The first announcement in our series of the Ten Days of Ledgestone is an addition of a course to our schedule. Some people don’t know this, but the Lake Eureka property actually has a permanent course that is mostly in the thick woods north of the temporary course. The permanent course at Lake Eureka is being added back to the course rotation for the 2020 Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open and is going through a massive transformation. Based on a collaboration between course designer Greg Nettles, Ledgestone TD Nate Heinold and the City of Eureka, the course will see several changes. “Over time, disc technology has changed and that has necessitated changes to holes. Greater player skill has rendered some holes obsolete and in need of updating. Additionally, sometimes land becomes available which allows a designer to make a course better and more exciting,” said Nettles.
The biggest changes will include two separate wooded par 4’s that will essentially combine and eliminate four, short wooded holes. Holes 7 and 8 will be combined into one long wooded hole. Some trees will be removed to create a fairway on this hole. The basket on this hole will be pushed back and the hole will measure nearly 600’. Hole 9 will see some significant trimming to widen the gap in the fairway. Hole 11 will see a new tee added approximately 75’ behind the current tee. A large tree fell on this hole on the left side a few years ago, making this hole much easier. Holes 12 and 13 will be combined and a new gap will be cut from hole 12’s current basket to where current 13’s basket sits. The tee will be pushed back on this hole and it will be a shorter (but tight) par 4.
Current hole 15’s basket will get pushed back approximately 50’ and a tree will be removed from the middle of the fairway. Hole 16’s tee will move slightly forward and to the left (to make room for the new hole 18’s tee) and the basket will get pushed back about 30’. And then it gets interesting. “Most people don’t know that the original course had two holes in the wide open area past 16’s basket. They were intended to be temporary holes until the rest of the course went in,” said Nettles. These original holes in the open never included concrete tees and were eliminated when the rest of the course was built. Greg and Nate sought to utilize this land again to provide some variety to the wooded course, so they had the idea to utilize some of the tall grass in this area and to build a raised up green. “I grew up watching golf and loved watching the British Open. I thought it would be cool to carve a couple fairways out of some taller grass, with the intention to make the tall grass OB during tournaments,” said Heinold.
The work began to design the two holes in the open area and the result included a massive par 5 and a long par 4. The par 5 will measure nearly 1100’ and will include a raised green, most likely supported by timbers. The green will be a circle approximately 90 to 100’ in diameter. Nettles had the idea to do an hourglass fairway, where the ideal landing zone is the widest around 400’ and gets tighter as you get past the point until it opens up again in the second bubble of the hourglass. The second hole will be a long par 4 coming back that will be approximately 800’ in distance. The teeing area will be semi-blind to the fairway, and the golfer will have to choose how much to cut off from the tall grass area to get to the fairway. Both of these newer holes will include shorter tees as well.
A path will then be cut to hole 17, and then hole 18 will be tweaked as well to tee off near current hole 16’s tee to go across the creek towards the baseball fields. Because this hole will conflict with the temporary course, it will not be used in the Ledgestone tournament. Instead the tournament will use the short temporary hole along the creek when you walk out from hole 17, as has been done in past versions of Ledgestone. The city is also committing to do a better job keeping the stinging nettles plant down, and has also committed to doing a better job mowing some of the wooded holes.
Finally, the course transformation wouldn’t be complete without new baskets. With the support of Discraft, Ledgestone Insurance and the City of Eureka, the course will feature the same Discraft Chainstar Pro baskets that were used in the 2019 PDGA Pro Worlds at the Lake Eureka temp course. “It’s really special to be able to have the same baskets used at Worlds permanently in the ground on the Lake Eureka permanent course. The 2019 PDGA Pro Worlds was a special event and this will be a great reminder of that event,” said Heinold. The course will also include new full color tee signs (designed by the aforementioned Nettles) and some new navigational signs. The 2020 Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open course schedule will be released in the next few days. Stay tuned to the website for more information. Look for the new layout to be fully playable in late Spring.