John Houck

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John Houck
John Houck profile photo.jpg
Born (1960-05-15) May 15, 1960 (age 58)
Long Beach, California, United States
Occupation Disc golf course designer
Spouse(s) Dee Leekha-Houck

John Houck was born May 15, 1960 in Long Beach, California. He has designed more Championship disc golf courses than anyone living today. Since 1983, he has been devoted to the evolution and promotion of disc sports, including golf, ultimate, and freestyle, with a focus on the growth of disc golf since 1988.

Career overview[edit]

Houck began his career in disc sports with back-to-back World Champion titles in Freestyle Frisbee for 1984 and 1985. In 1989 John founded the Circular Skies Over Texas tour, which was the largest regional disc sports tour in the country. He was Commissioner of the Professional Disc Golf Association from 1994 to 1996, and was President of the Disc Golf Foundation from 1998 till 2014. He was inducted to the Disc Golf Hall of Fame in 1998.[1]

Houck was the Head of Course Design for the International Disc Golf Center for many years, and has designed or consulted on course designs for numerous world and national tournaments, with over 130 course designs, revisions, and consultations spanning his career. John Houck is also the creator of the PDGA Amateur World Doubles Championships. Hew also created World's Biggest Disc Golf Weekend(WBDGW), an international public event that was started in May 1991 and was active for 25 years. The event raised money for local, national and international non-profits while it introduced disc golf to people around the world. Houck's company, Circular Productions, held the event first weekend in May every year and at its peak, the event was hosted by 130 cities around the world.

Houck is widely considered to be the premier course designer for disc golf not strictly based on the quantity (solo designs) but also on quality of the courses he has designed. His designs span four decades and his older courses are a testimony to the evolution of the sport. His philosophy for course design includes the showcasing of natural land features and beauty that is unique to each property. He continues innovate design and is teaching design through his workshops and course design articles in the PDGA magazine.

His course design has ranked #1 in the world by player reviews in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016[2] on the oldest and largest ranking platform for disc golf courses. Lakeside, Selah Ranch, Mt. Vernon, Texas, continues to rank #1 from 2012 thru March 2017. His course Harmony Bends at Strawn Park, Columbia, Mo is currently ranked #1 on He has designed the highest ranked course in Canada and the Canadian National Championships will be hosted there in 2018. In Texas, his designs fill the spots of #1, #2, #3 and #4th top ranked course in that state. Other states where his designs have the top ranking including Georgia, Missouri, and New York.

The Admiral disc golf course in Semmes, Alabama was his 100th course and over 250 players from six states attended the sneak peek.[3] The course is getting much usage and hosted two Professional Disc Golf tournaments in the first month of opening.

He designed his first vineyard course in 2017, Flat Creek Vineyard Disc Golf Course, Marble Falls, Texas which hosted a Grand Opening tournament on Feb 25th. This course has become a popular destination for disc golf players.

In April 2017, Houck was also inducted into the Texas Disc Golf Hall of Fame.

Disc Golf courses[edit]

The following disc golf courses were wholly designed by John Houck:

