summer, and that's a great place to get hit with a disc.

In addition, I wonder if the city would be willing to post signs (or let the Wills Dogs to post signs) by the playground at #4, by the pavilion at #18, and anywhere else pedestrians are likely to wander into the fairways.
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Re: Beware of Children on the fairways!

Postby joyaman » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:05 pm

Lewis - Your experiences, observations and suggestions are shared and supported by many/most regular players at Wills. I've been working on language for signs that will be both effective and considerate. The plan is to take this concept to the appropriate folks at the City to gain their approval. The plan needs to cover all of the most dangerous situations, especially the blind ones as you point out.

I rue the day that they let an Eagle Scout install the staircase on Hole #7 (then #5) , as it's a magnet for unsuspecting pedestrians (kids and otherwise) to trapse across the fairway and linger near the creek and #3's basket. At least the move of #8's tee reduces the distraction a bit.

Another frequent source of frustration and danger, as you point out, are small kids that wander down the hill from the ballfields to hang out in the creek and on the bridge near #3's basket. Parent's are frequently oblivious to the fact that there's a disc golf course there, and are usually too fixated on the ballgames or conversations with other parents to even come down the hill to understand the situation. I think that the only long-term solution for this particular problem is some sort of barrier (perhaps hedges) that would restrict direct entry to the green area. I will take this up with our contact at the Alpharetta Arboretum, who happens to be a disc golfer.

I'll let Keith respond to the basket move request on #4.
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Re: Beware of Children on the fairways!

Postby Lewis » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:58 pm

Thanks for the response! I'm glad to hear I'm not in the minority on these issues.
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Re: Beware of Children on the fairways!

Postby Here4Beer » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:37 am

Thanks for the heads up, guys. No. 7 is particularly inviting for the unsuspecting pedestrians because of the staircase and adjacent bench, both almost directly in the flight path. I like the idea of signs on 7 and on the children's playground near #4 basket. A warning to parents to not allow kids to cross the creek b/c of the DG fairway / basket would help.

IMO, a courteous greeting letting these unsuspecting parkgoers know about the DG course is the best approach. Most are more than happy to get out of the way once they understand the concept of a DG hole and see and actual disc in flight (this is not your father's frisbee, Ringo...) On busy days, particularly weekends, expect to deal with this issue at Wills. No single DG stroke is worth jeopardizing use of the course.
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