Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Office Park Frisbee Golf

Back in the early nineties Doug Ross, Gerry Polucci and myself invented a fun variation of Frisbee golf called Office Park Frisbee Golf. Office Park Frisbee Golf is a played with standard Frisbees and follows the standard rules of golf scoring - the lowest number of throws to complete the course wins. In the game you play from one landmark in the park to another - from this tree to that sign, or from that sign to that post. What really makes Office Park Frisbee Golf different from other forms of Frisbee golf is that tar or other hard man made surfaces are treated like water is on a real golf course. If a Frisbee lands on tar you take a stroke and make another shot from the last piece of grass/dirt that Frisbee crossed that's not closer to the hole. You may however, skip or roll the Frisbee across tar/hard surface as long as it comes to rest on grass. Given the nature of office parks with their large parking areas and small islands of green this can be quite challenging.

The original course we designed was around the offices of 1 North Ave in Burlington MA. This was a particularly good spot because there were lots of trees and the parking lots weren't too big. A section of the original course map is below. (You can click it to see a more complete map with hole info and rules.) Over time we extended the ten holes on this map to 18 - we even referred to them as the 'front nine' and back nine' like in real golf.

Original Office Park Frisbee Course

It was not uncommon to get some funny looks as we tossed our Frisbees around the office park. The girls in accounting and marketing called us the 'Nerd Herd'. One time while playing on a Saturday the police actually stopped up and asked what the heck we were doing. We simply explained that were Software Engineers working on a weekend and taking a break by playing some Frisbee golf. I don't remember if they made us show some ID but it was rather amusing. Another time Doug got a Frisbee stuck on the roof of the building you approach at hole 9 and had to climb a tree to get on the roof and retrieve the disk. After the experience of watching him awkwardly climbing up and down I recall telling Doug, "I think I've just seen proof that man cannot have descended from apes..".

We certainly had a lot of fun with it.

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