This is an extended version of the 19th Hole article that appeared in the Fall 2017 edition of Discgolfer magazine.This tee sign (hole 18 at Afton Alps in Minnesota) shows elevation change with contour lines and hillshade. It also includes range arcs that allow a player to quickly assess the distance of trees and other obstacles. The basket is slightly lower than the tee. Other details like the golf cart bridge help orient the player to the fairway which is very helpful when the basket is not easy to see.
Compare the elevation profile at the bottom of the tee sign with the oblique aerial image below. The fairway graphic has been superimposed to help highlight the elevation’s contour.
The picture above to the left is hole 17 at Gunn Park in Fort Scott, Kansas. It shows the view from the tee. On the right the tee sign shows the distance to the large tree and how the out of bounds road comes into play. The contour lines indicate the obvious slope of the fairway towards the river to the left.
Hole 3 at Kaposia Park in South Saint Paul, Minnesota. Hole numbers were not included on these signs so that numbers could be shuffled during tournaments when temporary holes are added. Hole numbers are located on the sign post. Instead, each sign includes the nickname of the hole. The sign shows that the second ring of rocks is 250ft away.
Tee signs should help you orient and navigate. Sometimes you need to know which basket is your target. This happens on courses where holes are placed close together. The tee signs above in Clinton, Missouri have the surrounding holes ghosted in gray. You can easily identify other tee pads and baskets which helps you navigate the layout.
A very subtle feature in these signs is the hillshade. The sign for hole 4 is rotated upside down in order to compare the terrain shading. While he backgrounds are oriented the same way you can see the difference in terrain around the red dot. On hole 3 the terrain looks depressed (as you would expect near a stream). On hole 4 the area looks like a ridge because the sign is upside down.