With the weather finally cooling off here in Texas my thoughts turn to outdoor activites, and what could be more appealing than a few holes of disc golf. You know the sport - like traditional golf, but with baskets instead of holes in the ground, and happy stoners in cargo shorts instead of car salesmen in lime green slacks.
This is the weekend of Octoberfest 7, a big disc golf tournament being held not far from here at Moody's Disc Golf Country Club. A friend who's playing in it convinced me to join him for the Friday afternoon doubles session. He wanted me to play the whole tournament, but with kids and work there's no way I can take a whole weekend to play 54 holes of disc golf, but one afternoon for 18 holes is just about right, so I agreed to join him as his partner for the doubles on Friday afternoon.
Dave Moody's course is a tribute to the ambitious vision of the disc golf entrepreneur. It's in Red Rock Texas, about 40 miles east of Austin and just a little bit south of Bastrop. Not exactly the center of civilization. But he's done everything he can to turn a family ranch into a disc golf mecca with the power to attract players from far and wide.
To start off with, it's a pretty nice course with a nice variety of holes spread over about 100 acres of land with attractive scenery and a nice mix of long leaf pine, pin oaks and cedar trees. It also offers a pro shop and campsites for travelling players. But the real key to getting players there is promotion. It helps that Dave Moody is the course pro at the enormously active Pease Park course in the heart of Austin's university community. That gives him a captive audience to advertise his home course to when they're ready to move on to something more ambitious. With all the players who go to Pease there are going to be more than a few willing to drive a few miles to try out a new course. Another good promotion is holding a PDGA pro-tour event like the Octoberfest tournament. This brings in players from all over who'll spread word of the course, plus it's an excuse to produce promotional discs which get sold and traded throughout the disc golf community, further spreading word of the course.