Course Host, Founder and Designer
For Jonathon Foley, the path to designing a disc golf course started out with a handful of baskets he was winning at disc golf tournaments and a gorgeous little patch of Montana that he calls Home.
Getting his start in the game in 2004 as a teenager: “I heard people were out throwing frisbees at trees and kind of laughed. A few friends loaned me a disc for my first time, and watching them just flying, seeing what they did … After I realized, you could go buy a disc for 10 to 15 bucks you could keep going to throw for relatively next to nothing. So I was in to the sport because of the cheap cost and then before I knew it, I was doing it every single day. I’ve never played a round of ball golf in my life. I just didn’t have the resources or interest to spend the money to get into it.”
By 2012, which he calls his best year, he won the the Montana Intermediate Amateur point series and represented Montana in the U.S. National Disc Golf Championships at Rock Hill, SC. “In amateur divisions either in advanced amateur and intermediate amateur normally they were awarding a brand new basket for first place. Eventually I had enough baskets sitting around that I could establish a course.”
He set up his first one at his family cabin near Park Lake; just outside of Montana’s capital city, Helena. “They range cattle up there,” he recalled, “and the cattle destroyed a couple baskets, so I pulled the course.” After that he would go grab the baskets out of storage for “family reunions or whatever” and set up small little courses for his folks to play.
Upon moving to his current home west of Helena a couple of years ago, he began to envision a full regulation course right outside his front door. A property boasting great Ponderosa pine forests, an old granite quarry, elevation changes and spectacular mountain views. And the baskets? Foley found a 19-piece set of regulation, heavy-duty, double-chain baskets in Spokane and went and got them and installed them at The Wooden Hollow. So those old 2012 baskets are available for a new use.
As with most dreams this one came to life with blood, sweat, and number of revisions. Foley has arrived at his 19-hole layout of The Wooden Hollow, a name that he felt embodied the spirit of the disc golf course. Foley runs a woodworking business of the same name specializing in custom projects and art as well.
Friends and fellow disc golf standouts have been receiving the new layout with warmth and excitement; your first tee time here is just the beginning of repeat visits to challenge The Wooden Hollow. This course is well on its way to being recognized as one of the top courses in Montana and the western United States.