Service: Design and Site Planning
Location: Bouchard Residence
City: Essex, VT
The Big Idea for the private 18-hole disc golf course at the Bouchard Residence in Essex, VT was to connect to the significant on-site features — stunning views of Mount Mansfield, an on-site pond, tree house, outdoor fire place, multiple ravines and old rock walls — while providing a variety of technical disc golf holes that catered towards both the experienced and beginner disc golfer. The stark changes in topography provided wonderful opportunities for big field bombers, tight tunnel shots, spike hyzer drives and short ace runs all within close proximity to the house situated in the center of the property.
The flow of the course sees the 1st tee and 18th basket near the house, while the property was broken down into three 6-hole loops — many of which can provide quick rounds for course users who don’t have enough time to play the full course, or are just interested in working on a few particular shots. Views of Mount Mansfield — the highest point in Vermont — can be enjoyed from the home atop a large hill, where a steep downhill path that frames the summit can be used as an “ace run” while directed to the 1st basket during social gatherings, money games or target practice.
The design of the holes was done in such a manner that “short, technical and enjoyable” holes were placed in close proximity to the home, while the longer more challenging holes could be found near the constraints of the property. Baskets were located in such a fashion that children playing in the tree house, or adults grilling on the back deck could enjoy disc golf on a smaller scale. For example: the 6th basket is located in the back yard only steps from the deck, but culminates one of the hardest holes on the course. The tee shot is directly up the ravine through a tight wooded gap, leaving the approach shot along a fairway that is fragmented by several small pines protecting the basket which is located in the open, grassy clearing next to the deck. This basket positioning is perfect for both a demanding par 4, as well as providing the infrastructure for backyard putting practice any time of the day!
Throughout the course, players will need to pull a variety of different shots from their bag. With multiple ravines, steep changes in elevation, tightly wooded sections, open fields, turtle back greens, slippery pin locations and a several holes that run along a large on-site pond that demands precision and respect, this course layout will keep players of all ages and skill levels on their toes.