3 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: - Disc golf course in West County St. Louis
- Well-used elevation changes
- Good mix of technical shots and open drives
- Good mix of short and long holes
- Holes allow for different drive techniques that can be effective (backhand, sidearm, tomahawk, roller, etc.)
- Beatiful scenery--trees, squirrels, deer, rocks, grass, etc.
- Well-maintained park with aquatic center, dog park, tennis courts, pavilions
- Course does not overlap with other park features; no major safety concerns of hitting pedestrians or other park guests
Cons: - No concrete teepads; natural teepads are often rocky or eroded which prevents a confident run-up and also creates safety concerns with landing on natural features
- Baskets have one set of chains and generally do a terrible job of keeping putters in the basket
- Holes 1-4 require a higher fitness level, as the terrain has steep inclines filled with rocks and roots that slip; I have fallen several times trying to go down the hills for discs
- Long walks from 3 to 4 and 8 to 9
- Horribly unforgiving putting circles--no mulch on the rocky, hilly holes leads to a lot of putts turning from birdie-looks to 5s. It is obvious this course is left to the elements, as no noticeable effort has been made to maintain the course
- The ample trees on 1-4 provide a challenge that can punish decent shots; the fairway on 1 is especially nonexistent, so even the best of drives can kick off a tree and glide down into the dried up creek 50 feet down the hill
Other Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoy playing at The Bird. It is one of three courses in the Ballwin/Manchester/Chesterfield area, and even though it is only nine holes, it requires a number of different shots and discs to complete.
The course divides itself into two "halves": the technical, densely-wooded front 4 (and hole 9), and the long, open 5-8. 1-4 can be quite frustrating, as you are a bad roll away from turning a birdie-look into a 5 or 6. In any given round, you will have at least one instance of horrible luck, with a gem toss being kicked by the elements to bogeyland and beyond.
With that being said, it is still possible to put together a decent round, as the open holes reward good shots with deuces. The kicker is that on the open holes, the wind is often a major factor, so you need to bring a nice selection of distance drivers to account for the various winds that play on top of the hill for 5, 6, and 8.
Unlike the rest of the park, the disc golf course receives little to no attention in regards to maintenance. The natural teepads are long past their lifespan, and I can never take a 100% effort run-up when throwing my drives. After a little rain, the natural teepads become softer than a RFF Wizard and non-careful x-steps could result in a nice slip and fall.
I have played this course probably 100+ times because it is so close to me, and I keep coming back. My personal best for the 9 holes is a 27, and my average score probably ranges between 30 and 32. The bad luck adds strokes like you would not believe, and a few of the holes (4 and 6) are very difficult birdies, so it is hard to erase the several bogeys that will likely occur.
Come prepared for a hike, enjoy the scenery, and aim for par. The Bird is a fun one if you have patience and some nice weather.
1. Short, RHBH slight hyzer through a densely-wooded valley. I usually throw a Roc3 or Gateway Warrior and hope to miss trees.
2. Medium-distance, wooded tunnel shot. Throw a RH flick, and you will end up in the dried up creek at the bottom of the hill. Throw a RHBH and you will pray to not roll down the hill. I typically throw a Thunderbird and try to keep it straight, but a stronger arm would be best with a straight, low-flying putter drive.
3. Dogleg right down a hill and through trees. I typically through a Thunderbird or TeeBird with a RH flick that will go long if it happens not to hit the many trees. An understable RHBH drive can do the trick as well, but you are always at the mercy of the disc golf gods in keeping you from hitting trees and rolling down the hill.
4. Long, uphill drive. Good RHFH route, but the natural teepads prevent a full-power run-up, so drives are often left short of the basket. 40% of the time your drive will roll down the hill to the valley and give you an ugly 5.
5. Medium-distance, blind drive over a hill and onto an open field. Definitely aceable, but the lack of vision adds to the difficulty. Crosswinds normally play on this hole, but it does not favor BH or FH.
6. Long, straight bomb with a slight downhill. A large guardian tree swats discs halfway to the basket, so be prepared to throw a decent fairway drive to save par if you hit it. For power arms, best route is a RHBH flex shot that bends around the large tree. A RHFH with some power can curve around the tree nicely and set up for a good upshot. Usually a nice tailwind plays, so bring out the high-speed drivers and let it rip.
7. I hate this hole. Lay-up or suffer the wrath of the massive hill that the basket sits on. And then, workout your calves when walking to 8's teepad.
8. Straight shot in an open field. A right to left crosswind will alter your shot, but good players will deuce this hole consistently.
9. Short, sharp uphill shot. I throw a hyzer RHFH and end up with a good percentage of birdies. Tomahawk also works. Fun hole to end the course.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Daydreams of a butterfly
Pros: An impressive 9 holes located in a large city park with a ton of other activities available, that makes use of tight woods, big elevation, and some open space
Variety. 6 of the 9 holes are tight wooded technical lines most of which include impressive elevation. 3 of the 9 holes are open making use of longer distances and some minor elevation.
Well kept. Sporadic garbage cans keep the trash down, the park seems well taken care of though the disc golf course seems somewhat neglected, everything was in good playable shape.
Replayability. An intermediate to advanced level player could find this a good place to learn/practice tight wooded elevated lines, I could see visiting this course many times to try and improve my score.
Other Users. The course nears a couple of walking paths, but it is mostly only an area for DG, other users shouldn't be a concern.
Senery. A nice natural wooded area of a large city park makes it a pleasurable hike.
Baskets. Single chain disccatchers all in good shape (No practice basket).
Navigation. Directional sign point direct the way, with a little detective work I was always able to figure out where to go next.
Map/Scorecard. Scorecard box (Was empty, maybe they keep it stocked in the busy months), and a map was on the kiosk at the beginning.
Cons: Unfairways. Lines are extremely tight on a few holes but the roughs aren't terribly unforgiving. 2's are luck, 3's are relatively easy on many of the holes.
Beginner Friendly. The tight fairways and elevation may make this course quite frustrating for someone just learning the game.
Tees. Natural tees were mostly level marked by bricks. Several were quite rough or muddy. Some of the holes it was difficult to find both sets of tees.
Other Thoughts: Not by any means the best course of the area and not one I would make a top priority, but if you have some extra time after playing the higher rated courses nearby, these technical 9 holes are worth a visit.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 4 Not
Not bad, but there are better nearby
Pros: Very technical( you are playing in a forest most of the time). Beautiful park.
Cons: A deer tried to murder my dog, I usually get a tick or two when playing this course. Some of the holes are just plain ridiculous.
Other Thoughts: If you live nearby and have 45 minutes, why not?
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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