Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dynamic Course Design Feature - The Hollows in Manchester, NH

If you haven’t been out to New Hampshire in the last few years, you’re missing out on a complete gem of a course in Manchester. Named The Hollows, it’s one of the courses that Dynamic Discs’ very own Eric McCabe designed from start to finish. In an area that once had few disc golfers around, their local club now numbers over 140 members and The Hollows sees between 20,000 and 25,000 rounds played per year.

How did a course that’s only two years old completely revolutionize Manchester disc golf and bring revenue to the community’s restaurants and hotels via tournament play? We spoke with the Director of the Parks and Recreation department in Manchester, Don Pinard, to get an idea of how The Hollows came to be.

It Started With Don’s Vision

“Four years ago, as the newly hired director of Parks and Recreation in Manchester, it was my vision to increase affordable recreation for the citizens of Manchester and the surrounding communities,” explained Pinard. “I received numerous inquiries concerning the possibilities of a disc golf course in the city. I had no exposure to disc golf and knew nothing about the sport.”

Don began his research and formed an acquaintance in Bill Bruce, owner of Breakin Chains Disc Golf Supplies. As a first time player, Don traveled to a nearby community to play a round and was instantly hooked. He saw the obvious link between offering free recreation for all and the benefits a course could bring to his local area.

What Was It Like Working With Dynamic Course Design?

Don certainly performed his due diligence when exploring course options, and said that it was clear Eric McCabe was the one to work with: “I was impressed with his professionalism and enthusiasm. He also shared our vision of bringing disc golf to the forefront in Manchester and the area. Through our research of Dynamic Discs, we soon came to realize that DD was the company we wanted to partner with.”

Eric flew to Manchester to work with Don and figure out where the new course would take shape. Pinard had three locations in mind but kept his preference to himself while Eric surveyed the possibilities. In the end, McCabe selected Don’s first choice, and the designing phase instantly began.

The goal was to create a course that wasn’t just enjoyable on a recreational level, but one that could host top level tournaments. Taking this into consideration, Eric’s design included two pin positions on all but one hole as well as two tee pads on many holes.

After the ground had been flagged, it was up to Don, Bill and wife Norma Bruce, Parks Department employees, and numerous volunteers to bring the course to life. The Hollows was the first course in the US to feature first run Veteran baskets, but these were later swapped out for the newer version.

The Hollows Is Truly Special

Not only is this course a premier destination for New Hampshire residents, but Eric designed it to be especially versatile. Using the various pin placements and tee pads, Don says the course can be played four ways. It utilizes a tight and technical tract of wooded land and even has separate teeing areas specifically for junior and beginning players.

Manchester’s beauty of a course is truly family friendly and is in a secluded setting over rolling terrain. The city itself is on the smaller side, just reaching over 110,000 people. The effects of the course in the community are stunning, as Don describes:

“Although still in its infancy, The Hollows has hosted many tournaments from Trilogy Challenges, B-Tier tournaments, and the New England Amateur Disc Golf Championship.  The NEADGC has brought people to our course from all NE states and has reached states as far as Texas. The course is near the interstate, airport, and hotels.  Restaurants in the area have already felt the impact of The Hollows.”

The Hollows has been such a success that Don is currently planning the installation of a second course in the area to meet the high demand of Manchester disc golfers.

Designing A Course With EMAC

Could your community benefit from installing a disc golf course? We’d bet it probably can. Contact us at Dynamic Course Design to learn more.
  1. The course is great, the Bruce's are fantastic at what they do and their enthusiasm for the sport is what is driving all of this.

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