Gwinnett XC Course Pipe Dream
01/21/2019 6:51:14 PM
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There's a rectangular and mostly flat plot of land for sale on Satellite Blvd about a mile north of Gwinnett Place Mall (on the west side of Satellite). This had an old 9 hole golf course on it that closed about a year ago. It's right next to the old NCR corporate office which currently sits un-leased (they high-tailed it for Midtown a few months ago). So here's a nice plot of vacant land right next to a ridiculously huge parking lot that nobody is using. If anyone has the ear of someone influential with Gwinnett Co. Parks and Recs, this is some land that -- if purchased by the county -- could serve as the permanent home of Gwinnett XC. Although you'd want some certainty that the parking lot next door would stay available. I drive by there a couple of times a week and it's just begging to be an XC course. On Google Maps, search for "The Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf" and you'll see the golf course running alongside Singleton Creek.
There's a rectangular and mostly flat plot of land for sale on Satellite Blvd about a mile north of Gwinnett Place Mall (on the west side of Satellite). This had an old 9 hole golf course on it that closed about a year ago. It's right next to the old NCR corporate office which currently sits un-leased (they high-tailed it for Midtown a few months ago).

So here's a nice plot of vacant land right next to a ridiculously huge parking lot that nobody is using.

If anyone has the ear of someone influential with Gwinnett Co. Parks and Recs, this is some land that -- if purchased by the county -- could serve as the permanent home of Gwinnett XC. Although you'd want some certainty that the parking lot next door would stay available.

I drive by there a couple of times a week and it's just begging to be an XC course.

On Google Maps, search for "The Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf" and you'll see the golf course running alongside Singleton Creek.
01/21/2019 7:44:27 PM
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Unfortunately it has been purchased by a developer for construction of an apartment complex.
Unfortunately it has been purchased by a developer for construction of an apartment complex.
01/22/2019 2:18:09 PM
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Another target might be Tribble Mill Park. Archer High School is across the street and could provide quite a bit of parking. The park is quite large and should be able to accommodate a course.
Another target might be Tribble Mill Park. Archer High School is across the street and could provide quite a bit of parking. The park is quite large and should be able to accommodate a course.
01/22/2019 8:29:14 PM
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@dataholic it's funny you bring up Tribble Mill because we actually laid out a 5k course there about 10 years ago. Positives-it doesn't cross 1 single bit of pavement. It is all trails. There is ample parking there as well without having to use Archer HS. About 60% of the course is very spectator friendly while 40% goes up in the woods and can be tough to get up there and see the action. Challenges-It is that is a tough tough course, based on our old times, every bit as tough as KOSH @ Westminster. And I know, historically, that time of the season, some coaches are trying to get a faster course in to qualify for Great American's top tier race, etc. It also can be narrow in some places where there were some pinch points but nothing that could not be fixed. It will take a fair amount of monitors to make sure kids make the right turns, don't skip the course, etc. I would be more than happy to go back and show folks around and see if we can make it work.
@dataholic it's funny you bring up Tribble Mill because we actually laid out a 5k course there about 10 years ago.
Positives-it doesn't cross 1 single bit of pavement. It is all trails.
There is ample parking there as well without having to use Archer HS.
About 60% of the course is very spectator friendly while 40% goes up in the woods and can be tough to get up there and see the action.

Challenges-It is that is a tough tough course, based on our old times, every bit as tough as KOSH @ Westminster. And I know, historically, that time of the season, some coaches are trying to get a faster course in to qualify for Great American's top tier race, etc.
It also can be narrow in some places where there were some pinch points but nothing that could not be fixed.
It will take a fair amount of monitors to make sure kids make the right turns, don't skip the course, etc.

I would be more than happy to go back and show folks around and see if we can make it work.
01/23/2019 9:12:07 AM
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@Beaudreau_Mike Do you happen to have a course map? I'm really curious how you did that without crossing any roads. I ran there all the time in high school and just can't see it. We did a small race there my senior year but it was a one mile loop and each loop had two road crossings. I think it would work well enough for the Gwinnett county meet but I'm not sure there's enough parking in the entire park to accommodate all of the spectators and buses of that meet. I would think you'd have to use shuttles to and from Archer high school which could be a pain. Either that or cut a small walking trail through the woods? But there might be a fence there I'm not sure. Stage races worked fine there a few years ago, but that was a smaller meet and only a two mile course. It's a bummer that land was purchased because it could have been a great xc course. Golf courses make for great xc courses. It's funny I was talking to a teacher at school the other day who grew up in Wisconsin and went to college in Minnesota and he was saying he was shocked when he got down here that there aren't any xc meets on golf courses as that's all they ran on up there. I really enjoyed the Jekyll course on a golf course in high school and my kids seem to enjoy the Roy Griak course which is also on a golf course.
@Beaudreau_Mike

