What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Carroll County - Whitesburg, Ga

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What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Fly Boy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:24 am

Let me start by saying thanks to all the disc golfers who’ve made the effort to come out and visit me at Flyboy Aviation over the years. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you guys, and the joy in the game for me has switched from being competitive, to seeing people enjoy and appreciate the whole “Flyboy experience.” The way this all started with one single practice basket in my yard, and ultimately maturing into one of the most challenging disc golf courses around, is quite amazing, and truly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life. The course practically built itself, as the very unique physical nature of the property out here perfectly compliments disc golf. Unfortunately, the very unique sensitive nature of the property owners living in the community airpark, all of whom moved here to fly their airplanes, not to play disc golf, is another matter, and one I should have paid more attention to as the course evolved.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been on radio silence lately with the course closed down for almost two months now, and as you may have guessed, this is due in part to several unfortunate “incidents” out here involving disc golfers. Without going into the gorey details, suffice it to say, it only took that rare few inconsiderate golfers to piss off just the wrong neighbors, for me to find myself in a defensive crouch in front of ALL my neighbors trying to answer them: “Exactly why do we need this disc golf course in our quiet little airpark?” It wasn’t pretty.

It’s those “unique neighbor sensitivities” that make Flyboy very different from the public courses we’re all used to. As you know, you’re my guests, and the guests of those property owners when you come here. I’ve hen pecked you to death about respecting the neighbors’ privacy, about watching the foul language, littering, doing ANYTHING illegal, and runway safety and airplane awareness. 99.7% of you totally got it, embraced it, and did a hell of a good job policing yourselves. .3% thought they were playing at Redan. Just one too many “F-bombs” echoing out across the lakes…an irritated “look” at a pilot trying to taxi by on “your” fairway…one too many cigarette butts tossed aimlessly…all BFD at Redan. But too much of those shenanigans out here, and I’m in “damage control mode” with my neighbors. I’m not blaming anyone but myself. I invited you all here, I know disc golfers will be disc golfers, and I took the risks in order to share my course with you. (So to the guy who threw the shot across the runway on #21, right in front of an airplane cresting the hill on takeoff roll, you can breathe easy…. you were only focused on making par.) Otter’s famous quote from Animal House comes to mind: “You f#%*ed up, you trusted us!”

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is I still have a course…for now anyway. Here’s the bad news. To keep the course, I had to immediately make the following changes (in addition to promising them my first born child)

Eliminate all holes playing on or across the runway (a no-brainer really)
Hole #18 “The Runway Hole” (longest disc golf hole in the universe)……..gone
Hole #21 (1000 foot par 5 slight downhill excellent disc golf hole)………..gone
Golfers stay clear of the runway at all times, except to cross in front of Flyboy Hangar

Eliminate the holes encroaching on neighbors’ privacy
Hole #20 “Kudzu”……………….gone
Hole #21 (a double offender)…...gone
Holes #25 and #27 still playable but on the “endangered species list”

Drastically reduce the numbers of players on the course (this was the biggie)
The course is now closed to daily unescorted casual play
(except for me, my guests, course pros, and the property owners)
Players may join me or my course pros for play, on a case-by-case basis
Everyone on the course must receive permission to play from me, and be escorted
I’ll occasionally hold a “monthly action” for local players limited to 70 players
Guests staying with us in the Flyboy Bed & Breakfast will be escorted on the course
(Brad Orman, known by almost all the neighbors, is my only course pro as of now)

Limit the number of tournaments to two per year
The only tournaments scheduled at Flyboy Aviation this year are:
The Atlanta Open April 16/17
Flygirls at Flyboy May 7/8

Have a review by the Airpark Property Owners Assn. In six months
To determine if we’re following the rules and decide whether to keep the course open

Well, there you have it. The bottom line is, a few knuckle heads not paying attention on the course, and me (knuckle head as well) allowing anyone and everyone to come play most any time, gave my incredibly accommodating neighbors every right to be upset about the ever-increasing numbers of strangers in and about their private, gated community. I must admit it was starting to feel like a busy public course out here at times, and that type of operation simply isn’t going to hack it here. It isn’t fair to the neighbors, and isn’t safe trusting unescorted folks around airplanes. Ok, obvious right? Sometimes the light bulb takes a while to flicker on for me. But damn, we had fun on that “Runway Hole” while it lasted didn’t we!

