Founders Mike Plansky and Will McKissock have been involved in disc golf for decades. Both avid recreational players of the sport, they realized that disc golf's perception as a "green" sport was false, in practice. Being a relatively new sport, disc golf courses have largely been planned and built by good-intentioned, but unqualified, disc golf fans. Because of this, Mike and Will noticed that most courses would quickly begin to suffer from soil compaction and erosion, leading to unsafe conditions and decreased aesthetic appeal. Having complementary backgrounds in landscape architecture and construction, they teamed up and began to perform grassroots volunteer work in disc golf course design and maintenance. Throughout their efforts, a guiding design-build philosophy began to emerge: environmental primacy. It became apparent that protecting the land its ecology was also an opportunity to enhance a site's natural assets and make courses more attractive. They developed innovative best management practices (BMPs) applied to playing surfaces for discs and footsteps that increase the sustainability, safety, and aesthetics of the course.
Proof of Concept
Their most recent project is Carson Ridge Disc Golf Park & Interpretive Trails, a Carson City, NV disc golf facility that started with a matching Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant. It features the Stadium Course; a links-style track shaped by the site's natural mosaic of Pinyon-Juniper Woodland within an amphitheater of unique geologic formations. Now ranked #1 in NV on UDisc, the premier disc golf rating site, the 18-hole course caters to both intermediate and advanced players. The Park's programming also includes the Pony Express Disc Golf Trail, a 9-hole beginner course, and a custom-engineered parking lot. The Pony Express course is the highest rated beginner course in the West on UDisc due to its visual appeal and accessibility to all levels. Throughout the entire facility, the park is armored and accented with native rock and local landscape materials. The design and construction of the park was directed and primarily completed by Mike and Will, with the assistance of other local volunteers inspired by seeing the course progress.
Disc Golf Landscape Architecture
With years of experience in disc golf course design and construction under their belt, along with decades of knowledge from their professional careers, Mike and Will decided to create Disc Golf Landscape Architecture, a full-service professional disc golf facility design and construction firm that prides itself in creating beautifully scaled and sustainable landscape experiences. Read more about their background and qualifications below:
- Master of Landscape Architecture : Cal Poly Pomona
- Landscape Architect: California LATC #6457
- Landscape Contractor: California CSLB: C-27 #1011018
- American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA): Associate Member
- Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Environmental Committee: member and writer
Mike Plansky has been exploring his interest in how landscape design can affect the experience of space and place, from theory to practice, since 1990. His projects have been informed by studying native plants & trees, city planning, landscape architecture, permaculture principles, trail-building techniques and experimenting with landscape materials. His approach to hands-on collaborative learning alongside Will McKissock informs the production of custom drawings and supporting documents for each project that ensure the application of sustainable landscape practices from design development to specification and construction details. A studio-culture of teamwork supported by his coursework at Cal Poly Pomona focused on ecologically and culturally sensitive master planning in order to bid for grants. Disc Golf Course Design: Inscribing Lifestyle into Underutilized Landscapes (2013) was his Master's Thesis.
- Master TreeHouse Designer: decades of experience
- Construction Foreman, Lead Designer: lifetime of experience
- Trail Leader Certificate: American Trails
- Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) Enivronmental Committee: member and writer
Will McKissock carries on a strong family tradition of community volunteerism. His parents were instrumental in the formation of the City of South Lake Tahoe, CA and Barton Memorial Hospital through their participation on boards, committees and community programs. From classes in multi-media at Lake Tahoe Community College to Club Volleyball team organization & coaching, Will has been involved in many different activities as well, and is now fully investing his time and passion to helping by designing disc golf courses for the people.
Will has a lifetime of experience in the building trades. Over the years he has stayed abreast of new construction techniques, and technology, and incorporates them to his art and his craft. He has designed & built structures to specification, and also successfully applies adaptations that suit the functions and intentions of his projects. His creativity and knowledge of building materials, environmental weathering, surfaces, facades and hardware translates into cohesive landscape themes in our designs, and his experience as a foreman allows him to be comfortable and effective in supervising and directing workers.