Do you happen to have a course map? I'm really curious how you did that without crossing any roads. I ran there all the time in high school and just can't see it. We did a small race there my senior year but it was a one mile loop and each loop had two road crossings. I think it would work well enough for the Gwinnett county meet but I'm not sure there's enough parking in the entire park to accommodate all of the spectators and buses of that meet. I would think you'd have to use shuttles to and from Archer high school which could be a pain. Either that or cut a small walking trail through the woods? But there might be a fence there I'm not sure. Stage races worked fine there a few years ago, but that was a smaller meet and only a two mile course.

It's a bummer that land was purchased because it could have been a great xc course. Golf courses make for great xc courses. It's funny I was talking to a teacher at school the other day who grew up in Wisconsin and went to college in Minnesota and he was saying he was shocked when he got down here that there aren't any xc meets on golf courses as that's all they ran on up there. I really enjoyed the Jekyll course on a golf course in high school and my kids seem to enjoy the Roy Griak course which is also on a golf course.
01/23/2019 1:46:25 PM
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@spxcoachrm I wonder how they made it work on golf courses. Saturday mornings tend to be a busy time on golf courses. I would think that in order to convince a golf course to delay golfing in order to accommodate a xc meet, they would have to think that they could get more revenue from xc than from golf, and the Saturday morning golf revenue is usually considerable. That said, golf is becoming less popular, and many golf courses have shut down. A struggling golf course that is on the verge of shutting down could be an opportunity.
@spxcoachrm

I wonder how they made it work on golf courses. Saturday mornings tend to be a busy time on golf courses. I would think that in order to convince a golf course to delay golfing in order to accommodate a xc meet, they would have to think that they could get more revenue from xc than from golf, and the Saturday morning golf revenue is usually considerable. That said, golf is becoming less popular, and many golf courses have shut down. A struggling golf course that is on the verge of shutting down could be an opportunity.
01/23/2019 2:56:35 PM
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@dataholic Well for one thing, they tend to start their races later in the day as it's colder and you don't need to beat the heat. Griak started at 1:30pm in September and it was easily our coldest meet of the year. But in general I think it's just that golf isn't nearly as popular up there as you can't really play it for 3-5 months of the year depending on how much snow they get. I think most people in the midwest get their golfing in during the summer months and then call it. Some businesses up there are only open certain months of the year because of the weather. Like Dairy Queen, my guess is alot of golf courses are only open during the summer. Another part of it might have been just that it was a different time (80's and/or 90's as he's older than me by at least 10 years).
@dataholic

Well for one thing, they tend to start their races later in the day as it's colder and you don't need to beat the heat. Griak started at 1:30pm in September and it was easily our coldest meet of the year. But in general I think it's just that golf isn't nearly as popular up there as you can't really play it for 3-5 months of the year depending on how much snow they get. I think most people in the midwest get their golfing in during the summer months and then call it. Some businesses up there are only open certain months of the year because of the weather. Like Dairy Queen, my guess is alot of golf courses are only open during the summer.

