This is my latest design for Kyushu University, where I work in Fukuoka, Japan. I have started a disc golf club at the school, and we will be playing this course in no time!
LIKE the most beautiful of women, disc golf courses in Japan are often impermanent. When you start telling someone in Japan about a really cool course you played recently, they will smile and ask: "Is it an installed course, or...?" --"Or a temp course?" is what they mean. Japanese disc golfers are used to bringing portable baskets, setting up a course for the day in the park, and breaking everything down again in the late afternoon. Frankly, it is a lot of extra work and it sucks not to have good concrete tee pads like back home, but in Japan you have to make the best of it.
THE Aso Open, played in a campsite park at the foot of an active volcano in Kumamoto Prefecture, is one of the best and most beautiful tournaments in Japan--but the course only exists during one weekend per year. (Usually around the last weekend in July.) Here today, gone tomorrow. Smokey Mt. Aso, on the other hand, isn't going anywhere.
The main crater of Mt. Aso is over 1800 years old.
DISC golf in Japan is sometimes like guerilla warfare: you know from the beginning that you have to get in and out with as little friction as possible. You plan it, map it, get the crew together, and party for the day. Before the locals know what's up, you are gone. On a good day, you might recruit one or two new disc golfers. Reinforcements.
WE need to keep growing the number of players here because, frankly, we are such a tiny minority. There are probably fewer than 3000 disc golfers in all of Japan, so most everyday people here have no concept of the sport and they will pick up discs on the ground, walk oblivious through the middle of your fairway, and even picnic beside your disc golf basket! In all of these situations, we players smile, educate, and exercise patience and the utmost of caution and discretion. It is worth it because sometimes, just sometimes, disc golf in Japan feels absolutely perfect!