  1. The Admiral DGC, Semmes, AL
  2. Cedar Glades County Park, Hot Springs, AR
  3. Rose Hill South Championship, Kamloops, BC CANADA
  4. Rose Hill North Championship, Kamloops, BC CANADA
  5. Bonita Rec Center, Bonita Springs, FL
  6. W.R. Jackson Memorial, IDGC, Appling, GA
  7. Hobbs Farm, Carrollton, GA
  8. City Park/Minerva Creek Park, Zearing, IA
  9. Fox River Park, Ottawa, IL
  10. Parc des Familles, Marrero, LA
  11. Garland Scout Ranch, Stonewall, LA
  12. South Pasture, State Forest, Nantucket Island, MA
  13. Harmony Bends at Strawn Park, Columbia, MO
  14. St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM
  15. Rock Ridge Park, Pittsboro, NC
  16. Frost Valley YMCA, Claryville, NY
  17. City Park, Pauls Valley, OK
  18. Hillcrest Farms, Prince Edward Island
  19. Lake Abilene, Abilene, TX
  20. Cain Championship, Athens TX
  21. Cain Park, Athens, TX
  22. Pinnacle Country Club Championship, Athens TX
  23. Aqua Fest Championship, Austin TX
  24. Austin Ridge Bible Church, Austin TX
  25. Bartholomew Championship, Austin TX
  26. Raul Alverez Disc Golf Course, Austin, TX
  27. Searight Alternate, Austin, TX
  28. Searight Park, Austin, TX
  29. Slaughter Creek Metro Park, Austin, TX
  30. Southwest Trails, Austin, TX
  31. Zilker Championship, Austin TX
  32. Zilker Park Original, Austin, TX
  33. Zilker Park South, Austin, TX
  34. MetCenter, Austin, TX
  35. City Lake Park, Boerne, TX
  36. Guadalupe River Resort Ranch, Boerne, TX
  37. Austins Colony Park, Bryan, TX
  38. Camelot Park, Bryan, TX
  39. Greenbelt Championship, Carrollton TX
  40. Williamson County Park, Cedar Park, TX
  41. City Park, Clute, TX
  42. Research Park, College Station, TX
  43. Wolf Pen Creek DGC, College Station, TX
  44. Andrew Brown East/West, Coppell, TX
  45. West Guth Park, Corpus Christi, TX
  46. Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX
  47. Edinburg City DG Course, Edinburg, TX
  48. Graytown Park, Elmendorf, TX
  49. Eagle Ranch DGC, Fort Worth, TX
  50. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
  51. Rivery Park, Georgetown, TX
  52. San Gabriel Park, Georgetown, TX
  53. Gonzales City DG Course, Gonzales, TX
  54. Dixie Land Park, Harlingen TX
  55. Quatro Hermanas Ranch, Henly, TX
  56. Live Oak Park, Ingleside, TX
  57. Schreiner University, Kerrville TX
  58. Steeplechase Park, Kyle, TX
  59. Lago Vista Resort Temporary, Lago Vista TX
  60. Llano River Golf Course, Llano, TX
  61. McCord Park, Little Elm, TX
  62. Live Oak City Park Original, Live Oak, TX
  63. Live Oak City Park Lake Course, Live Oak, TX
  64. Live Oak City Park Hill Course, Live Oak, TX
  65. Live Oak City Park East Course, Live Oak, TX
  66. Badu Park, Llano, TX
  67. Flat Creek Estate Vinyard, Marble Falls, TX
  68. Westside Park, Marble Falls, TX
  69. Wilson Creek Park, McKinney, TX
  70. Wilson Creek Temporary, McKinney TX
  71. Trey Deuce, Mt. Vernon, TX
  72. Texas Twist, Mt. Vernon, TX
  73. Prince Solms Park, New Braunfels, TX
  74. Tournament Temporary, New Braunfels TX
  75. Berry's Treasure, Port Arthur, TX
  76. Circle R Ranch, Port Arthur, TX
  77. The Ponderosa, Port Arthur, TX
  78. Moody's Disc Country Club, Red Rock, TX
  79. Harry Myers Park, Rockwall, TX
  80. Brushy MUD DGC, Round Rock, TX
  81. Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, TX
  82. Old Settlers South, Round Rock, TX
  83. Inwood Hollow, San Antonio, TX
  84. Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
  85. Colorado River DGC, San Saba, TX
  86. Meandering Greenbelt DGC, San Saba, TX
  87. Strawbale Field DGC, San Saba, TX
  88. City Park, Seymour TX
  89. Selah Ranch Lakeside, Talco, TX
  90. Selah Ranch Creekside, Talco, TX
  91. South Temple Community Park, Temple, TX
  92. Riverside Park, Victoria, TX
  93. Cameron Park, Waco, TX
  94. Cameron Park Temporary, Waco, TX
  95. Greenbelt Park, Wells Branch, TX
  96. Rolling Meadow DGC, Wimberley, TX
  97. Circ Hill DGC, Wimberley, TX
  98. Woodway Park, Woodway, TX
  99. Tall Firs DGC, Monroe, WA
  100. Dry Creek Greenbelt, Cheyenne, WY

Disc sports events[edit]

PDGA Amateur World Doubles Championships[edit]

Houck created and has hosted the PDGA Amateur World Doubles Championships each year for 16 years. From 2013-2016, this event was held at Selah Ranch in Talco, Texas, the most highly ranked courses in the world. Prior to 2013, it was held on Houck's personal ranch and courses. In 2017 & 2018, the event will be hosted on a total of four courses. These courses are at Selah Ranch and at Trey Deuce Ranch near Mt. Vernon, Texas.

World's Biggest Disc Golf Weekend[edit]

In 1991, Houck created World's Biggest Disc Golf Weekend, an international disc golfing event that raises money for non-profit organizations. As of 2013,the event was taking place simultaneously in 15 countries and 135 cities. Headquartered in Austin, Texas in the first weekend in May, this event started in Zilker Park, Austin in 1991. WBDGW will now promote disc golf by partnering with other non-profits.

Texas Teams[edit]

In November, 2011, the Circle R Disc Golf ranch hosted the Texas Teams Tournament with over 500 players and fans from across the state of Texas attending a three-day event that included disc golf, camping, and live music. Texas Teams Disc Golf Championships are non-sanctioned events and players compete for honor and not official titles. Special team awards for this event include the "spirit award" and the "best dressed team award". Created by Houck in 2000 to provide an event for players who share the love of the sport to simply enjoy the weekend with other disc golfers, the Texas Teams Tournament became the largest disc golf team event in the world. It is now run by Straight Line Discs at Selah Ranch each fall.

Disc sports media[edit]

  • Contributing Writer, Design articles for the PDGA Disc Golfer Magazine[4]
  • Broadcast Commentator, American Freestyle Open 2014[5]
  • Co-host of PDGA World Championships videotape/DVD
  • Narrator for PDGA National Tour DVD
  • Star of the first ever "Learn To Play Disc Golf" videotape

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Freestyle Frisbee World Champion, 1984
  • Freestyle Frisbee World Champion, 1985[6]
  • PDGA Board of Directors, position of Commissioner, 1994 and 1995[7]
  • Disc Golf Hall of Fame Inductee, 1998[8]
  • Master Disc Golf Course Designer[9]
  • President of the Disc Golf Foundation[10]
  • Head of Design at the International Disc Golf Center in Augusta, Georgia
  • Co-founder, Circular Productions[11]
  • Co-founder, HouckDesign[12]
  • Co-founder, Millennium Golf Discs [13]
  • Selah Ranch courses voted #1 and #2 in the world by, 2012[14]


External links[edit]