As many of you have probably already seen, there is a wide array of installation methods when it comes to sinking baskets in the grounds. While metal sleeves are the standard, course can be more cost effective and use PVC pipe — enabling them to offer multiple pin positions on each hole while keeping their costs down. While there is no tab to lock the basket to the PVC pipe, this isn’t a common method, but one seen at several courses around the United States. While the traditional process of basket installation requires a metal sleeve to be placed in a concrete footing, or a concrete bucket sunk in the ground, it’s always enjoyable to valve boxes included in the process.
Valve boxes? Like an irrigation valve box? Yes, that’s them!
While valve boxes are an additional expense to the installation process that some courses may not have in their budget, they bring several benefits to the presentation and functionality of the overall course. First, for those of you who haven’t seen this technique used, we should explain how valve boxes work in the installation process.
After you have dug your hole and put the proper base materials down, fill concrete around the sleeve that will house the pole of the disc golf basket. After making sure the sleeve is plumb before moving forward, the valve box is then submersed in the concrete. Take the top of the valve box off so you can see the contents of everything in the hole. While the valve box doesn’t really HAVE to be level or flush to the ground, it’s highly recommended that it is, if possible. When concrete has dried and installation has been complete, the cover can either remain off while the basket sits in the metal sleeve, or a hole can be drilled in the top so the valve box is closed at all times.
The valve box technique definitely isn’t necessary if courses don’t have multiple pin locations for each hole, but should be explored if they do. It provides a very clean presentation — and is actually almost unnoticeable if done correctly — while enhancing the overall functionality of the course. It enables basket locations to be quickly switched, while keeping the sleeves clean of any dirt or debris. The overall cost of the valve boxes is only roughly $10 per box, but really do make everything look slick. We played Beaver Ranch in Conifer, CO this past September and saw 2-3 valve boxes on each hole! Some of the boxes were well above grade and could be a tripping hazard if players weren’t paying attention, but for the most part, were well done.
If your course is considering including multiple basket locations on each hole, take a look at using valve boxes during the installation process. Multiple basket locations should always be considered — if not for offering varied challenges for players — at least for reducing soil compaction on any given area. While additional sleeves costs around $25 (each Innova DISCatcher Pro comes with one sleeve when purchased), it is well worth the expense. Multiple basket locations makes tournaments that much more exciting, and helps ease others into the sport with beginner-friendly pin positions if hosting a clinic or trying get youth into the sport.