Heading over to South Dakota for an extended family get-together with my in-laws today, I found out that we would be within 12-13 miles of a very small, unique course in the community of Madison, South Dakota. So after asking my wife nicely if she minded having my discs come with us on our trip to visit her family, as well as asking my oldest daughter nicely if she would mind driving me over to Madison after lunch to check out said course? I was able to add one of the more unique courses I have played to my course collection: Hells Half-Acre DGC.

Hells Half-Acre DGC - Tonn's Travels
Map of Hells Half-Acre Disc Golf Course in Madison, South Dakota.

As you will see from the course map (above), the course sits on a tiny piece of land. It also employs a design idea I’ve been dying to try in small parks in urban areas: Having only one basket in said park, then having multiple tees (holes) circling said basket. A course like that could never safely host more than one person (or at least one group of people on one card) at a time, as you’ll have discs flying at the same basket from different directions if you tried! But if it came down to giving locals somewhere (albeit small) to play, or having nowhere to play disc golf? This type of concept could at least get people playing the sport we all know and love, 3-4 people at a time.

Hells Half-Acre DGC - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 2 tee at Hells Acre DGC in Madison, South Dakota.

I did my best to try and ace Holes 1 (90 feet), 4 (95 feet) and 9 (65 feet), but the “course gods” weren’t having any of it today (ha). But I did manage to get my 18 over nine holes, albeit making the deuce on Hole 7 a bit of an adventure after clipping a branch on my tee shot. But if I couldn’t get a cheap ace on the day? At least I didn’t have the embarrassment of shooting above an 18 on this course whose longest hole is 175 feet. 🙂 Plus a new course is a new course! One more course played on my march toward 2,000 courses.

One other item of note: The City of Madison refers to the course as “Hells Half-Acre,” so when I added the course record to DGcoursereview.com, that is the spelling I used. It seems as though it should be “Hell’s Half-Acre!” But one never knows if the small park was named after a former resident named Hells, so “tie” goes to what the City says the park/course is named. As much as I wanted to use “Hell’s Half-Acre” for the official course record name. The joys and perils of scrubbing course directories for DGCR and UDisc (UDisc lists the course as “Hell’s Half-Acre”, for what it’s worth).

Magic Number = 482 (1,518 Courses Played)

About Tonn’s Travels

How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.

About Derek

Derek Tonn Profile PictureDerek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.