Whitehawk and Blackhawk Course Review
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Best Course in Tulsa
I had the opportunity to play five Tulsa courses during the 2014 Tim Selinske US Masters Championships. I played this course both in practice and in tournament setting. The course was in excellent condition. I immediately added Blackhawk/Whitehawk disc golf course to my favorites list. This review will focus more on the Whitehawk course layout.
First, this is in a park with another 18 hole course called Redhawk. This is in the wooded area of the park and offers a more secluded feel. The Blackhawk course has a second set of tees on 11 holes and these are referred to as the Whitehawk Course . The course plays through some thick woods and offers a challenge for more advanced disc golfers. Even though it is in the woods, it offers fair fairways and offers a variety of shots. There is water in play on several holes adding to the challenge. I used bullet points for those that do not want to read the entire review.
The Par 57 Whitehawk course uses the same fairways as the Blackhawk course. The two courses share 7 tees and both are very technical. The shared tees are on the shorter holes that measure 300 feet or less. The remaining tees are shorter and offer some different challenges from the longer Black tees. Even though tees are shorter, players on Whitehawk still need plenty of skill and control to stay on the narrow fairways and score well. On the three water holes, the Whitehawk tees do not take the water out of play, the tees only offer the ability to not throw directly over the water off the tee. The baskets on Hole 8 and 9 are close enough to water's edge that errant approaches and putts could easily end up in the drink.
The Par 62 Blackhawk course offers additional challenges in case Whitehawk is not enough of a challenge for you. The Black tees all have signs and good sized concrete tees in excellent condition. Some had benches and trash cans. Some holes have doglegs and others require water carries. While Blakhawk shares 7 tees with Whitehawk, the 11 additional tees are longer and more challenging. The longer Par 5 holes do not necessarily require two longer drives. Rather, players need to be able to hit specific landing areas. Strategic thinking and course management skills are required to score well. Of course all strategies require keeping shots in the narrow fairways and not deep into the rough.
Variety of shots
Here is the variety breakdown. 5 holes play right to left, 6 are mostly left to right and 7 are relatively straight or allow both left and right approaches. 3 holes play near or over the water. Players that can throw a wide variety of shots with accuracy can score well. About the only thing not offered here is elevation shots as this is a very flat park.
Customized Basket Wraps.
Every basket had a custom wrap over the traditional yellow bank on the Discatcher target. Each wrap had amazing graphics along with the hole number on the front and back. The wraps honor the Tulsa Disc Sports Association, the 2014 Tim Selinske US Masters and the 2006 Am Worlds. There was no graffiti on the baskets. These are shown in the course photos.
Both Black and White tees had large concrete tees. The Black tees were a little wider and longer. The white tees were appropriately sized for the shorter distances. There was mulch around most of the tee areas to keep mud to a minimum.
There were well placed signs at each black tee. The graphics were up to date and included OB information as well as directions to the next tee. As long as you can find the first tee, and read the Black tee signs, you do not need a map to play this course. However, none of the White tees had tee signs as all had been vandalized in some form. It is evident the local club, TDSA has tried to keep up, but apparently the vandals are winning.
Course exclusive to disc golfers.
This area is reserved for disc golf. It is only really possible to come in contact with other park users on Hole 2 or if there happens to be a fisherman on the water holes.
When the wind is blowing, this course could provide some relief. The wind will still be in play on a couple of the more open holes, but it is definitely less windy than Redhawk.
The fairways are long and narrow and the rough is deep and not very forgiving. Players need and accurate drive and the ability to hit specific landing zones to score well. Plus players need the ability to scramble and get back on the fairways for when they do end up in the rough. Water comes into play on three of the holes adding even more challenge. The water holes are more open, so the ever present wind can add difficulty. There are also lots of ticks and mosquitoes.
Not recommended for beginners
As stated before, this is a technical and challenging course. The fairways are narrow and require accuracy. The rough is very deep and not very forgiving. There is also the threat of losing discs on the water holes, even from the Whitehawk tees. Beginners should play the front nine of Redhawk instead where errant shots are not so severely punished.
All 18 in a row
Once you leave the first tee area, you do not return to the parking lot until you play all 18 holes. The course wraps around on itself. It would be possible to skip 8 - 11 if you don't have time to play all 18. This would also take the water holes out of play.