Another part of it might have been just that it was a different time (80's and/or 90's as he's older than me by at least 10 years).
01/23/2019 2:59:55 PM
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@dataholic Almost always has been a muni-course or affiliated with a University (UGA, Furman for example). As you noted, economics would never work on a private course as September - November are prime golf months.
@dataholic Almost always has been a muni-course or affiliated with a University (UGA, Furman for example). As you noted, economics would never work on a private course as September - November are prime golf months.
01/23/2019 5:58:12 PM
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I love the tribble mill idea. About half my runs are there so naturally I’ve always wanted to race there. There is a lot more parking than people realize at tribble, and if even part of the huge grass field could be utilized there could be even more parking. There was recently a paved trail added connecting it to archer HS as well, but it is almost a mile away still. If you’re looking for absolutely no road crossings, there are plenty of trails, but they’re fairly narrow and there’s lots of places where corners could be cut. Grayson and archer had a race there a couple years ago, but it mostly stayed off the trails and had a few road crossings.
I love the tribble mill idea. About half my runs are there so naturally I've always wanted to race there. There is a lot more parking than people realize at tribble, and if even part of the huge grass field could be utilized there could be even more parking. There was recently a paved trail added connecting it to archer HS as well, but it is almost a mile away still. If you're looking for absolutely no road crossings, there are plenty of trails, but they're fairly narrow and there's lots of places where corners could be cut. Grayson and archer had a race there a couple years ago, but it mostly stayed off the trails and had a few road crossings.
01/24/2019 8:56:17 AM
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As the meet director for Gwinnett Championships the past 5 years, I feel obligated to chime in. I've been pining after that old golf course ever since we lost RiverGreen as a venue. It's unfortunate that it's been sold to a developer. I'd love to see the course map that was used at Tribble Mill. Parking was a major issue when we hosted Stage Races there a few years back. When we went "shopping" for a new venue after losing RiverGreen, we had 3 criteria: 1) At least 1.5 miles of soft-surface running (grass, gravel, or trail), obviously 3 or 3.1 miles would be better, but 1.5 would make a two loop course work. 2) An area for a starting line: that's typically 50-60 meters wide and 120-200 meters before the first turn. 3) Parking for 400-500 cars. It was frustrating how there were many parks in Gwinnett that met TWO of those criteria, but none met all three. The consensus I've gotten from runners, coaches, and spectators is that the Horse Park is a great venue and the County meet works well there. Obviously, it's a bit odd having the Gwinnett County championship in Rockdale county, but the New York Giants and Jets play in New Jersey. The Atlanta Braves play in Cobb County. I've been open to bringing the meet back to Gwinnett, but have yet to find a suitable venue. If anyone has any suggestions, please email them to me! If there are places that we didn't explore as options, I'd love to hear it. -Matt Adams peachtreeridgerunning@gmail.com
As the meet director for Gwinnett Championships the past 5 years, I feel obligated to chime in.

I've been pining after that old golf course ever since we lost RiverGreen as a venue. It's unfortunate that it's been sold to a developer.

I'd love to see the course map that was used at Tribble Mill. Parking was a major issue when we hosted Stage Races there a few years back.

When we went "shopping" for a new venue after losing RiverGreen, we had 3 criteria:
1) At least 1.5 miles of soft-surface running (grass, gravel, or trail), obviously 3 or 3.1 miles would be better, but 1.5 would make a two loop course work.
2) An area for a starting line: that's typically 50-60 meters wide and 120-200 meters before the first turn.
3) Parking for 400-500 cars.

It was frustrating how there were many parks in Gwinnett that met TWO of those criteria, but none met all three.

The consensus I've gotten from runners, coaches, and spectators is that the Horse Park is a great venue and the County meet works well there. Obviously, it's a bit odd having the Gwinnett County championship in Rockdale county, but the New York Giants and Jets play in New Jersey. The Atlanta Braves play in Cobb County.

I've been open to bringing the meet back to Gwinnett, but have yet to find a suitable venue. If anyone has any suggestions, please email them to me! If there are places that we didn't explore as options, I'd love to hear it.

-Matt Adams
peachtreeridgerunning@gmail.com
01/24/2019 11:16:36 AM
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I believe back in 2011 or 2012 the Gwinnett coaches made a big push to get a course in the County. Had the Gwinnett Daily Post write an article about the need. Did a search for land. Nothing came of it, unfortunately. The Horse Park is a great venue. I like having our County Meet there. It would be great to have a course in our County that we could use for County and Area (or any other meets) but unfortunately we haven't been able to make that happen yet. We need to get an XC parent/fan in a position of authority (or with a lot of money) to help us!
I believe back in 2011 or 2012 the Gwinnett coaches made a big push to get a course in the County. Had the Gwinnett Daily Post write an article about the need. Did a search for land. Nothing came of it, unfortunately.

The Horse Park is a great venue. I like having our County Meet there. It would be great to have a course in our County that we could use for County and Area (or any other meets) but unfortunately we haven't been able to make that happen yet. We need to get an XC parent/fan in a position of authority (or with a lot of money) to help us!
01/24/2019 9:14:08 PM
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[quote=Pre1962]@dataholic Almost always has been a muni-course or affiliated with a University (UGA, Furman for example). As you noted, economics would never work on a private course as September - November are prime golf months.[/quote] Perry HS has hosted on a golf course for the past few seasons on a Saturday morning in August.
Pre1962 wrote:
@dataholic Almost always has been a muni-course or affiliated with a University (UGA, Furman for example). As you noted, economics would never work on a private course as September - November are prime golf months.

Perry HS has hosted on a golf course for the past few seasons on a Saturday morning in August.

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