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.