There’s a silver lining to the dark cloud. Redesign of the course layout (without the “offending” holes mentioned above) has yielded a nice course flow, with several great new holes and fun options for the 27-hole course. One option incorporates a new longest disc golf hole in the world (did you really think I’d give up having the longest disc golf hole in the universe at Flyboy?) New hole #18 “The Kraken” at 1700 feet par 7, although not available for tournament play, is a fun option for casual play on the course. Some holes like #7 “Back Country” have now been stretched from a par 3 or 4, to a par 5, making up some of the length lost with the removal of #18, #20, and #21, all long holes. The new 27-hole layout is still a monster at over 13,000 feet long with seven par 4’s and four par 5’s for a total course par of 96 (versus the original 14,000 feet par 101).

All this dust settles to find Flyboy Aviation a much more exclusive and private disc golf venue. I did what I had to do to keep the course alive. Please respect that.
For the locals, it won’t be as easy to get on the course now, other than the Monthly Action, and I’m truly sorry about that, but it is what it is. My focus now will be on hosting the best tournaments I possibly can, providing my guests in the Bed & Breakfast the best disc golf destination experience of their lives, and occasionally enjoying a casual round of golf with you guys when you can catch me playing the course. At some point, I may consider Memberships or Club options. For now, I’m just happy to still have this incredible course in my back yard.

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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby djester » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:04 am

Somehow I knew this was going to happen sooner or later....
Glad that you still have the course! Hope that you stay in the green zone with your neighbors. Thanks for all the work you have put into the course (and fighting to keep it alive).
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Rubiks » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:26 am

I'm sorry to hear all that. The whole story of Flyboy was such an amazing ride, certainly fun while it lasted. Like Josh said, thank you for all of your hard work, and just let us know if there's anything we can help you with.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby richardhead » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:35 am

First The Crucible, now Flyboy! When will the disrespect end? I haven't had the pleasure of playing Flyboy yet, but haven't heard one bad comment about it. At least you were able to salvage part of the course.

For those of you that can't control yourselves and can't go through a round of golf without your filthy habits, grow up!
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby morchard » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:40 pm

Bummer :(

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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby millayday » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:33 pm

Yep, it was bound to happen. Kelly's generosity extended too far and unfortunately some people took it for granted. While the vast majority of you guys that came out on a regular basis were nothing but respectful and grateful, there were the usual few bad apples that had to ruin it for the bunch. Runway etiquette should have been a no brainer, especially after how many times the rules are drilled into your heads before you head out on the course. There's signage and verbal instructions that should have prevented any issues from arising, but there were several people who treated this like a public disc golf course and actually seemed to be inconvenienced and annoyed by the five minute delay in their round that clearing off of the runway caused. We disc golfers pay $5 to come out and play on the course. The denizens of the neighborhood pay HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for their houses and the right to use the runway whenever the hell they want. The fact that this small detail managed to escape the thoughts of several disc golfers is mind blowing.

But the runway was not the only issue. Kelly was too nice to mention, but there were some disc golfers who had thrown WAYYYY off course and ended up in the woods near the house on the left on #21. Somehow they managed to be outside of the bathroom window when the wife of the house was stepping out of the shower. Completely unacceptable. Again it shouldn't need to be said, but if you're throwing near someone's house or their property and you don't believe you have the control to make it past without some risk of hitting said property, just lay up. Take an extra stroke and save the hassle of having something potentially bad happening that ruins the course for everybody. It's an unappealing prospect for many disc golfers, but there's plenty of other places on the course to make up for a lost stroke. This was not the only incident between disc golfers and residents of the neighborhood, but it was the most egregious.

