An Atypical Situation
Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, NY is one of the most popular, unique state parks in the country. The 2,700-acre park boasts a 25,000 person amphitheater that is leased to, and promoted by, Live Nation for a massive summer concert series in addition to a popular geyser trail, fresh spring water from the tap, hiking trails, picnic areas, historic buildings, a pool and much more. Note the absence of a disc golf course --- one of the world’s fastest growing sports, and popular all around activity for all ages and skill levels.
Over the weekend of May 30-31, Explore Disc Golf was contracted by the state park to install 9 holes of The Mobile Disc Golf Experience --- the firm’s traveling disc golf course --- around Peerless Pool to “test the market” during the weekend of the Dave Matthews Band shows at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Bringing in over 50,000 concert attendees in two days, the park that was already frequented by local outdoor enthusiasts would swell over the weekend, and provide a wonderful opportunity to promote disc golf to all those on-site.
Growing up following the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) during our early college years, we jumped at the opportunity to use the course as a stagnant form of promotion for the band to all those at the park --- naming each hole a DMB song, while providing song history information below the hole signage. Song history would include the album it was on, the album release date and relevant information about the song --- ranging from where the song was written to number of times a “rarity” was played over a period of years.
DMB songs were carefully chosen to fit the character of the hole. Songs titles ranged from radio-single ‘The Space Between’ to fan favorite rarity ‘Drive In Drive Out.’ As per usual with The Mobile Disc Golf Experience, we setup a vending booth adjacent to the 1st tee and handed out free disc loaners to anyone and everyone who wanted to play the course. All we ask is that you return them and have fun!
The course itself was a 9-hole technical, yet beginner-friendly layout that circumvented Peerless Pool, as we sought to make it moderately difficult for advanced players, but fun and easy enough to ensure the beginners continue with their interest in the sport. Our firm located several holes within the field setting for increased visibility of the baskets and DMB hole signage to the general public --- from local dog walkers to concert attendees. After one day of site planning in early April, Brian Giggey #43808, Landscape Architect professional and owner of Explore Disc Golf pulled a 16 hour day, where he installed the 9-hole course in temporary concrete footings, cleared the entire courses and signed it as well.
The design and layout of the course was greeted with very positive reviews from players and state park officials. Drawing attention to the band’s extensive song catalog paired with moving users to multiple significant on-site features proved for a successful disc golf course for the weekend. From birch groves and “turtleback greens” to towering maple trees and moss-covered bridge relics, it was hard to watch the 9-hole layout of The Mobile Disc Golf Experience disappear into a van, only to reappear in a different context later this summer.
The Mobile Disc Golf Experience is one of many services offered by Explore Disc Golf, a full-service disc golf design-build firm based in Amherst, MA. Course design, site planning and consultations are in addition to sending basket and disc rentals to company picnics, schools, bachelor parties or traveling along the east coast and Midwest with The Mobile Disc Golf Experience summer tour! For more information, check out the Explore Disc Golf website.