Unlike Redhawk, there is only one full service restroom on Hole 1 and 18 of the Blackhawk/Whitehawk courses. There were no portables on the course. However, there were plenty of opportunities for privacy on the heavily wooded fairways.
The course is at the north end of an active airport runway. Jets and planes do fly directly overhead on several holes. The jets are flying very low at this point. I thought it was kind of neat and adds another bit of personality to the course.
Kids, pets and strollers
This is not a great place to bring along young children. There are too many ticks and bugs and possibly mud to bring kids and pets along. Strollers are OK as long as the course is dry. If you have babies or toddlers, please go play the Redhawk course instead. There are no other facilities on the course. The only restroom is on Hole 1 and 18.
Tulsa Disc Sports Assoc is a hardworking club that is responsible for the new basket wraps and updated tee signs. It is obvious they are helping to improve and maintain these courses. These courses are here as a result of the volunteer efforts of the members the TDSA. If you are a local player, you should check out the events they offer. They welcome players of all ages and abilities.
In summer, there can be a fee to enter the park. It is well worth the cost for the opportunity to play 36 holes of disc golf.
There were no readable tee signs left on any of the White only tees. They have all been vandalized in some way. Luckily there were signs on the Black Tees. (Hole 16 Black and White signs were missing). The volunteers are trying hard to keep up with the vandals but it appears to be a losing battle.
Ticks and bugs.
There are lots of ticks here. Nearly every player at the event saw them. There are also mosquitoes and other biters that one would expect in the deep woods and around ponds. Be sure to use inspect repellent, preferably with DEET.
It is possible to lose plastic on the water holes 8, 9 & 10 and in the deep rough on some of the fairways if you are unlucky.
Hard to See
The amazing black and white wraps on the baskets for the Blackhawk/Whitehawk theme are an awesome touch of class. However, the baskets were sometimes hard to spot in the shadows. The graphics were free of graffiti
The planes and jets landing and taking off at the Tulsa airport fly directly overhead on a few holes. It can get very noisy at times.
There was poison ivy on the course. Be advised if you are sensitive and take proper precautions.
Other Thoughts: Mohawk Park and the Tulsa Zoo
This is a giant park that offers great options for disc golf in Tulsa. The Blackhawk and Redhawk set of courses offer 36 holes of disc golf and there is something here for every level of player. From the super beginner friendly front nine at Redhawk to the super challenging back nine at Blackhawk there is a challenge for players of all skill levels. The Tulsa Zoo is right next door in the same park.
It's all right here.
You park in the same area as the Redhawk course, so all 36 holes start in the same area. The Redhawk course offers two nine hole loops. You could play Redhawk, Blackhawk and Whitehawk in one day if you are up to the 54 hole challenge.
2014 US Masters
I played the courses while attending this PDGA Major event. The event was hosted by the Tulsa Disc Sports Association. The TDSA did an awesome job preparing all five courses for the event. Tulsa was a friendly and welcoming community. I enjoyed my stay and I was thankful for the opportunity to play disc golf in Tulsa.
The photos have been updated to include all the Blackhawk tees Whitehawk tees. New photos show how the course has matured, the concrete tees and the new custom Discatcher target wraps.
TDSA Worth Repeating.
Tulsa Disc Sports Association is a hardworking club that is responsible for the new basket wraps and updated tee signs. It is obvious this club is helping to improve and maintain these courses. These courses are here as a direct result of the volunteer efforts of the members the TDSA. In addition to 2014 US Masters, Tulsa has hosted 2006 Am Worlds and 1985 PDGA Pro World Championships. If you are a local player, you should check out the leagues and events they offer. The TDSA welcomes players of all ages and abilities.
The park and the fact there are two 18 holes courses in one location gets a 5 disc rating. The overall course design, the unique challenges and the variety of shots earns a 5. The work put in by volunteers with the local club a 5. Sadly the vandalism is an unfortunate negative along with the bugs. Since there is some room for improvement I will give it a 4.0.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Well Worth the Stop
3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: --Quite a bit of variety with hole length and hole shape. It doesn't ever seem like you have to play the same hole again and again.
