Service: Design and Installation
Location: White Brook Middle School
City: Easthampton, MA
The Big Idea for the design of White Brook Middle School’s 3-hole “pocket course” was to move users to the several significant on-site features of the property, while making sure the course is beginner-friendly and in close proximity to the school for use by students, faculty and local residents. The layout of the course, designed by Board members of The Explore Disc Golf Foundation, was done in such a fashion that each hole provides a variety of shot-making and takes advantage of the rolling topography and on-site water features, while framing specimen trees and the view of Mount Tom behind the school.
The 3-hole “pocket course” features top of the line Innova DISCatcher Pro baskets, 25 DX discs and the EDGE curriculum; all of which were donated by 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Explore Disc Golf Foundation. After raising funds via their annual “Rafflepalooza” tournament at Flat Rock Disc Golf in Athol, MA, The Explore Disc Golf Foundation and it’s Board members donated their time, direct services and materials in the creation of White Brook Middle School’s new disc golf installation.
Each hole has it’s own character — from open field holes with subtle “shelved” basket locations to technical, wooded settings with towering, specimen trees that put a premium on disc placement. The course runs behind the soccer field to start, moving into the woods of adjacent Nonotuck Park and then ultimately back along the soccer field. The school was very excited to see this underutilized space come to life with a new, popular activity like disc golf.
The 1st hole is a 207′ open field hole with the basket located at the edge of a “shelf” that runs away to about 10′ feet below the basket. Landing on the “shelf” doesn’t necessarily mean birdie, as the line players take dictates the backdrop of their putt — a level lie, or a runaway green that catches any errant putts. The 2nd hole is a 153′ ace run where a low, penetrating anhyzer line will yield a good score. Too sloppy of an approach will see discs hit one of the MASSIVE trees that breakup the fairway, and maybe even deflect into a nearby vernal pool. The 3rd and last hole is a demanding 282′ hole that requires two good shots to make par. Drives land on a sloped fairway, where any shots that don’t land flat will roll out to the stream below. Proper shots will leave a 100′ approach to a partial “turtleback green” that runs away long ; the basket here is framed by a gorgeous, specimen maple tree. After the 3rd hole, players have the option of playing back to the 1st basket, as a safari hole measuring 337′, where Mount Tom in the background remains the eye-catching signature to this donated “pocket course.”
Overall, the 3-hole “pocket course” at White Brook Middle School is a wonderful use of space, and provides a tremendous opportunity to educate youth about the sport of disc golf and the restorative benefits of nature. The course design provides a wide range of required shots, while the layout moves students and faculty throughout a piece of property that was seldom used prior to installation of the course.