An AgilityFusion member asks,
I have only done AKC in the past and just started CPE events… I have always thought of myself as a smart person – but it is clear that I can’t design my own course in those strategy games (such as Snookers) worth a darn. We may never get out of L2! J Anyone have a video, book or article recommendation on how to improve in that area? At home I don’t have enough room to set up more than about 6 obstacles Thanks. ~L. Keepper
I think I understand what you are asking. It sounds like you are looking for not just how to design courses, but also some strategy on how to do so. I am posting this to the blog, because I only have some limited knowledge of resources available on this subject of course design. I will share what I have, but please, anyone else who has some suggestions, click on “comments’ in the upper right corner to add to this knowledge base of resources!
“Fundamentals of Course Design for Dog Agility” by Stuart Mah, Clean Run Productions
This book deals with a whole load of issues pertaining to agility course map design, including angles and approaches, flow, crossing patterns, traps, etc. As well as how to build them from scratch (which I think is what you are asking). Read a review of this book.
Course Analysis for Agility Handlers by Stuart Mah is the second book in this series. This is more about analyzing courses that are already handed to you, than the first one which deals more with the design aspect. Read a Review of this book.
http://agilitycoursemaps.com is a new website for pre-planned courses that you can print. It doesn’t have a lot of classes or venues yet (other than AKC and USDAA) but it’s more courses in one place than I’ve seen yet. You can search by Level, Class, and Judge. Once this website catches on, more and more people will be uploading their courses. (they are uploaded in .jpg format)
Drag and Play This is just too fun! Immediately start dragging obstacles around the screen. It is UKC based, but still has the basics.
http://www.agility-ch.ch/ The website is in german, but if you click ‘parcours’ and then on the top menu panel, a side panel will come up on the left of the screen, click on alle Parcoursplane, and from there you can click on the various links to the actual course maps. (Thanks Linda! agilityteamair.wordpress.com)
http://www.agilityeye.co.uk/past-courses.htm This is Agility-eye, which is based out of Great Britain. Keep in mind the courses are UKC, which can use different obstacles than North American based courses.
http://www.lhbsystems.nl/wc2009/default.asp?open=courses The 14th Annual FCI World Championship is offering the courses for viewing and printing. Try some of them out, and see your dog run the champion’s course!
http://www.coursedesigner.com/ available on Clean Run, with a free 30 day download trial. This is a software program to design your own courses.
Resource article on this software: “Getting the Most from CRCD3″ and Part 2