--The 2-shot holes make you think about the execution of your drive.
--The woods holes aren't too crazy with the tightness of the fairway or with gaps you have to hit. Not much poke and hope.
--The three water holes--8, 9 and 10--are really designed pretty darn well allowing you to choose how much water you want to bite off.
--Has several more open holes even though it is mostly a woods course.
--Easy to walk.
--Good shots get rewarded and bad shots get punished.
Cons: --There are a few shot-and-a-half "tweener" holes.
--Several of the holes have only one tee.
--The water long of the 9th pin is surprisingly close to the pin.
--Signage could be a fair amount better. I've played this course twice (a year apart) and got mixed up both times on the 11 to 12 transition.
Other Thoughts: --This is an excellent course in what seems to be a very nice park.
--Easy to get to from the freeway.
--Plenty of trash cans.
--The lack of elevation changes does not detract from the course.
--Very close to the airport.
--The park has two courses and a zoo.
--This course is well worth the stop if your travels take you to or through Tulsa. It is very well done.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Best course in the park!
Pros: What an amazing setting for a disc golf course! This course plays through the woods, with defined, yet tight, fairways. It also plays through some open areas, also with defined fairways and rough. A great part of the course are the 3 holes that play right along the lake. They are such risk/reward holes. You can go big over the water and give yourself a good look, or you can lay it up and have a harder look for a higher score. This is the kind of course I love to play! I loved the defined fairways playing through the woods. It really makes you hit your line with top notch accuracy. This course is by far the best course in the park and one of the best in Tulsa that I have played. It gives you a great variety of hole distances, shot variety, and scenery. I had a ton of fun playing this course.
Cons: I would love to see even longer holes on this course. I am talking 600 and 700 foot holes. This would make the course championship caliber. I was told this course used to have even more trees on it until a storm took some down. I would love to see the club replanting some of these trees. Bugs seem to be a problem here. A local told me and my buddy that a lot of players wont play here until the first freeze. This sounds like an issue that needs to be taken care of.
Other Thoughts: After playing Redhawk, this was a great find! It offered more technique, a good amount of distance and short holes, tighter fairways, and more fun. If you only have time for one course and you are at this park, definitely choose Blackhawk!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Very well thought out/designed course. I think it is probably the most challenging one in Tulsa. Fairways are narrow, surrounded by dense woods with the exception of a few holes that go around the lake. Great course to improve your technical shots. Excellent mix of long/short open/wooded shots.
Cons: No elevation change whatsoever. Does NOT drain - I pretty much don't ever play here late winter/spring because of all the standing water (bring your waders if you do). I'm not sure of the zoo's schedule, but occasionally they make you pay to park if you enter the park grounds.
Other Thoughts: Excellent Tour caliber course. Not for beginners. Also I'm pretty sure that if anyone had the balls to don a scuba tank and get in the lake that they would probably come up with about $1000 in discs.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 6 Not
Challenging and Nice
Pros: Concrete Tee Pads
Trash Cans and Benches
Mix of Backhand and Sidearm Shots
Cons: Almost all wooded, heavily
Muddy walkways, poor drainage
Not for beginners
Trash everywhere, sad since garbage cans are provided
Other Thoughts: Nice course on a nice park. Enjoyed the 3 holes that played around the pond. Would definitely play again!
3 of 9 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: The course plays through a secluded part of a large multi-use park. The conflicts with other park uses that plague the Redhawk course aren't nearly as much of an issue here. Most of the holes play through wooded alleys with grassy fairways. Various widths of fairways offer some different tests, with a variety of hole shapes and lengths. The rough is thick enough that you're definitely punished for errant shots, but there are some opportunities for creative recoveries.
A few holes play a little more open, but bring a couple ponds into play. These holes offer the chance to risk throwing over water or taking a safer route with a tougher look at getting near the hole. I enjoyed the risk/reward here, and they would play even more challenging on a windy day.
Dual tees are a nice addition on several of the holes, offering less risky lines on some of the water shots and taking off some distance and making for easier shots on the longer and tougher holes. There is good signage, the course is easy to follow and with hole distance and layout there's no question of where to throw.