Cigarette butts, as Kelly mentioned, were still an issue. It is not hard at all to put butts in a pocket or pouch in your bag. They are litter, and neighborhood residents don't want to see litter from outsiders left on the property. Also true for bottles and wrappers, of which several have been found randomly on the course. That especially boggles my mind. Cigarette butts are one thing, because they're small and many people are used to just flicking them away when they're done. Still littering, but understandable. The other crap left on the course is totally unacceptable. Everyone who goes onto the course has been to the clubhouse, signed the waiver, read the signage, etc. Basically, they should know that the course is exclusive and private. Yet several people could not be bothered to cart out the trash that they brought in. Probably the same people I see on other courses who leave an empty bottle or can on the ground 10 ft from a trash can. Ridiculous. There was also mention of an issue involving those that practice alternative medication. Smells were smelled. Some people found themselves unable to wait until they were far far away from any residences. While we all know that many disc golfers are afflicted with the same illness :mrgreen: it is frowned upon by most. This issue was mentioned in passing to Kelly, but if someone were to be witnessed by a neighborhood resident participating in frowned upon activites, that is GAME OVER for the course. And many of the residents have 4 wheelers and dirt bikes that they like to ride in the back parts of the course. So don't just assume that since you're far away from houses that you're free to do whatever. Don't do it. Not worth it. And this is coming from a very ill person who requires medication. Just wait a few hours. I know you can do it.

So if you're lucky enough to be invited back to the course, be respectful. Treat the course like the diamond in the rough that it is. We will continue to have action out here, but that can only happen if everyone is on the same page. I'm gonna touch base with Kelly and figure out when that action will be. Expect an update on ADGO within a week or so. There will also be tons and tons of work to do before the AO. Basic maintenance and creating some new holes to replace the lost holes. And with regards to the lost holes, no one who's seen the property should be worried at all about the quality of the course. There is so much unused land that once we really start looking at it seriously, there will be no shortage of new and unique holes. It may even wind up being better than the original layout. Anyways, volunteers will be needed and appreciated. Announcements about work days will also be made over the coming month. Thanks for reading, and a huge thanks to everyone who helped make Flyboy one of the premier disc golf destinations in the world. While the accessability has lessened, the overall quality of the course will only continue to improve as long as everyone who comes out treats it with respect
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby BP » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:12 pm

Kelly,

#1, Thank you once again for all that you have done for us :!:

LOVE the club/membership option! I would be willing to join and I would assume others would be to have the opportunity to participate at Flyboy even if only on a monthly basis. With scheduled monthly events for members ONLY I'm sure most would set aside that time for action at Flyboy!
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby celticbro » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:07 pm

Special thanks to Kelly in allowing us to have 'The Flyboy Experience'!!! :D

It is unfortunate that it had to come down to this, but as Millay said, it only took a few bad apples to spoil it for the bunch. I don't know why it's so hard for some people to simply adhere and abide to the rules and guidelines, practically written in stone and emphasized hard by Kelly in the hangar. Are some people just that dumb and inconsiderate that they can't put their drink bottles or filthy (yeech) cigarette butts in their own bag or pouch? Littering of any kind is unacceptable to me, and obviously to Kelly and his neighbors, and the majority of us. Whenever I play at any other course, if I come across a piece of trash, I do my part to put it in my disc golf bag and throw it away in a trash bin, where it belongs!

I don't wanna go on bashing people on who did this, or who did that, in this forum. Not pointing fingers at anybody. Those who did the littering and who were inconsiderate using the runway and throwing on neighbors' properties know who you are! Take this as a testament to what can happen when you try to go out and create your OWN rules with total disregard to the rules in place. :evil:

On the bright side, Kelly did say that the course would stay. Granted several holes will have to change, which is more than a fine consolation to the alternative, having the WHOLE course pulled! As we all know, Kelly has the privilege and not a right to have a disc golf course within this flight community. We have to remember that it is first and foremost a neighborhood, and as it was once written: 'Respect thy neighbor'.

Sure we won't have the thrill of throwing down that beautiful, long bermuda grass fairway anymore. But playing at Flyboy once before with some friends and Kelly back in Sept, it was obvious that there was still a whole bunch of property available. Almost boggles the mind to how big all this property is! So I am totally confident and hopeful in the new eventual layout.

It seems about all the water holes (especially the 960' Hole 15) will stay intact. Heck I only lost 3 discs (all in the same lake) the only previous time I played :shock: Each time that happened, I laughed too :lol: How can you feel anything but happy at Flyboy??? (Even being way, way above par that round, I couldn't have been happier!)