Cons: The grass on the fairways was a bit long when I played, and judging by other reviews it seems like that may be a recurring problem. There is also some tall grass rough in spots that can hide discs and add some frustration and lost plastic. The course is very flat and retains a lot of water in many spots without great drainage. A few signs were missing or damaged when I played.
Other Thoughts: Beginners won't find this course all that fun, with some tough lines in the woods and some tricky water shots. The Redhawk course is much more beginner friendly, and offers a nice complement in the same park. More experienced players will be challenged here, especially from the long tees. There is a nice mix of distance and technical lines, with some water hazards adding risk. I really enjoyed my round here and would definitely recommend it if you're in the Tulsa area.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Pros: Definitely the best and most respected course in Tulsa. Most of the holes play through the woods and have many different shot requirements to score well. Good tee's and signs on most every hole. 6 holes are 300' or under but they are certainly not gimme birdies. There are three water holes that will gobble your discs with nearly any mistake. This course will challenge top pro's as well as am's wanting to take their game to the next level.
Cons: The course doubles over on itself after hole 11, make sure you've had a glance at the map in the parking lot if you're unfamiliar with the course. Once you've thrown a disc in the water, you'll be lucky to get it back. During the summers there is a $2 parking fee to get into the park. Also, the course can lack some maintenance during the summers, it's really a crap shoot at times.
Other Thoughts: If you're in Tulsa, this is the course to play. Distance is not rewarded as much as accuracy but some distance doesn't hurt either. Your entire game will need to be on to score well.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 1 Not
great course w/ poor upkeep
Pros: This is an excellent course that cuts through the woods. There are a lots of challenging shots on this course. Most holes are through the woods, some have obvious paths - others, not so much. Three holes have water in play that can easily get in your head (did for me for sure).
This course will challenge your control of your drives as well as your approaches. One bad shot can easily kill your score on a hole due to the thick flora on the 'sides' of the holes.
The overhead canopy is thick and doesn't lend itself to thumbers/overhead shots very easily.
The concrete tee pads are of adequate length with signage on most located somewhere close to the pad. Not all signs were in their original location - some were in trees, some were laying on the ground, but I believe there were only 2 or 3 signs missing.
All the baskets had the yellow bands on the top that allowed for easy location - even in the woods.
There is a restroom located at #1/#18.
Cons: Ticks. Everyone in my group had them.
For one of, if not the highest rated course in OK, it was NOT maintained. We played on the Friday before Memorial Day and the course appeared to have not been mowed in a few weeks. I would have expected this to be almost pristine, but instead there was high-shin to knee-high grass on every hole - and it only got taller as the holes went on.
As stated above, not all tees had their signs and/or they were hanging from trees.
There are no trash cans, but the course itself had very little trash on it.
There was standing water on some of the holes in rutted out locations.
Navigation was a little difficult when there was no signage nor an online map. We did have a hard time finding the correct pads where the course gets close to crossing over itself on the back 9.
I really enjoyed this course, even though I played it terribly. I would have rated it higher (4) if it had even the impression of being maintained/mowed - especially on the holiday weekend.
Hole #9 can kiss my tail. If anyone finds my ion in the water to the right, I'd like it back. Unfortunately, I had no name/number on it, but it was dyed with my kids feet from their birth certificates - seen here: http://www.dgcoursereview.com/forums/showthread.php?p=595937#post595937
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 1 Not
Variety of Difficulties
Pros: Extremely challenging with tons of shot variety and different looks. Short, tight tunnels; a few park-like holes; heavily-wooded doglegs (both ways); true par 4's and 5's; dispicable pond placements; and a couple of ace runs. A variety of lengths including the 700+ monster through the woods. The fairways are extremely tight and many have a canopy that takes OH shots off the table and forces control and shot selection to the top of the menu. Power is rarely rewarded on this course. If the photos look like a wall of woods on some of the holes, that's because it is. Good quality benches on several holes and excellent signage (see photos) on about 90% of the holes. Plenty of shades (in the woods) and baskets were marked toward the next tee (painted spoke) for fairly straightforward navigation. Good basket visability (DISCatcher with bright yellow chastity belts). Restrooms/water fountain at the beginning/end of the course. For me, the signature hole was 8 throwing over the pond with a natural RHBH fade to the basket tucked behind a row of older trees. I say signature because a disc with my name on it is at the bottom of the pond....
Cons: Several of the fairways in the woods were pretty high. It wasn't just grass, it was weeds, wildflowers, and thick ground cover/underbrush. You should be able to find a disc in a fairway, in my opinion. That wasn't easy on a couple of holes. Being the woods, there's a constant threat of poison ivy/oak so keep your eyes peeled when you end up in the brush below the canopy. Standing water on a couple of holes, but the area had seen heavy rain two days earlier. Still, the rest of the course was dry so there appears to be some problem areas where the ground has been rutted by tractors/mowers. Flatter than Greece's tax income. No real open bomb holes. Probably the only flavor missing from this course. A couple of missing signs and a few more that were laid next to the tee or temporarily hanging from a tree adjacent to the tree. Even with signs, some holes required some scouting. No online map that I could find.
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course even though my scorecard didn't and I came out with a lighter bag than I went in. Frustration was high due to my play, but I see the value of the course. It's supposed to be hard and has reached that goal. This is a 4-disc rating at least, but I think I'd take a quarter to half off due to some of the maintanence issues (tall fairways, missing signage, standing water in rutted areas). This was troublesome to me due to the fact that this was the Friday before Memorial Day and I expect the course to be patronized a ton in the coming days/weeks. Bring a towel (for drying off you and discs from dew/water/pond) and patience. Not a course to be or feel rushed on.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
5 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: This is, without a doubt, the closest thing in Oklahoma to a world-class championship level course. Blackhawk has everything you could ask for: true par 4s and 5s, holes that require every type of shot in your bag, and many holes that make you decide if the risk is worth the reward.
The course is well-maintained with concrete tee-pads on all holes and alternate tees in many places. The course largely plays through woods that are not travelled by the non-disc golfers that can flood the rest of the park in the summertime. This means that you rarely have to worry about hitting non-players that happen to wander across the course (unlike the sister park, Redhawk, where there are sections where you play dangerously close to picnic areas). Both times I've played this course, it hasn't been crowded so the pace of play has always been nice.
The holes that really stood out to me are as follows:
Hole 1 - This hole sets the tone for the rest of the course. It's not very long, but its a deceptively difficult tunnel shot that can catch many unsuspecting players off-guard.
Hole 3 - This is the first hole that plays through the woods that make up the majority of the course. The rest of the holes have a similar look with a clear fairway, but thick rough on each side. The dogleg right puts righties on notice that this isn't going to be a course where hyzers are available on every hole.
Hole 7 - Another deceptively difficult hole. The basket is straight ahead and short, but a narrow tunnel of trees stands right off the teepad and makes accuracy very important.
Holes 8-10 - The water holes. When thought of objectively, they're not ridiculously difficult holes, but the pucker factor is very present and I suspect the two ponds here have eaten plenty of discs. Stay calm, play conservatively and you can make it through.
Hole 16 - The "big momma" hole of the course. A par 5 at over 700 feet. It's nowhere near an open fairway and both distance and accuracy are important. If you try to bomb a disc and don't land it in the center of the fairway, you've got THICK rough to contend with. Even after your first shot, if you can make it to the hole on the next shot, you'll have a scattered group of trees guarding the basket to contend with. A birdie is possible, but can be difficult. If you make par, be happy.
Cons: The biggest con is the fact that this course retains water like no other I've played. The first time I played the course was in may after the spring rains had hammered the state for a few weeks. Virtually the entire last half of the course was under a few inches of water. Even the holes that weren't under water had their rough turned into marshes with stagnant water. The second time I played was in March after we'd had a winter drought. There wasn't a drop of water on the course and it was a much more pleasant experience.
Some of the holes are missing their signs and that's unfortunate. If the signs were all in place, I would probably kick my rating up another notch.
This course can eat discs. I personally like the risk that this type of course gives you, but for many, losing discs is a huge downer. I would definitely make sure you bring a few "throw away" discs for the water holes at least. I personally lost two destroyers and a predator on those three holes last time I played (one grip lock, two bad gambles).
Other Thoughts: This is definitely worth checking out. Make a day of it and play both Blackhawk and Redhawk on the same day. Redhawk is a nice warm up for its more difficult sister.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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