And yes, Millay, definitely keep us informed on when you need volunteer help for the Atlanta Open. I would be more than happy to lend a hand out there, and encourage others to help as well. Kelly has put his hard work, sweat, and toil into making this the finest course in the Southeast (if not the country). And it would be a damned shame to let all this go to waste because of a few bad apples.

Thanks again, Kelly, for providing us with a proud treasure, and let us all work together (and not apart) to keep the Flyboy Experience intact.

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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Dr. Manhattan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:06 pm

I knew that this was probably going to happen and even mentioned it Kelly last time we were out there. It just seemed too good of a thing to be true and it turns out it was. How can people be so stupid? 2 of the the holes that got the axe were a couple of my favorite holes there. I hope karma pays back in full the douche bags that ruined this.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Big Red » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:41 pm

"How can people be so stupid?" We are talking about disc golfers here. Anyone who has been around the game for any period of time knew this was coming. This is why this game is never going to be anything more than it is. If you are surprised in any way you are the problem or you are an idiot.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Discstalker_Dave » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:35 pm

Hi Kelly, I have not had the pleasure of playing your course, my store manager Frank and Phillip came out and played back in the fall. Flyboy is legendary, sorry you had the trouble, we see the same types of issues on most courses so I'm not surprised that it cropped up at Flyboy.

Membership is a good idea, something else to consider is getting some Flyboy ambassadors that you know and trust that can host people for play out there, that would help with the supervision of play, additionally, upping the fee to $20 or $25 dollars would also insure your getting players who will respect the rules and property.

Thanks for all the effort you put in and its too bad that a small number of people screwed it up for everyone...

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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby dandaman » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:18 am

Ambassadorship is an excellent idea. That way you are ensured that everything will go smoothly.

I'd probably pay between $10-15 to play out there all day BTW. Add in a lunch and you got me for $20. Membership for $100 a year that maybe includes entry to a least 1-2 PDGA tournies a year + 3 other visits would have me hooked.

I love the course. Sorry the riff-raff had to bring it down. Nothing wrong with drastically limiting the amount of people who go out there...especially considering.

Definetly worth your time to make sure there is not "another time" so that the time you spent putting in one of the worlds best courses is for naught.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby SlingShot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:46 am

I would gladly pay to have a year round membership at flyboy. Its a 50/50 tossup from my house to go to mccurry or flyboy and I would rather play there any day. I'd probably pay up to $100 a year depending on how much access I would have.

By the way:
I barely got to play flyboy although it was instantly my favorite course. Best course ever. Everyone who had a hand in ruining this sucks. .
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Fly Boy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:27 pm

Thanks for the good ideas guys, much appreciated as always. Expect to see something along the membership/ambassador lines late spring once I get The Atlanta Open, and Flygirls tournaments behind me.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby grease » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:43 pm

Membership that stresses code of conduct rules is a great idea. That membership shouldn't have anything to do with PDGA event entry,though. I don't see why Kelly should have to pay anyone's entry fee into sanctioned tournaments. $100 membership fee/year would probably not even cover maintenance costs out there.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby djester » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:30 pm

I like the idea of a membership as well. I would jump at the chance for 100 bucks & would even pay more for a "frequent flyer" type special membership.
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby Rubiks » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:00 pm

Student and Senior Citizen discounts too, right?
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby craigd » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:14 pm

Rubiks wrote:Student, Senior Citizen, and balding dudes in their late 30's discounts too, right?


Fixed that to accommodate me too, Chris...
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby dandaman » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:45 pm

grease wrote:Membership that stresses code of conduct rules is a great idea. That membership shouldn't have anything to do with PDGA event entry,though. I don't see why Kelly should have to pay anyone's entry fee into sanctioned tournaments. $100 membership fee/year would probably not even cover maintenance costs out there.


Maybe not the actual entry fee but perhaps a "reserved slot" for PDGA tournies?
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Re: What's up at Flyboy Aviation Disc Golf?

Postby scheibe » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:52 pm

Sorry to hear about that Kelly, you had a good thing going. Understandably difficult for the neighbors and those who weren't respectful of their property though.

Any word on if monthly action will be held at any point before the Atlanta Open? Just curious if we are going to have a chance at the new layout before the tournament.
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